A joint laboratory for life science research

Agilent Technologies and Monash University Malaysia open joint research and training laboratory that will focus on proteomics, metabolomics and multi-omics research in life sciences.

From left: Professor Iekhsan Othman, Monash University Malaysia Deputy Head of School (Research); Robin Philp, AgilentTechnologies South East Asia Academic Market Manager; Soh Lam Seng, Agilent Technologies Malaysia Country Manager for Laboratory Solutions Sales; Professor Shah Yasin, Interim Head of      Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences; Professor Dato’ Dr. Anuar Zaini, Professor at the Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences; and Selene Tan, Agilent Technologies Strategic Account Manager

Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) and Monash University Malaysia announced the opening of a joint research and training laboratory focused on proteomics, metabolomics and multi-omics research in life sciences. The Integrative Biology Laboratory (IBL) will combine Monash’s research excellence  in protein research, notably in diseases such as diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s and dengue fever, with Agilent’s breakthrough iFunnel technology. This collaboration is expected to help scientists increase lab productivity, ultimately advancing Malaysia’s role as a center of excellence  for life science research.

Agilent will provide hardware and software for the IBL as well as training and ongoing support to the staff of Monash Malaysia. Central to this is an Agilent 1290 UHPLC 6550 Q-TOF mass spectrometer, which delivers speed, sensitivity and accuracy to boost research outcomes. Coupled with the iFunnel technology,  an Agilent innovation which dramatically increases ion transfer, the instrument is able to achieve the lowest detection levels to help researchers get the most out of complex samples.

“With the Agilent mass spectrometer at its heart, this laboratory will help strengthen our current proteomics, metabolomics and small-molecules research capabilities,” said Professor Dato’ Dr Anuar Zaini Md Zain of the Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences at Monash  Malaysia.

“We look forward to higher productivity, resolution and mass accuracy capabilities for the analysis of biological samples including peptides and proteins (proteomics); cellular metabolites and lipids (metabolomics); and the combined, integrated analysis of multi-omics,” he added.

“The need for comprehensive analysis of proteins, peptides, lipids and other cellular metabolites--with both speed and sensitivity--is crucial to the study of diseases,” said Agilent’s Robin Philp, academic manager for the South East Asia region. “Establishing the IBL will not  only help researchers address these significant biological challenges today, but also will grow the skill sets of tomorrow’s scientists in Malaysia.”

“The school has several ongoing research projects, most notably around dengue fever, funded by internal and external grants,” Professor Anuar added, noting that the grants underscore the importance of such research work to Malaysia and its surrounding communities. The university’s  research also extends to infectious and cardio metabolic diseases as well as nanoparticles and neuroscience.

Housed at the university’s Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Bandar Sunway, the laboratory will be accessed by over 100 Monash researchers and students. The facility will also conduct workshops and training for local and international scientists, benefitting the biomedical  and clinical research communities in Malaysia and South East Asia. Agilent will also provide Monash Malaysia with early access to new microarray-based research applications and collaborate with the university on focused microarray designs for specific screening needs and research projects.

The opening today extends Agilent and Monash University Malaysia’s collaboration in the area of life sciences research. In 2011, they established the Monash-Agilent Authorized Microarray Service Center to promote talent and skills development for genomics research in Malaysia.