For faculty members Lisa Corewyn and Kari Brossard Stoos, a need for the same equipment sparked a state-of-the-art laboratory and a shared journey to the Costa Rican tropical forest to research wild monkeys.
When Lisa, a biological anthropologist, first approached IC public safety specialist Mark Ross for lab space, he suggested she connect with Kari, a microbiologist with expertise in public health and fighting infectious diseases.
Lisa didn’t know Kari but felt excited about the possibility of collaborating. “Out of the blue, I emailed Kari,” remembers Lisa, who wanted to advance her international research study on a population of mantled howler monkeys in Costa Rica.
“It turns out that we used some of the same techniques for our studies,” says Kari, who sought lab space for her research on antibiotic resistance—and how microbes are able to transmit from one population to the next—in human environments.
Kari and Lisa teamed up, and IC’s first interschool biological safety level 2 laboratory opened in the spring semester of 2018. Initially, the two conducted research separately, orchestrating times to work with their students in the lab. But soon, Kari wondered: “Wouldn't it be better if we worked together and came up with an experience for students that would emphasize both disciplines?” Lisa heartily agreed.