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UC Davis Pushes Limits of Infectious Disease Research with new Waters Mass Spectrometry Laboratory

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University of California, Davis, and the Waters Corporation have dedicated the new Waters Corporation Facility for Advanced and Integrated Mass Spectrometry within Dr. Julie Leary’s laboratory for mass spectrometry (MS).

Prof. Leary, together with collaborators at UC Davis, UC Berkeley and Stanford University, is currently using this laboratory to study eukaryotic translation, the process by which messenger RNA is translated into proteins within the human 40S ribosome, to better understand how infectious diseases like hepatitis C and polio virus are transferred to humans.

The centerpiece of the new laboratory is the Waters® Synapt™ High Definition MS™ (HDMS™) System.

“A key to our current research is to understand the shape of large, complex proteins as they come in contact with each other and with messenger RNA,” said Julie Leary, Ph.D., Professor of Molecular Biology and Chemistry University of California, Davis.

“Are these proteins folded or are they elongated? What is the topography of the complex? For example, our lab is also using the Synapt to measure the eukaryotic initiation factor, an intact 13 protein complex from human tumor cells which we use to study protein translation,” Prof. Leary continued.

“We are investigating how the individual protein subunits conform as they come off the intact complex. Biological molecules are dynamic and ever changing, presenting scientists with a challenge when we try to fully characterize or describe them. We hope that by tackling the issue of molecular shape during eukaryotic translation, we can better understand the process and in turn persuade others to develop effective treatment options.”

“Waters is dedicated to expanding the capabilities and use of mass spectrometry to support research of molecular structures and functions,” said Mark Groudas, Vice President, Americas Field Operations, for the Waters Division, who represented Waters at the laboratory dedication ceremony hosted by University of California, Davis.

“We believe that SYNAPT HDMS will attract more biologists and biochemists to use mass spectrometry for their analysis. We are very excited to work with Dr. Leary as she advances our collective understanding of the infectious diseases translation process research.”

The Waters Corporation Facility for Advanced and Integrated Mass Spectrometry at UC Davis has been completely equipped with a Waters SYNAPT HDMS and LCT Premier™ XE electrospray time-of flight mass spectrometer.