Baylor, Agilent launch center of excellence

The new Agilent Technologies Mass Spectrometry Center of Excellence will enable greater metabolomics analysis

Kelsey Kaustinen
SANTA CLARA, Calif. & HOUSTON—Agilent Technologies Inc. and Baylor College of Medicine have announced the establishment of the Agilent Technologies Mass Spectrometry Center of Excellence, as part of the Alkek Center for Molecular Discovery and the Baylor College of Medicine Core Laboratory in Baylor's department of molecular and cellular biology.
 
As part of this initiative, Agilent will equip the new center with two of its systems that are configured for work in metabolomics: an Agilent 6495 triple quadrupole LC/MS system and an Agilent 6550 iFunnel quadrupole time-of-flight LC/MS system with a switchable GC APCI interface. Both systems include Mass Hunter software to enable qualitative and quantitative analysis, as well as Mass Profiler Professional with Pathway Architect for bioinformatics and integrated multi-omic analysis. The two parties will make use of these systems collaboratively to analyze samples, conduct research and train students.
 
"The growing significance of metabolomics, not only in life-science research but in many application spaces, has resulted in the need for more analytical capabilities," Dr. Arun Sreekumar, co-director of the Alkek Center, said in a press release. "Baylor and Agilent have identified several areas of mutual interest—metabolomics, lipidomics, clinical research, disease research—where we believe we can make real progress together."
 
Baylor's Alkek Center was established in 2011 to consolidate and build on the college's program in proteomics and add a new developmental program in metabolomics. Metabolomics is the study of the metabolism of a cell, specifically the products of its cellular processes, which are known as metabolites.
 
"Our collaborative relationship with Baylor and our shared investment in this new center will foster development of advanced research tools and new applications in metabolomics and integrated biology," Carl Raimond, vice president of Sales and Field Operations, Americas Life Sciences for Agilent, noted in a statement.
 
Dr. Bert O'Malley, director of Baylor's Alkek Center for Molecular Discovery, added, "This decision by Agilent will be a major addition to the Alkek Center in the area of metabolomics and will greatly aid our metabolic R&D and service capabilities for the Texas Medical Center."
 
This follows a similar partnership established by Agilent in September. Then, the company announced that it was collaborating with scientists at the University of Toronto's Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research to produce a comprehensive metabolomics multiple-reaction monitoring (MRM) library and methodology, utilizing Agilent's Infinity 1290 UHPLC and 6460 triple quadrupole mass spectrometry system. That library will be added to Agilent's existing collection of MRM libraries.
 
"Routine metabolite quantification is an essential component for building a better understanding of how diseases such as cancer and diabetes modify metabolic pathways," said Steve Fischer, market director for Agilent's Life Science Research Division, in a statement regarding the collaboration. "We are honored to work with Drs. Rosebrock and Caudy to bring this powerful solution to the scientific community and help advance research efforts in the area of quantitative metabolite measurement."

Kelsey Kaustinen

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