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Waters Corporation Welcomes King’s College London into Waters Centers of Innovation Program


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Waters Corporation has welcomed into its Centers of Innovation Program the Drug Control Centre within the Department of Forensic Science and Drug Monitoring at King’s College London.

In a symposium and ceremony held at King’s College, Waters recognized researchers Prof. David Cowan and Dr. Norman Smith for their ongoing work in the area of sports medicine and separation science.

Waters Centers of Innovation Program is a new, corporate initiative which recognizes and supports the efforts of scientists facilitating breakthroughs in health and life science research, food safety, environmental protection, sports medicine and many other areas.

“Our ongoing collaboration with Waters has helped us develop faster and more sensitive analytical methods for sports drug testing. With their innovation in LC-MS-MS, Waters has been a valuable partner in our efforts to deter athletes from using drugs to enhance their performance,” said Professor Cowan.

Under the direction of Prof. Cowan, The King’s College London Drug Control Centre will be responsible for all drug testing of athletes at the 2012 Olympic Games. Prof. Cowan was also the Visiting Laboratory Director at the Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games, where the first positive result for novel erythropoiesis-stimulating protein (NESP) was discovered, a substance used to increase the delivery of oxygen. He was the senior external international drug expert at the 2006 Turin Winter Olympic Games and 2008 Beijing Olympics, a member of the IOC Medical Commission for the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000 and Vancouver Winter Olympic Games this year. He has served on a number of national and international committees and has published extensively in the field of pharmaceutical analysis especially as it relates to detecting drug administration in sport.

In addition to performing research into Sports Drug Testing, Professor Cowan’s laboratory has taken a lead role in developing methods of analyzing so-called “date rape drugs” that are typically undetectable in a victim’s blood as soon as 24 hours after administration. The LC-MS-MS methods his lab has developed can now confirm the presence of previously unknown metabolites for many days after the event, enhancing law enforcement efforts to establish evidence of a crime.

Prof. Cowan’s laboratory uses a Waters ACQUITY UPLC®  System combined with a tandem quadrupole mass spectrometer notable for its speed, significantly shorter prep time and higher sensitivity.

“Professor Cowan and Dr. Norman Smith are doing exemplary research. Their application of separations science combined with mass spectrometry is not only innovative, their test methods are setting new standards of performance for sports drug testing. We believe our Centers of Innovation Partnership with them will lead to significant improvements in drug monitoring methodology,” said Tim Riley.
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