December 22, 2011

Agilent Technologies and Monash University Sunway Campus Boost Talent and Skills for Genomics Research in Malaysia


Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) and Monash University Sunway campus recently announced a collaboration to promote talent and skills development for genomics research in Malaysia.

This partnership, the first of its kind for Agilent with a university in Malaysia, will help Malaysia assert itself as a leading center for life sciences research and development in Southeast Asia. Under the agreement, a center of excellence known as the Monash-Agilent Authorized Microarray Service Center will be established at Monash University Sunway campus. This center will be equipped with the latest microarray instruments and will provide competency training for the center's lab professionals undertaking molecular-genetic studies of human disease.

"The establishment of the AMSC will be a timely boost in the collaboration between Agilent and Monash University Sunway campus through the Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences, providing the opportunity to access advanced technologies to strengthen our current genomics research in diabetes, cancer, neurobiology and infectious diseases," said professor Dato' Dr Anuar Zaini Md Zain, head of the school.

He added that the school has forged strong collaborations with local and international academic institutions as well as leading industry players in expanding its expertise in research.


The collaboration between Agilent and Monash University Sunway campus will see knowledge-sharing between both organizations, including real-time communication of new developments in the field of microarray applications as well as networking with Agilent's global customers who are shaping the future of genomics.

Genomics is the study of all genes of an organism, and DNA microarrays enable the measurement of multiple molecular changes to genes. These changes can reveal the molecular basis of diseases, enabling scientists to discover and develop new methods of treatment for these diseases.

"The Monash-Agilent Authorized Microarray Service Center, together with existing platform technologies at the school, such as liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry and proteomics, will encourage integrative and multidisciplinary research. The center will become the platform to train next-generation scientists in genomics research and potentially spearhead new niche areas in biomedical research through support and networking with Agilent's global customers/collaborators," said professor Anuar.

"We are excited about this collaboration with Monash University Sunway campus," said Rod Minett, general manager, Agilent Life Sciences Group, South Asia Pacific and Korea. "The knowledge gleaned from the collaboration will not only contribute toward further understanding and preventing diseases, but also cement Malaysia as a center for life sciences research and development."

At the heart of this collaboration are highly sensitive and flexible DNA microarrays and the instruments and software to interpret them. DNA microarrays are manufactured by Agilent using the same cutting-edge technology used in ink-jet printer nozzles to literally synthesize new DNA strands directly on a glass surface. Then these strands (or probes) are used in experiments to detect changes in the DNA such as gene copy number variations, or to monitor gene expression levels under various conditions. Agilent's SureScan microarray scanner provides the means to read information from these microarrays, enabling scientists and laboratory professionals in the new center to leverage the latest tools for understanding the molecular-genetic basis of disease.

About Monash University Sunway Campus
Monash University Sunway campus was established in Malaysia in 1998. As a full-fledged campus, the Sunway campus offers scholars a rich and international learning experience, supported by collegial processes and comprehensive first-class infrastructure, as the university aspires to intellectual achievement of the highest order. The Sunway campus offers degrees in arts and social sciences, science, business, engineering, information technology, and medicine and health sciences. More information is available at www.monash.edu.my.

About Agilent Technologies
Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) is the world's premier measurement company and a technology leader in chemical analysis, life sciences, electronics and communications. The company's 18,700 employees serve customers in more than 100 countries. Agilent had net revenues of $6.6 billion in fiscal 2011. Information about Agilent is available at www.agilent.com.