New center at Baylor College of Medicine to boost metabolomics research

Baylor College of Medicine and Agilent Technologies Inc. have teamed up to create the Agilent Techonologies Mass Spectrometry Center of Excellence at Baylor with a goal of advancing research and training in metabolomics.

The new center will be a part of the Alkek Center for Molecular Discovery and the Baylor College of Medicine Core Laboratory in the college’s Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology.

“This decision by Agilent will be a major addition to the Alkek Center in the area of metabolomics and will greatly aid our metabolic research and development and service capabilities for the Texas Medical Center,” said Dr. Bert O’Malley, chair of molecular and cellular biology and director of the Alkek Center for Molecular Discovery at Baylor.

Agilent is equipping the new center with two systems configured for metabolomics: an Agilent 6495 triple quadrupole LC/ MS system and an Agilent 6550 iFunnel quadrupole time-of-flight LC/MS system with a switchable GC APCI interface. The systems include Mass Hunter software for qualitative and quantitative analysis as well as Mass Profiler Professional with Pathway Architect for bioinformatics and integrated multi-omic analysis.

Baylor and Agilent will use the equipment collaboratively to analyze samples, conduct research, and train students. Both parties have enjoyed a longstanding scientific relationship, which has resulted in several published application breakthroughs in cancer metabolomics.

“The growing significance of metabolomics, not only in life science research but in many application spaces, has resulted in the need for more and more analytical capabilities,” said Dr. Arun Sreekumar, associate professor of molecular and cellular biology and co- director of the Alkek Center for Molecular Discovery. “Baylor and Agilent have identified several areas of mutual interest - metabolomics, lipidomics, clinical research, disease research - where we believe we can make real progress together.”

“Our collaborative relationship with Baylor and our shared investment in this new center will foster development of advanced research tools and new applications in metabolomics and integrated biology,” said Barbara Teets of Agilent.