Waters Corporation (NYSE:WAT) today welcomed the metabolomics program at Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC) into its Centers of Innovation Program and recognized Albert J. Fornace Jr., MD, and Amrita Cheema, PhD., the directors of this pioneering program at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of GUMC, in Washington, DC.
In a ceremony at Georgetown Lombardi, Waters recognized Prof. Fornace, Professor of Oncology at Georgetown Lombardi and Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular and Cellular Biology at GUMC, for his research on stress signaling in molecular oncology and various other diseases.
Waters’ Centers of Innovation Program supports the efforts of scientists facilitating breakthroughs in health and life science research, food safety, environmental protection, sports medicine and many other areas.
“Professor Fornace and his laboratory have made important and highly-cited contributions to the understanding of key signaling events in cancer and the cellular responses to carcinogens and other damaging agents. His research in disease metabonomes and biomarker research is state of the art,” said Tim Riley, PhD, V.P. of Strategic Innovation, Waters Division and Program Director of Waters Centers of Innovation program. “We are very pleased to be associated with Dr. Fornace’s laboratory and an elite academic medical center such as Georgetown University Medical Center.”
Professor Fornace, who is also GUMC’s first Molecular Cancer Research Chair, has authored or co-authored more than 280 scientific papers, holds eight patents for technologies to develop therapeutic targets and models for cancer prevention and treatment, and is ranked among the top 1% of the most cited life science researchers (http://www.isihighlycited.com). His laboratory’s research is focused on learning what happens to cells when they are stressed or injured by toxic agents such as ionization radiation, and which underlying processes cause cancer and other disorders. Professor Fornace directs a variety of funded projects for stress-signaling studies, which include major metabolomics components. One such study involves a $5 million award establishing a NASA Specialized Center of Research to study the risk of gastrointestinal cancer by space radiation; this study will investigate some of the health risks of astronauts by space radiation. Prof. Fornace is the director of this Center, and Jerry Shay, PhD, at UT Southwestern is co-director.
Professor Fornace’s team is also active in the field of metabolomics, studying the metabolites or small molecules produced by the human body in response to an outside influence such as a drug, a disease like cancer, or radiation. New technology is enabling scientists to map these subtle changes in body chemistry over time in ways never before possible. These biomarkers may one day help scientists better understand the environmental factors that cause certain diseases.
“The field of metabolomics has really taken off in the last six years or so, and a lot of the credit goes to Waters with its pioneering Q-Tof™ technology,” said Prof. Fornace. “It’s a demanding area of science, and since quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry came on line, there has been an exponential increase in interest in metabolomics and the number of publications in this field. We are very pleased Waters has taken an interest in our research.”
Metabolomics data generated by the Fornace Laboratory’s Waters ACQUITY UPLC and Xevo G2 QTof LC-MS systems will also have a significant contribution to the Georgetown Database of Cancer (G-DOC®), a pioneering project that has compiled metabolomics data and other information from 4,000 breast cancer patients in order to glean information about why certain patients relapse and why others don’t. The goal of the research is to one day be better able to predict the response of patients to various cancer therapies based on their unique genetic profile using a combination of metabolomics, proteomics, transcriptomics, and genomics information and an advanced bioinformatics platform.
In remarks made at the ceremony, Robert Clarke, PhD, DSc, Dean of Research and a Principal Investigator at Georgetown Lombardi, said, “To receive this designation from Waters is a wonderful badge of honor for our institution. We intend to use the facilities Waters has made available to us as heavily as we possibly can.”
About Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center
The Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of Georgetown University Medical Center and Georgetown University Hospital, seeks to improve the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of cancer through innovative basic and clinical research, patient care, community education and outreach, and the training of cancer specialists of the future. Georgetown Lombardi is one of only 40 comprehensive cancer centers in the nation, as designated by the National Cancer Institute, and the only one in the Washington, DC, area. For more information, go to http://lombardi.georgetown.edu.
About Georgetown University Medical Center
Georgetown University Medical Center is an internationally recognized academic medical center with a three-part mission of research, teaching and patient care (through MedStar Health). GUMC’s mission is carried out with a strong emphasis on public service and a dedication to the Catholic, Jesuit principle of cura personalis -- or "care of the whole person." The Medical Center includes the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing & Health Studies, both nationally ranked; Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, designated as a comprehensive cancer center by the National Cancer Institute; and the Biomedical Graduate Research Organization (BGRO), which accounts for the majority of externally funded research at GUMC including a Clinical Translation and Science Award from the National Institutes of Health. In fiscal year 2009-2010, GUMC accounted for nearly 80 percent of Georgetown University's extramural research funding.
About Waters Centers of Innovation Program
Waters Centers of Innovation Program recognizes and supports the efforts of scientists facilitating breakthroughs in health and life science research, food safety, environmental protection, sports medicine and many other areas.
The Centers of Innovation Program previously recognized the research of Prof. Arthur Moseley of Duke University, Durham, North Carolina; Prof. John Engen of Northeastern University, Boston, Mass.; Prof. Jeremy Nicholson of Imperial College London; Prof. Julie Leary of the University of California – Davis; Prof. James Scrivens of the University of Warwick, Coventry, UK; and Prof. David Cowan of Kings College London.
These leading scientists, in partnership with Waters, are using liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry to take research down new paths and help unlock the mysteries of science.
About Waters Corporation (www.waters.com)
For over 50 years, Waters Corporation (NYSE:WAT) has created business advantages for laboratory-dependent organizations by delivering practical and sustainable innovation to enable significant advancements in such areas as healthcare delivery, environmental management, food safety, and water quality worldwide.
Pioneering a connected portfolio of separations science, laboratory information management, mass spectrometry and thermal analysis, Waters technology breakthroughs and laboratory solutions provide an enduring platform for customer success.
With revenue of $1.64 billion in 2010 and 5,400 employees, Waters is driving scientific discovery and operational excellence for customers worldwide.
For additional information:
Waters Centers of Innovation Program
Albert J. Fornace Laboratory
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