May 25, 2015 | News & Notices
Opening of the Osaka University and Shimadzu
Analytical Innovation Research Laboratory
Joint Laboratory Will Focus on Developing Cutting-Edge Technology for Comprehensively Investigating Biological Activities of Cells
Shimadzu Corporation and Osaka University have inaugurated the Osaka University and Shimadzu Analytical Innovation Research Laboratory (mentor professor: Eiichiro Fukusaki) at the Graduate School of Engineering, Osaka University, and have initiated full-scale research activities. The purpose of this laboratory is to establish and advance analytical techniques with respect to metabolomics. In particular, this laboratory will be engaged in research and development of data analysis platforms based on mass spectrometers. (From December 1, 2014 to March 31, 2017)
Purpose of Establishing the Research Laboratory
Metabolomics is a cutting-edge field of study for the comprehensive investigation of biological activities of cells, based on exhaustive detection and analysis of metabolic products in organisms, and the precise assessment of their behavior. In recent years, metabolomics has become a focus of attention due to its application to a variety of fields. For instance, in the field of medicine, application examples include the analysis of physiological and pathological mechanisms, and the search for disease biomarkers. In plant and food fields, examples include clarification of the stress response of plants and the functional analysis of foods. In the field of manufacturing, the improvement and optimization of fermentation productivity, as well as biofuel productivity improvements can be expected. At the same time, metabolomics involves a mixture of sciences and is a new research field that is still in its infancy in terms of developing technologies and operating methods. It requires further technological development.
Through many years of product development, Shimadzu has accumulated vast knowledge and expertise on mass spectrometry technology that demonstrates its merits in the simultaneous analysis of complicated and diverse components, and is applying this technology to advance responses to metabolomics-related needs. Professor Fukusaki at Osaka University is a leading researcher in the development and application of metabolomics, and has cutting-edge expertise with respect to pretreatment methods, analysis methods, and data analysis methods. By making use of the merits of the joint research course program system, where advanced cooperative research aimed at resolving issues shared by business and academia can be performed, this research laboratory will address issues in metabolomics by integrating technology from both parties.
Subsequent Specific Measures
Using Shimadzu gas chromatograph-mass spectrometers, liquid chromatograph-mass spectrometers, supercritical fluid chromatograph-mass spectrometers, and imaging mass microscopes, the joint research activities of this research laboratory involve both quantitative metabolomics--measuring the total quantity of metabolites contained in samples, and imaging metabolomics--visualizing distribution information. The laboratory will investigate the optimal conditions for metabolomic techniques in a variety of fields and develop applications, with an aim of contributing to the further dissemination and advancement of metabolomics.
"Metabolomics, which involves a mixture of life sciences, organic chemistry, analytical chemistry, and information science, has only just started in terms of developing technologies and operating methods," said Professor Eiichiro Fukusaki, Graduate School of Engineering, Osaka University. "Therefore, we are developing new technologies for metabolomic data analysis systems and researching new operating methods. Through this Analytical Innovation Research Laboratory, an industry-academic cooperative initiative promoted by Osaka University, we are aiming to contribute to society, not only in Japan, but also in countries in Southeast Asia and other areas."
"Metabolomics has attracted considerable interest as a promising means of understanding fundamental biology and elucidating the function of genes with unknown functions. Furthermore, it may also be useful for medical treatments, foods, and the molecular breeding of industrial microorganisms," said Teruhisa Ueda, General Manager, Analytical & Measuring Instruments Division, Shimadzu Corporation. "It will be important to develop the optimal methods and applications to suit these objectives. Through this joint research laboratory with Osaka University, we will strive for new problem-solving techniques and aim for revolutionary breakthroughs, while redoubling efforts to create returns to society, including human resources."
For more details, visit
Osaka University Shimadzu Analytical Innovation Research Laboratory