People & places

State of the art bioscience laboratory opens for business

October 18, 2019

A state-of the-art bioanalytical laboratory – the first of its type in the North-East – has opened for business.

The new laboratory at Teesside University’s National Horizons Centre in Darlington has been sponsored by Waters Corporation a world-leading manufacturer of analytical instrumentation for the laboratory.

The inauguration of the Waters Bioanalytical Laboratory comes ahead of the official opening of the National Horizons Centre later this month.

The National Horizons Centre at Central Park in Darlington is a £22.3 million national centre of excellence for the UK bioscience industry.

It is designed to provide the full range of skills for the bioscience industry and foster breakthrough ideas through collaborative research and innovation, including the application of digital technologies to improve performance and productivity.

The bioanalytical laboratory, which will play a key role in delivering the National Horizons Centre’s mission, is part of the Waters Centre of Innovation Program which recognises innovative science in a select number of international collaborative laboratories.

The laboratory has been borne out of a long-standing collaboration between Waters and Professor Jim Scrivens, a research professor in Teesside University’s School of Health & Life Sciences.

The collaboration has resulted in the development of some of Waters’ leading-edge equipment as well as 25 peer reviewed joint publications and over 100 conference presentations.

Among the equipment expected to arrive soon in the National Horizons Centre laboratory is a SELECT SERIES Cyclic IMS System. An ion mobility-based mass spectrometer (IMS), which allows imaging of biomolecules and is used in determining molecular targets for drug development.

The cyclic IMS will be one of only a handful in the world and the only one in the North-East of England.

Professor Scrivens said:

“The bioanalytical laboratory will greatly enhance the range of work that we can offer at the National Horizons Centre and brings huge capability to the Tees Valley.

“Mass spectrometry is an essential component of the health, pharmaceutical, biotechnology and bioprocessing industries providing trace analysis, structural information and process characterisation.

“This equipment will mean that our staff, students and collaborative partners will be able to access state-of-the-art instrumentation to support their education, research and business needs.”

The inauguration of the new laboratory was carried out by Dr Mike Harrington, Senior Vice-President Global Markets at Waters Corporation.

He said:

On behalf of Waters Corporation, I congratulate Teesside University on opening this fabulous laboratory and commend Professor Scrivens for his accomplishments over the years in advancing biomedical research helped by ion mobility mass spectrometry. Jim’s passion and successes drive us at Waters to innovate and advance analytical science technologies that benefit humankind.”

For more information about the National Horizons Centre visit

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