Shimadzu Corporation (President: Akira Nakamoto; situated in Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan) and the University of Tokyo (President: Junichi Hamada, Ph. D.; situated in Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, Japan) signed a joint research agreement on July 6 to develop technology for the comprehensive analysis of functional, membrane, and other lipids for the purpose of discovering biomarkers for various diseases, such as lifestyle-related diseases.
Shimadzu Corporation, the University of Tokyo, and Ono Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (Chuo-ku, Osaka, Japan) jointly established a sponsored laboratory, the Department of Lipidomics in the Graduate School of Medicine and Faculty of Medicine, the University of Tokyo, starting from April 1 of this year (research coordinated by: Yoshihiro Kita, Associate Professor). The purpose of this department is to systematically and comprehensively analyze low molecular weight compounds, such as bioactive and membrane lipids, as the next area of research following genomics and proteomics. In addition, it also aims to clarify how these substances relate to sustaining life and to discover biomarkers for the onset of diseases, such as lifestyle-related diseases and other metabolic disorders.
This agreement specifies a research term for the Department of Lipidomics, which extends until March 31, 2014. During this term, Shimadzu Corporation and the University of Tokyo will jointly research topics such as the development of a biological sample pretreatment system and a comprehensive method for analyzing lipids, and apply these to the discovery of lipid biomarkers. In addition, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Medicine, the University of Tokyo (Takao Shimizu, M.D., Ph. D.), will provide help with the joint course.
Lipidomics refers to the comprehensive analysis of lipids. Lipids have been considered difficult to analyze in a comprehensive manner, but due to advances in mass spectrometers, there has been rapid progress in this field. Lipids include compounds such as prostaglandins and leukotrienes, which are bioactive, and compounds that are deeply involved in diseases. By participating in this joint research, Shimadzu Corporation aims to develop instruments and software better tailored to the needs of research laboratories and contribute to pathological analysis and the development of basic technology for drug discovery. The University of Tokyo will use state-of-the-art technology for analyzing lipids to understand the mechanisms involved in life phenomena and diseases fundamentally based on lipid metabolism.