Everyone can request new machines
Dr. Changou’s role directing the Core Facilities unit is critical to the university achieving its research goals. He oversees acquiring the equipment, perfecting its use, training students and others to use it, and helping scholars decide the best ways to pursue their research.
Acquisition is so important that virtually everyone can have their say: the faculty is surveyed to nominate potential apparatus, and a multi-college committee makes recommendations. Since budgets are limited, it’s important to spend carefully; the university’s developmental directions matter too, with cancer research and other priorities factored into purchase decisions.
Dr. Changou’s own research affiliation is the the Ph.D. Program for Translational Medicine, and Ph.D. Program for Cancer Biology and Drug Discovery. He laughs that his “messy” career of doing research in many different U.S. laboratory settings, ranging from bacteria, yeast, drosophila, to mice, from genetics to biophotonics, made him a good candidate to run the Core.
He uses this unusual breadth of experience to optimize TMU’s highest-tech resources. Asset allocation is the Core’s puzzle: how to best use these machines that are expensive to operate and maintain, let alone purchase initially.
Beyond getting and wisely allocating equipment, Dr. Changou said the centralized core’s mission statement provides that “everyone has access,” with first-come, first-served policies that give students and senior staff equal priority. Second priority goes to non-campus users that help to finance Core operations; these are mostly businesses that do not want to purchase expensive laboratory setups when their needs are occasional.