Northeastern University

Problem: Scientists in need of instrument that doesn’t exist.
Answer: Call Waters.

At Northeastern University in Boston, a dedicated group of scientists studies disease-related proteins. Their goal is to share their findings with drug developers, hoping it leads to new treatments in the fight against HIV/AIDS among other diseases.

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They rely on Waters equipment and regard the company as a true partner. A classic example of that partnership occurred when the researchers in the laboratory of John R. Engen, part of the Barnett Institute of Chemical and Biological Analysis and the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Northeastern University (Boston, MA, USA), were faced with trying to conduct a unique experiment using hydrogen-deuterium exchange, for which no instrumentation existed. Traditional chromatography often involves raising temperatures to improve performance. This experiment requires liquid chromatography to work at lower temperatures, down to zero degrees.

Waters scientists listened, understood the application and suggested producing a customized LC instrument. They also suggested the two parties create it as a team. So academia and business, hand in hand, developed an instrument called the nanoACQUITY UPLC System with HDX Technology. The results have been beyond expectation, the best results either group had ever seen for this protein conformation studies. Today, the university scientists are working quickly and easily with proteins 10 times the size of what they had hoped. And the solution has continued to evolve, integrating mass spectrometry (HDX-MS) and advancing software and informatics that facilitate the analysis and visualization of this important data.

True partnership led to success and will hopefully lead to more effective therapies for those suffering from HIV/AIDS, cancer, and other diseases.

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