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Shimadzu gift brings millions in scientific equipment to UTA
     
Shimadzu Scientific Instruments, a world leader in the analytical instruments industry, will establish the Shimadzu Center for Advanced Analytical Chemistry at The University of Texas at Arlington through an in-kind gift valued at nearly $3 million.

The new center, located in UT Arlington's Chemistry and Physics Building, will be a home for scientific exploration and will contain $6 million worth of state-of-the-art chromatography, mass spectrometry and spectroscopy equipment.

It is one of the largest gifts ever to the UT Arlington College of Science. A grand opening to recognize Shimadzu officials is scheduled for 3 p.m. on Monday, April 9, in Rooms 119/120 of the Chemistry and Physics Building at 700 Planetarium Place.

"We are honored that a company with the worldwide reach of Shimadzu has chosen to invest in UT Arlington's research program," UT Arlington President James D. Spaniolo said. "This equipment will provide opportunities for faculty and students in a laboratory that is truly on the cutting edge of analytical possibilities."

The instruments will be used for research into preventions and treatments for illnesses such as cancer and malaria as well as in the development of nanofabrication materials for industry.

"Shimadzu's gift creates a resource accessible to North Texas researchers whether they are university-based or in private enterprise," said Pamela Jansma, dean of the College of Science. "It's an outstanding example of the benefit of having a growing research institution nearby."

The central location of the Shimadzu Center will allow researchers in the UT Arlington College of Science and the College of Engineering to access the enhanced capabilities for trace qualitative and quantitative analysis, said Kevin Schug, UT Arlington associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry. The facility also will be available for use by area businesses on a contract basis.

In concert with the opening of the Center, Schug has been named the University's new Shimadzu Distinguished Professor of Analytical Chemistry. He will oversee the laboratory.

"UT Arlington has a dynamic science program focused on the future, and Shimadzu is pleased and eager to support such a research institution," said Shuzo Maruyama, president of Shimadzu Scientific Instruments. "Kevin Schug is one of the leading young scientists in the country, and it will be a pleasure to work with him and the entire team at UT Arlington on future projects."

 
Schug won the 2010 Eli Lilly Young Analytical Scientist Award, an award that recognizes a researcher doing work relevant to the pharmaceutical industry.

Schug said the new center represents "the largest installation of analytical instrumentation from Shimadzu in the Western Hemisphere.

"We can do almost any type of analysis with what we have," he said.

Examples of some of the cutting-edge research that will be aided by the Shimadzu instruments include:

Research led by Schug using MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry equipment to analyze cuticular lipids that can reveal age in a species of mosquito known for spreading malaria. Effective methods for analyzing mosquito age could help biochemical-based efforts to prevent spread of the disease, since younger mosquitoes are non-contagious. Schug will also use new metals analysis equipment in an ongoing study of private well water samples collected near natural gas sites.

Subhrangsu Mandal, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry, is currently looking for chemicals in the environment that could interfere with normal hormone functions and, possibly, fuel cancer growth. The mass spectrometry equipment will help him better analyze test items such as commonly used growth hormones, water from various sources and milk. He received a 2010 grant of nearly $500,000 from the National Institutes of Health to fund his work.

Jian Yang, associate professor of bioengineering, will use the new high performance liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry equipment in his work on biodegradable fluorescent polymers. These polymers can help deliver chemotherapeutic agents to cancers and also enable sensitive cancer detection through optical imaging. Yang recently received a $1.25 million National Institutes of Health grant for this work.

Shimadzu Scientific Instruments (SSI) is the American subsidiary of Shimadzu Corp., headquartered in Kyoto, Japan. Founded in 1875, Shimadzu is a $3 billion multinational corporation with three major divisions: Medical Diagnostics, Aerospace/Industrial and Analytical Instruments. In the United States, SSI has a network of more than 50 locations providing local and regional sales, service and technical support. Visit www.ssi.shimadzu.com for more information.

Posted April 6, 2012

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