Campus News

Published by Communications and Public Affairs (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

January 14, 2003

U of G receives equipment gift from Agilent Technologies

The University of Guelph's College of Biological Science has received $425,000 worth of equipment from Agilent Technologies Canada Inc. for the use of molecular biology and genetics students.

One of the largest science facility projects currently underway in North America, U of G's new Science Complex, will house the equipment to provide students with research opportunities in advanced analytical techniques and instrumentation.

The equipment donated a bioanalyzer, two UV-visible spectrophotometers, a capillary electrophoresis instrument, a liquid chromatograph and a liquid chromatograph/mass spectrometer is currently being used by undergraduate students in the lab methods I and II courses in the Axelrod Building.

The gift is being made through the Campaign for the University of Guelph. "This generous contribution from a leading supplier will be used to support state-of-the-art facilities in the field of biomolecular science, and offers a unique opportunity for undergraduate students to gain hands-on exposure to cutting-edge technologies," said Michael Emes, dean of the College of Biological Science. "It reinforces firmly the link between an exceptional research environment and our undergraduate programs, in which our students have unparalleled opportunities to experience and participate in what is happening in modern science."

The bioanalyzer is the only machine of its kind available in an undergraduate course in Canada. The courses offered at U of G are in high demand because they allow students to apply the theory of molecular biology, said William Rowe, senior manager of development for the College of Biological Science.

"Agilent Technologies is committed to supporting the educational experience of students working towards careers in science and technology," said Patrick Zimanyi, Agilent's Canadian business team manager, Life Sciences Business Unit. "Educational institutions such as the University of Guelph play an important role in our business by educating the best and the brightest students to reach their potential. We have a very solid relationship with the University, and it gives us a great feeling of pride to know that our equipment will help it to provide innovative, hands-on laboratory education."

Most of the equipment was installed last summer. During the fall 2002 semester, undergraduate and graduate students operated the spectrophotometers and high-performance liquid chromatograph. Senior undergraduate students will use the bioanalyzer and capillary electrophoresis equipment this winter in newly developed DNA and protein separation exercises in the course Advanced Laboratory Methods.

"Not only does Agilent's generous gift give students a chance to use equipment normally found only in research laboratories, but it also gives our talented teaching staff a great opportunity to develop creative new lab exercises without being constrained by the kinds of instructional tools that are available," said Dave Evans, chair of the department of molecular biology and genetics.

Added Rowe: "The gift is significant because it provides excellent exposure for undergraduate students to high-end equipment that would show up in advanced research facilities. Once they graduate, they'll be able to use the knowledge they gained by using this equipment in the marketplace, which makes them extremely employable."

U of G's "The Science of Life and the Art of Living" campaign goal is to raise $75 million by Dec. 2003 to support the university's vision to be the leader in a knowledge-based society and an emerging biology-based economy.

Agilent is a global technology leader in communications, electronics and life sciences. The company's 36,000 employees serve customers in more than 110 countries. Agilent had net revenue of $6 billion in fiscal year 2002. Agilent Technologies Canada Inc., a subsidiary of Agilent Technologies, Inc. is based in Mississauga, Ontario and employs 310 employees across Canada including a number of University of Guelph graduates. Information about Agilent is available on the Web at

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs, 519-824-4120, Ext. 56982.

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