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Orbitrap_SciLib
Reputable Mentor II
Reputable Mentor II


November 6, 2009 Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., the world leader in serving science, today announced that the Human Nutrition Research (HNR) unit of the Medical Research Council (MRC) in Cambridge, UK, has selected the Thermo Scientific LTQ Orbitrap Velos, MALDI LTQ Orbitrap XL and Exactive mass spectrometers. These systems leverage proprietary Thermo Scientific Orbitrap mass-analyzer technology, the recognized standard for accurate mass and high-resolution measurement, to provide precise and reliable information. The MRC is using Orbitrap technology for high-throughput and high-performance metabolomic and lipidomic profiling that has not been possible using traditional mass spectrometry instrumentation. The Bioanalytical Sciences division at HNR, led by Professor Dietrich Volmer, is a center of excellence for developing innovative approaches to measure biomarkers for processes such as insulin resistance, energy expenditure and the availability of dietary nutrients within the body. The division uses modern biochemical and mass spectrometry techniques to conduct research aimed at identifying biomarkers for diagnosing and detecting the progress of nutrition-related human diseases such as obesity and diabetes. Professor Volmer's goal is to build a unique population-based lipidomics platform allowing the application of studies of 10,000 or more samples. This platform will be used to establish biomarkers of nutritional intake, health and disease. For the MRC, a solution that offered high resolution and enhanced sensitivity was imperative to enable the development of its groundbreaking lipidomics platform. The Bioanalytical Sciences division at HNR, led by Professor Dietrich Volmer, is a center of excellence for developing innovative approaches to measure biomarkers for processes such as insulin resistance, energy expenditure and the availability of dietary nutrients within the body. The division uses modern biochemical and mass spectrometry techniques to conduct research aimed at identifying biomarkers for diagnosing and detecting the progress of nutrition-related human diseases such as obesity and diabetes. Professor Volmer's goal is to build a unique population-based lipidomics platform allowing the application of studies of 10,000 or more samples. This platform will be used to establish biomarkers of nutritional intake, health and disease. For the MRC, a solution that offered high resolution and enhanced sensitivity was imperative to enable the development of its groundbreaking lipidomics platform. Professor Volmer, head of Bioanalytical Sciences at MRC HNR and Dr. Albert Koulman, senior research scientist in the Bioanalytical Sciences division comment: "We are delighted that our unit will feature cutting-edge technology dedicated to lipidomic research. Our primary focus will be on the development of high-throughput lipidomic profiling methods, but we also have the facilities to analyze specific lipids in large sample sets. The Orbitrap instruments are very reliable and maintenance-free while providing the high resolution and sensitivity that is essential to our research." Metabolomics and lipidomics are relatively new scientific disciplines, currently driven by the performance of the analytical instrumentation used. Professor Volmer recently received an award of £2 million from a translational medicine funding call of the MRC to establish the Cambridge Lipidomics Biomarker Research Initiative (CLBRI) within his research division. The MRC has recently purchased four mass spectrometers based on Orbitrap technology: an LTQ Orbitrap Velos biomarker discovery platform, a MALDI LTQ Orbitrap XL instrument as well as two Exactive benchtop liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) systems. The Exactive instruments will be used in the high-throughput biomarker screening stages of the CLBRI projects, whereas the Orbitrap Velos will be applied to more detailed structural identification research such as those performed in biomarker qualification applications. The initial experiments performed by Professor Volmer's team in collaboration with Thermo Fisher Scientific have demonstrated the unique capability of Orbitrap technology to perform both targeted and non-targeted lipidomics profiling experiments in large sample sets. The MALDI LTQ Orbitrap XL provides unparalleled sensitivity for MSn analyses, a rapid scan rate, high mass accuracy and up to 100k resolving power. This enables the MRC to perform targeted analysis of phospholipids as well as unbiased profiling. The ability to apply both strategies in one experiment is an important step forward in the comprehensive analysis of the metabolome and the lipidome in particular. The Thermo Scientific Exactive is fast, easy-to-use and cost-effective to operate, making it an ideal instrument for non-experts and experienced mass spectrometry users. Using high-resolution mass spectrometry with instruments capable of measuring m/z ratios with relative mass measurement uncertainties of 1 ppm or less and sufficient scan speeds, researchers at the MRC are able to combine two strategies, allowing unbiased profiling of biological samples and targeted analysis of specific compounds in a single analysis without compromise. "Typically, cancer research focuses on the function and behavior of individual genes or proteins," explains Dr. Rune Linding, head of the cellular and molecular logic team at the ICR. "The ICR's effort aims to assess how networks of cancer cells interact with each other and surrounding tissues to metastasize, or spread, throughout the body. By modeling and simulating how cancer cells interact within the larger biological network, ICR researchers hope to achieve breakthroughs leading to new drugs or treatments that prevent metastasis - the process that claims the lives of about 90 percent of cancer patients." Dr. Linding added: "Studying the dynamics of cellular networks requires state-of-the-art mass spectrometry. The LTQ Orbitrap Velos and TSQ Vantage systems enable us to push the boundaries and analyze completely new aspects of cellular signaling networks and perform massive scale studies of the dynamics in these networks. This is crucial as we believe the progression of cancer is due to changes in these molecular networks." The chairman of the ICR's section of cell and molecular biology Professor Chris Marshall, FRS, added, "Furthermore, we think that the integration of data from mass spectrometry analysis with other data, such as genetic RNAi screens, will allow us to generate detailed models of processes such as invasion and metastasis. Such a detailed understanding is important to start treating the signaling network as a whole, rather than individual nodes, an approach known as network medicine." The collaboration involves a number of Thermo Fisher Scientific solutions, including laboratory equipment, silencing RNA, protein reagents, mass spectrometry and related services. Anthony Sullivan, proteomics team leader for Thermo Fisher Scientific, said, "We are immensely proud of our unique ability to serve this essential research and pleased with the opportunity to work so closely with such a talented and motivated team of scientists." The Institute of Cancer Research The Institute of Cancer Research is Europe's leading cancer research centre with expert scientists working on cutting-edge research. In 2009, the ICR marks its 100 years of groundbreaking research into cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment. In December 2008, the ICR was ranked as the UK's leading academic research centre by the Times Higher Education's Table of Excellence, based on the results of the Higher Education Funding Council's Research Assessment Exercise. The ICR is a charity that relies on voluntary income. It is one of the world's most cost-effective major cancer research organisations with more than 95p in every £ directly supporting research. For more information visit www.icr.ac.uk.



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