Freezer Program

To say that research can be unpredictable is an understatement. Often, experiments can suddenly take a new direction and put researchers in need of reagents in a hurry. Thanks to the freezer program, an on-site store run by Einstein’s procurement services, researchers have immediate around-the-clock access to many reagents, making it unnecessary to wait for shipping of these critical research resources. During 2016, they’ll be available in more locations on campus and at lower cost, too.

Randy Osi, scientific purchasing manager for procurement services
Randy Osi, scientific purchasing manager for procurement services
Established over 25 years ago and located in the Belfer building, the freezer program began with just five products provided through one vendor, with access limited to regular work hours, Monday through Friday. In recent years, it has grown to include six different companies, offering more than 100 reagents.

“The freezer program was established to make it more convenient for researchers to pick up their merchandise. Instead of placing an order and waiting, more frequently ordered items were placed in one of several freezers where they could be accessed more readily,” explained Anita Butta, who originally began working at Einstein as an acquisitions clerk in the freezer program.

Anita Butta checks inventory in the freezers
Anita Butta checks inventory in the freezers
Many researchers at Einstein sing praises of the freezer program for its convenience. “Even though we try to plan our experiments ahead, sometimes you forget to order something or you miscalculate the amount of an enzyme you need. Having the freezer program is a relief and can mean that we don’t have to cancel our experiment for that day,” explained Maria Lazaro-Pena, a Ph.D. student in the laboratory of Dr. Scott Emmons.

Within the past few years, the freezer program staff has made major strides in making it more accessible. In July 2014, its services expanded to include automated freezer access 24 hours per day/7 days per week (24/7) for some vendors, in addition to its typical access for all vendors between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

“Now you can get products a 3 o’clock in the morning if you need something,” said Dr. Raquel Castellanos, a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Daniel Weiss.

Many reagents available through the freezer program can be accessed around the clock
Many reagents available through the freezer program can be accessed around the clock
Currently, each vendor offering their products 24/7 has a different system for accessing their automated freezers. “It’s become an issue,” acknowledged Randy Osi, scientific purchasing manager, who oversees all aspects of the freezer program. “We’re working on creating a unified automated system, so the process for accessing all vendors will be the same, requiring just one passcode for all access.”

Plans are underway to expand the program by adding locations in the Price Center/Block Research Pavilion or the Van Etten building, and in the Kennedy building, so that late-night researchers won’t have to venture far when in need of reagents for their work. And starting this winter, all products in the freezer program will cost at least 5 to 10 percent less than the list price on EPRO.

“Researchers can find a list of the products currently available for purchase in the freezer program on the EPRO website,” noted Mr. Osi. Einstein investigators interested in using the 24/7 automated freezers should contact him, Heather Martinez, or José Guzman.



Automated Freezer Program (PowerPoint) 

Sign-up Sheet for AFZP Vendors 

YU-Helix User Guide 

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Procurement Services
1300 Morris Park Ave
Bronx, NY 10461
Telephone: 718.430.3001
Fax: 718.430.8700

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