National University of Ireland, Galway, and Agilent open biological mass spectrometry facility

16 February 2009

The National University of Ireland (NUI), Galway and Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE:A) have announced the opening of a Biological Mass Spectrometry Facility on the NUI Galway campus. The state-of-the-art facility is fully equipped with the latest accurate-mass quadrupole time-of-flight (Q-TOF) and triple quadrupole (QQQ) mass spectrometer platforms from Agilent.

The facility primarily focuses on functional genomics, proteomics, lipidomics and metabolomics research. As part of the collaboration, NUI Galway will provide application notes and data for key applications using the Agilent Q-TOF and QQQ platforms. The facility will also be used to showcase new instruments to Agilent customers and to run samples for demonstration purposes.

“The opening of this facility is a continuation of Agilent’s drive to be a key technology partner for innovative research in academia,” said Gustavo Salem, general manager for Agilent’s LC/MS business. “NUI Galway has some of the top primary investigators in Europe. We look forward to working closely with them to further their breakthrough research in the fields of metabolomics and proteomics.”

“NUI Galway has recently made a substantial commitment to increase its capability in mass spectrometry, in particular targeting life science research,” said Professor Terry Smith, vice president for Research, NUI Galway. “With our recent investment, sponsored by IDA, SFI and Agilent Ireland, NUI Galway now has this capability.”

Primary investigators Dr David Finn, Dr Niclas Karlsson and Brendan Harhen will run the mass spectrometers at the facility.
Dr Finn is a lecturer in pharmacology and therapeutics and co-director of the Centre for Pain Research at NUI Galway. The aim of Dr. Finn’s research is to increase the understanding of the neurobiology of pain and anxiety and support the development of novel therapeutic agents for their treatment.

Dr Karlsson is one of the top researchers in mass spectrometry and bioinformatics for sugar and protein identification. He established one of the first integrated bioinformatic platforms for this kind of research and collaborated with the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics for generating glycobioinformatic resources for the community.

Mr Harhen is an honors biochemistry graduate from NUI Galway with a special interest in facilitating ultra-trace quantitation of biomolecules in complex matrices, such as bioactive lipid signalling molecules. He will support other quantitative needs at NUI Galway, such as quantitative proteomics.

The collaboration between NUI Galway and Agilent is a result of Agilent’s Academia Program, which facilitates collaborations with universities around the world. The program assists universities with teaching, materials and creating research partnerships.

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