Advanced chemistry made possible with new suite of start-of-the-art instruments

A new suite of advanced analytical instruments allowing precise chemical measurement has opened in Imperial’s Molecular Sciences Research Hub.

The Agilent Measurement Suite (AMS) is a collaboration between Agilent Technologies Inc and Imperial College London. Its analytical instruments will help researchers tackle problems in areas ranging from health and environment to energy and fundamental biology.

I look forward to seeing the collaboration push forward research on societal challenges, from understanding disease on a molecular level to developing clean sources of energy. Professor Alice Gast President, Imperial College London

AMS will also serve as an Agilent instrument demonstration lab and showcase for potential customers and collaborators. The partnership is expected to drive research forward, but also to direct future instrument development in line with scientific needs.

The AMS is based in the Molecular Sciences Research Hub , Imperial’s new home for interdisciplinary chemical and molecular studies, based at the new campus at White City.

At an opening event this week (6 March 2019), Imperial’s President, Professor Alice Gast, said: “We are creating an ecosystem of multidisciplinary research and innovation here at White City, with buildings like this and the Michael Uren Biomedical Engineering Research Hub, but also a culture of making with facilities like the Invention Rooms.

“I am pleased to welcome Agilent into this ecosystem and look forward to seeing the collaboration push forward research on societal challenges, from understanding disease on a molecular level to developing clean sources of energy.”

Health, environment and fundamental biology

The Academic Director of the AMS, Professor Tony Cass from the Department of Life Sciences at Imperial, gave an overview of some of the areas of research already lined up for the new instruments.

These include investigations into the human ‘microbiomes’ - the communities of bacteria that live in different areas of our bodies, including our gut, skin and vagina.

The researchers will also explore environmental questions, such as arsenic concentrations in drinking water globally and the prevalence of pesticides on fruit, along with fundamental research into proteins and chemical imaging of molecules.

Of the new collaboration, Professor Cass said: “The generous contribution that Agilent is making in establishing the Agilent Measurement Suite will have a tremendous impact on our capacity to perform globally significant science across a range of challenges in human and animal health, in the development of new molecules and materials, and in enhancing their understanding of our environment.

“Exciting as the access to advanced instrumentation is, as important is the opportunity to work closely with Agilent’s engineers and applications specialists in a collaboration that will both advance the science and define the requirements for the next generation of instrumentation.

"As director of the AMS, I’m looking forward with keen anticipation to working with colleagues across the College to do exciting and important science enabled by the Agilent instrumentation.”

Jack Wenstrand, Agilent’s director of University Relations and External Research, said: “Imperial is one of the world’s leading universities, and this suite opening demonstrates that Agilent is a catalyst for the advancement of science through academic research.

“Agilent’s products and the collaborative engagement of our technical staff will accelerate academic research at Imperial as we explore measurement needs of the future.”

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