Researchers Excited by New Equipment
July 2nd, 2012
[L to R]: Dorothee Hahne, Michael Clarke and George Yeoh get to know the new equipment, based at the University of WA.
Professor George Yeoh, group leader of the Cancer Medicine Program at WAIMR and a liver cancer researcher at the University of WA, is looking forward to using a new high resolution mass spectrometer, which has just been donated to the University.
The new equipment will help scientists to tackle some of society's big challenges in health as well as food production and the environment.
The high-resolution mass spectrometer, used to provide accurate metabolomic analysis of molecules in complex samples, has been donated to the UWA Centre for Metabolomics, which is jointly hosted by the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology and School of Chemistry and Biochemistry.
Agilent Technologies, a US-based company, donated the instrument, valued at nearly half a million dollars, as well as $44,000 in funding, as part of a five-year collaboration, through its Global Academic Program.
Researchers are excited at the big increase in capability in areas of research. The new spectrometer can accurately measure molecules in biochemical pathways, such as those involved in cancer and diabetes.
Professor Yeoh has been studying liver cancer for the past 40 years and is internationally recognised for his work on liver progenitor cells and their relation to hepatocellular carcinoma.
"Pathway mapping in cancer cells will allow accurate assessment of the metabolic pathways that are involved in cancer development and mechanisms by which cancer cells grow and maintain themselves," he said.
"This technology affords a means of identifying 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," Professor Yeoh said.
Winthrop Professor Steven Smith, Director of the Centre for Metabolomics, welcomed the arrival of this 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.
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