College of Science

Shimadzu Center is bold advance for college's research

The start of what could be a long and productive collaboration was celebrated on April 9 as the Shimadzu Center for Advanced Analytical Chemistry at UT Arlington was formally dedicated by University administration and faculty along with executives and employees from Shimadzu Corp., a world leader in the analytical instruments industry.

The center, made possible by a $3 million in-kind donation by Shimadzu Scientific Instruments, will be a home for scientific exploration and contains $6 million worth of state-of-the-art chromatography, mass spectrometry and spectroscopy equipment. The center will provide cutting-edge analytical chemistry services to support science and engineering research.

The gift of nearly $3 million in equipment given by Shimadzu is one of the largest gifts ever to the UT Arlington College of Science.

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

College of Science Dean Pamela Jansma hailed the new center as the latest example of the college's push to help UT Arlington in its quest to become a Tier I research university.

"This center is a wonderful example of what is possible when a university partners with private industry," Jansma said. "We believe the center will help us continue to attract top faculty and students while doing groundbreaking research. Shimadzu's gift creates a resource accessible to North Texas researchers, whether they are university-based or in private enterprise."

Kevin Schug, associate professor of chemistry, is director of the center and has also been named the Shimadzu Distinguished Professor of Analytical Chemistry. He worked with Shimadzu for almost a year in formulating plans for the center and determining which equipment the University most wanted to acquire.

"We got pretty much everything we wanted; I'm like a kid in a candy store," Schug said. "I'm still in disbelief that it all came together in such a short amount of time. This gives us the ability to do almost any kind of analysis we want to do."

Kozo Miseki, Shimadzu's corporate officer and general manager of its Life Science Business Department, said the company is excited about the research which will be done at the center.

"I believe that, in the University of Texas at Arlington, we have a partner that can help us achieve our corporate philosophy of 'contributing to society through science and technology,' " Miseki said. "It is strong and enabling partnerships with innovative and growing institutions like UTA that will assist Shimadzu in becoming a truly global brand. It is my sincere hope that these are just the first steps in a long and productive relationship with UT Arlington and Dr. Schug, and I look forward to the chance to return for future events at UTA."

Rasika Dias, professor and chairman of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, praised Schug's work in establishing the center and said the facility would enable the department to conduct greater quality and quantity of research.

The central location of the Shimadzu Center, housed in the Chemistry and Physics Building, will allow researchers in the College of Science and the College of Engineering to access the enhanced capabilities for trace qualitative and quantitative analysis, Schug said. The facility also will be available for use by area businesses on a per sample or contract basis.

"UT Arlington has a dynamic science program focused on the future, and Shimadzu is pleased and eager to support such a research institution," Shuzo Maruyama, president of Shimadzu Scientific Instruments, previously said. "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."

Shimadzu Center
Attending the Shimadzu Center grand opening are, from left, UT Arlington President James Spaniolo, Shimadzu Center director and chemistry associate professor Kevin Schug, Sshimadzu senior global marketing manager Masayuki Nishimura, and Shimadzu general manager Kozo Miseki.

Schug won the 2010 Eli Lilly Young Analytical Scientist Award, an award that recognizes a researcher doing work relevant to the pharmaceutical industry. He said the new center represents "the largest installation of analytical instrumentation from Shimadzu in the western hemisphere."

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. Some of the services the center will provide include: small molecule, metals, proteins and polymer analysis; gas and liquid chromatography method development for complex mixture analysis; qualitative and quantitative analysis using chromatography, spectroscopy and/or molecular mass spectrometry; and mass spectrometry surface imaging.
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, associate 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.

To learn more about the Shimadzu Center, go to http://www.uta.edu/scaac/.

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 http://www.ssi.shimadzu.com/ for more information.

Posted April 20, 2012