UT Arlington unveils new science center

Posted Monday, Apr. 09, 2012  comments  Print Reprints

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ARLINGTON -- The new research space at the University of Texas at Arlington resembles a warehouse with computers linked to tall structures similar to Coke machines, but what the untrained eye might not see is the Cadillac of laboratories.

UT Arlington's newly unveiled Shimadzu Center for Advanced Analytical Chemistry is the place to find answers and a dream come true for analytical chemists, who study the chemical components of substances.

"In this lab, we have extensive state-of-the-art and high-end analytical instruments," said Kevin Schug, an associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry who will oversee the new center. He explained that researchers see endless possibilities as they use the equipment to answer questions such as: What is it? How much of it is there?

University leaders showcased the new center Monday during a dedication ceremony that included faculty, students and representatives of Shimadzu Scientific Instruments, which is the American subsidiary of the Japan-based Shimadzu Corp. The company gave $3 million worth of equipment for the center. The university invested another $3 million worth of equipment, so the facility has analytical tools worth $6 million.

"We look forward to this new partnership," said university President James Spaniolo.

Spaniolo said the center is a significant stride in efforts to establish a hub for academics and research at the university. The center also helps UT Arlington's continuing bid to earn status as a top-tier research university. "The College of Science plays a critical role in our effort," Spaniolo said, shortly before a ribbon was cut and gifts were exchanged.

Kozo Miseki, general manager for Shimadzu Corp., said he hopes this is beginning of a long and productive relationship with UT Arlington.

"Shimadzu Corporation is very excited about the research," Miseki said.

Pamela Jansma, dean of the College of Science, said the university hopes the center will help attract faculty, students and research while also stimulating more partnerships between the university and industry.

The instruments used in the center could be used for research into preventions and treatments for illnesses such as cancer and malaria.

Graduate student Sam Yang is an analytical chemist and graduate student who will be using the lab. The tools of his trade are the Ion Trap-Time of Flight Mass Spectrometer and Triple Quadruple Mass Spectrometer, which looks a bit like the equipment used on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, to trace substances in blood. In the real world, Yang relies on these for trace analysis, or the detection of environmental contaminants.

Diane Smith, 817-390-7675

Twitter: @dianestar

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