MILFORD, Mass., Nov. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Discovery and education were the main themes at a recent ceremony and symposium at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy (UMSOP), an institution which Waters Corporation honored for its interdisciplinary research using mass spectrometry to discover new and improved drugs to treat cancer, diabetes and infectious diseases. During an on-campus ceremony, Waters Corporation officially recognized the UMSOP Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences' core Mass Spectrometry Facility under the direction of David Goodlett, PhD, the Isaac E. Emerson Chair of Pharmaceutical Sciences, as the first such institution to be selected for Waters Centers of Innovation Program honors.
As part of the Waters Centers of Innovation Program, the School of Pharmacy will continue to receive priority access to new technologies, opportunities to influence the development of next-generation research instruments, shared opportunities for collaboration with Waters and priority applications support and funding assistance.
University of Maryland, Baltimore President Jay A. Perman, MD, addressed the audience saying, "Today's ceremony is a testament to the achievements of this School. Our new Mass Spectrometry Facility is the largest, most-well equipped and well-staffed facility of its kind in the Mid-Atlantic region and it will enable us to shorten the time it takes to translate research findings into new diagnostics, therapeutics, and preventive procedures that will help patients."Representing Waters Corporation, Mark Groudas, V.P., Americas Field Operations, said, "With the selection of the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy for the Waters Centers of Innovation Program, Waters officially acknowledges the contributions of the School of Pharmacy and the long-standing relationship we have had with one another. By continuing to work with one another and invest in each other's success, we can accomplish great things." In association with the recognition ceremony, the School of Pharmacy and Waters co-organized a day-long scientific symposium titled "Empowering Biomarker Discovery and Therapeutic Solutions via Mass Spectrometry." The Symposium opened with a lecture from Goodlett, who is also director of the Mass Spectrometry Facility at the School of Pharmacy, followed by Maureen Kane, PhD, assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences and co-director of the Mass Spectrometry Facility. The Symposium featured other researchers in the field including Arthur Moseley, PhD, associate research professor at Duke University and director of Duke's Proteomics Core Facility; Joseph Loo, PhD, a professor of chemistry and biochemistry from the University of California, Los Angeles; Patrick Wintrode, PhD, associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences at the School of Pharmacy; and Ron Heeren, PhD, professor of the FOM Institute AMOLF in Amsterdam. Mass Spectrometry at the University of Maryland The School of Pharmacy's Mass Spectrometry Facility came together largely due to the vision of Dean Natalie D. Eddington, PhD, FAAPS, FCP. "Without access to an adequate mass spec facility, faculty from many of the schools at the University have had to use other facilities in the Baltimore area and those located in other cities, making it difficult, if not impossible, to leverage interdisciplinary teams and training opportunities for our faculty, students and fellows," Eddington told the audience. "Our vision for the mass spec facility is to offer researchers from the School of Pharmacy and the surrounding research community the opportunity to perform a wide range of sophisticated experiments. Our hope is that this first-of-its-kind partnership with Waters will foster the development of new techniques to further the capabilities of mass spectrometry and help solve biomedical problems." UMSOP's Mass Spectrometry Facility is now home to a total of 15 mass spectrometers and all of which are available to researchers in the fields of proteomics, structural biology, and all facets of drug discovery, design, and development.