27 Jul 2012, BioSpectrum Bureau , BioSpectrum
Singapore: The University of Western Australia has teamed up with Agilent Technologies, one of the world's leaders in measurement technology, committing to a five-year collaboration that will enable the development of ground-breaking applications in life sciences.
The partnership with Agilent Technologies will contribute to UWA's local, national and international research and teaching alliances through the Centre of Metabolomics, The ARC Centre if Excellence in Plant Energy Biology and the UWA Comparative Analysis of Biomolecular Networks Research and Training Centre.
The UWA centers have agreed to put Agilent platform technologies and applications to the test in an effort to advance international training opportunities while furthering research into some of society's big challenges in health, food production and the environment.
Through its Agilent Global Academia Program, Agilent has already donated a high-resolution mass spectrometer, used to provide accurate metabolomic analysis of molecules in complex samples, as well as cash grants as part of the five-year collaboration with UWA.
Researchers are excited at the opportunity of a big increase in capability in areas of research including drug discovery and metabolism, innovative pathway mapping in diseases such as cancer and diabetes, environmental pollution characterisation, food analysis and disease biomarker discovery.
Metabolomics is the analysis of metabolites (the products of a metabolic reaction) in biological samples and this type of analysis is provided for researchers by the UWA Centre for Metabolomics. The centre supports biological research from many disciplines including plant, animal and medical sciences.
Winthrop Professor Steven Smith, Director of the Centre for Metabolomics, welcomed the arrival of the critical new infrastructure to UWA. "It will provide cutting-edge metabolomics technology for use by many researchers in diverse areas throughout UWA and the State," he said.
Leading liver cancer researcher Professor George Yeoh, explained the new LC-QTOF mass spectrometer will help to identify pathway targets that can be used against cancer cells, as well as for monitoring outcomes of strategies to control cancer cells.
"We expect that many pathways that have been implicated in tumour development will be more accurately and comprehensively assessed for the first time," he said.
Rod Minett, general manager, Life Sciences, South Asia Pacific and Korea, at Agilent, said the company had formed a strong partnership with the national Metabolomics Australia network and with researchers at UWA.
"We see real benefit in supporting the UWA Centre for Metabolomics to provide the best quality metabolomics analysis to assist researchers," he said. "The LC-QTOF will give this centre advanced capability and allow the development of new applications to measure small molecules in many areas including biomedical science, environmental science, plant and oceans research."
Agilent will provide additional assistance to the centre to support researchers through its experienced applications specialists located in Australia and overseas.