In 2013, then Gov. Deval L. Patrick announced the award of $95 million to the University of Massachusetts to outfit half of the life sciences building. That award has helped UMass biochemist Elizabeth Vierling secure a three-year $682,982 National Science Foundation grant to study how plants respond at the molecular and cellular level to stress in their environment and the role of a regulatory protein called S-nitrosoglutathione reductase. Vierling said they wouldn't have been able to propose the grant without the new mass spectrometry equipment. She said that equipment cost $1.2 million.