Agilent Technologies Inc. and the National University of Singapore have announced an agreement to develop expertise and knowledge in the area of analytical lipidomics. The goal of the partnership is to develop workflow solutions that enable researchers to more accurately understand disease states.
Under the terms of the agreement, Agilent’s provision of sophisticated test and measurement instruments will be housed in the NUS Center for Lipidomics within the university’s Life Sciences Institute. Headed by Associate Professor Markus Wenk, NUS Department of Biochemistry and Department of Biological Sciences, this center will host researchers and scientists from clinical and commercial organizations in Singapore and the Asia Pacific region. The center grew out of a competitive five-year research program and promises to be a global magnet for collaborating parties in lipidomics.
The collaboration will help to further advances in the emerging field of lipidomics, which may lead to the creation of new classes of biomedical research tools and therapies. The NUS Industry Liaison Office has been actively guiding the researchers and facilitating their work with industry to create win-win relationships with companies such as Agilent.
“Integrated tool development programs, such as this new Center for Lipidomics, greatly support applications in life and environmental sciences,” said Professor Barry Halliwell, NUS deputy president (Research and Technology). “We are delighted by the substantial industry interest and welcome Agilent as a partner in this endeavor.”
Agilent will support NUS with highly specialized instruments for the separation and analysis of lipids from complex mixtures using robotic systems and the latest bioinformatics software tools and electronic lab notebooks. The company will also provide NUS access to its scientists in Asia and the United States. NUS will serve as a reference site for Agilent and allow the company to better understand the needs of the research community. Agilent will use what it learns to further develop and enhance its instruments.
“Lipids play crucial roles in pathophysiology,” said Professor John Wong, dean of the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine. “The close proximity of this new center to clinical research and patient care at the National University Health System places us in a unique position for knowledge creation and translation in biomedicine.”
Additionally, both Agilent and NUS have agreed to explore opportunities in the field of lipidomics through collaborative research projects, short-term consultancies, customized training programs and workshops, and participation at industry seminars and conferences to advance the level of knowledge in the field of lipidomics.
“This strategic partnership with NUS will raise the level of knowledge for lipidomics and potentially pave the way for developments in related fields of research such as life sciences, nutritional sciences or environment sciences,” said Rod Minett, Agilent’s general manager, Life Sciences Group, South Asia Pacific and Korea. “We will collect insights into the use of our instruments in this complex research field and look to further develop and enhance our capabilities, not only in lipidomics but also in related fields of research.”
“This collaboration will further strengthen Agilent’s worldwide leadership in the field of metabolomics, which is a key strategic initiative for our company,” said Rudolf Grimm, Ph.D., Agilent’s director of science and technology and collaborations manager, Asia Pacific.