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SQI: Simpson Querry Institute

SQI core facilities earn 2020 Service Excellence Awards

The Simpson Querrey Institute’s Peptide Synthesis Core and Analytical bioNanoTechnology Equipment Core (ANTEC) have each been recognized with 2020 Core Facilities Service Excellence Awards by the Office for Research at Northwestern.

Alexandra Kolot
Alexandra Kolot

SQI’s cores were among the 25 recognized university-wide for overall excellence in governance, resource management, research and technical staff, customer satisfaction and outreach activities, among other areas. The winning facilities typically rank as either “Outstanding” or “Excellent” in at least five of the eight categories the Office for Research’s Core Facilities Administration uses to evaluate cores.

“We highly appreciate the recognition of our efforts by the Office for Research,” ANTEC director Alexandra Kolot said. “I am grateful for the persistent efforts of ANTEC technician Charles Bressan, and for continuous help from our SQI colleagues and administration. 

“ANTEC has established a community of customers who are extremely supportive of our core and of our efforts to maintain and further develop the equipment pool. We are striving to strengthen these relationships, always focusing on customer satisfaction.”

This marks the sixth consecutive year of recognition for the Peptide Synthesis Core and the second straight year for ANTEC. Both cores have displayed remarkable flexibility in continuing to support the Northwestern research enterprise during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, remaining operational for essential research while other on-campus activities were shut down to limit the spread of the virus.  

Mark Karver
Mark Karver

The facilities reopened in early June for non-essential research — with new capacity and safety protocols in place — as part of the university’s phased return to campus.

Peptide Synthesis Core director Mark Karver said he is proud of the continued growth of core staff members, as well as their efforts in a project exploring peptide-based therapies for COVID-19. Technical staff members include Bressan, who provides services for both cores, and two Peptide Synthesis Core technicians: assistant core scientist Suvendu Biswas and senior core technician Emily Ayello.  

“I’m incredibly happy to receive this recognition from the Office for Research,” Karver said. “Our Peptide Synthesis Core technical staff continue to improve and I’m very grateful to work with each of them as well as the entire SQI staff, who are a very important supporting piece to our success. The past year has not been easy for anyone, especially recently, and I commend our team for working through the adversity and continuing to excel at what we do.”