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University of Washington Embarks on a New Era with Murdock Charitable Trust Grant

We are proud to announce a significant grant from the Murdock Charitable Trust to the University of Washington, earmarked for the acquisition of a cutting-edge research instrument: the Bruker timsTOF-fleX spatial mass spectrometer. This state-of-the-art mass spectrometer will be housed within the UW School of Pharmacy’s Mass Spectrometry Center (MSC) and represents a critical cornerstone instrument in the new MSC’s Imaging Center. This prestigious grant is more than just a financial contribution to our work –– it’s a triumph for the public good and our shared commitment to unleashing human potential through clinical research and discovery.

The Murdock Trust: A Catalyst for Scientific Progress

The Murdock Trust has been a pivotal force in driving leading-edge research across diverse scientific disciplines. With a profound belief in the power of scientific research to inspire innovation and improve quality of life, the Trust has contributed over $225.6 million to date, aiding researchers, educators, and institutions throughout the Pacific Northwest and beyond. In line with our vision of being a global leader in pharmacy education, research, and service, this grant aids both the UW School of Pharmacy and School of Medicine in providing a transformative learning experience in a collaborative and diverse environment. It resonates with our mission of inspiring education, discovering solutions, serving people and their communities.

Enhancing Research and Educational Excellence

A sophisticated tool for molecular analysis, this spatial mass spectrometer will revolutionize our research potential, empowering users to conduct in-depth studies with unparalleled precision and imaging resolution. Combined with microgrid technology, the advanced capabilities of the spectrometer will provide insights into the intricate spatial distribution of lipids, glycans, metabolites and proteins in a range of peripheral and central tissues. Such detailed analysis is vital for understanding neurodevelopment and the pathogenesis of various diseases, including diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and more.

Empowering Our Community and Beyond

Led by Assistant Professor Dr. Kimberly M. Alonge, UW SoP Department of Medicinal Chemistry, Joint UW SoM Department of Medicine, Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology & Nutrition, this initiative is a testament to our University’s collaborative spirit across schools and departments, showcasing our singular commitment to life-changing research. As Principal Investigator (PI) of the project, Kim has partnered with Co-PI Dr. Karin Bornfeldt (SoM, Professor of Medicine), Dr. Jarrad Scarlett (SoM, Associate Professor of Pediatrics), Mike Guttman (SoP, Associate Professor of Medicinal Chemistry) and Libin Xu (SoP, Associate Professor of Medicinal Chemistry). At the end of the day, Kim represents a lynchpin between the UW Schools of Pharmacy and Medicine. Utilizing a range of mass spectrometry techniques, Kim’s research focuses on the detection and analysis of sulfated glycosaminoglycans in biological materials. Her expertise and leadership are instrumental in advancing our scientific capabilities and training the next generation of researchers.

In her words:

“My colleagues and I are grateful to receive the Bruker timsTOF-fleX imaging mass spectrometer from the Murdock Foundation, which represents a beacon of support to UW’s scientific community. We see this powerful instrument as a catalyst for translational discoveries in both pharmacy and medicine research.”

Driven by Service, Impact and Excellence

As we celebrate this milestone, we look forward to making significant contributions in the pharmacy world and beyond, embodying the transformative impact envisioned by the Murdock Trust. Run by MSC core Director, Dale Whittington, the UW School of Pharmacy is excited to leverage this grant to further the mission of the MSC’s Imaging Core, including education and service for the public good. With such advanced technology at our fingertips, we aim to better our community and contribute to the broader scientific and global health landscape.

We extend our heartfelt thanks to the Murdock Charitable Trust for their support and belief in our vision. Together, we embark on a new era of scientific research and innovation, shaping a healthier, well-founded world for all to thrive.