New Role for Anti-Doping Facility

Once the 2012 Olympics are over, the newly established drug testing lab will be turned into the world’s leading center for metabolic phenotyping.

By | August 2, 2012

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The state-of-the-art Olympics antidoping laboratory, which opened last January in Essex, England, to analyze blood and urine samples from the thousands of incoming Olympic athletes, will be re-tooled as a center dedicated to metabolic phenotyping after the 2012 Games are finished this month. Originally funded by GlaxoSmithKline in partnership with King's College London, the center will pass on to the UK’s Medical Research Council (MRC) and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) at the close of the events.

"There is nothing like this anywhere in the world," Jeremy Nicholson, head of the surgery and cancer department at Imperial College London, who will become the center's first research director, told ScienceInsider

About 60 percent of the equipment in the center, including mass spectrometers, high performance liquid chromatographers, and gas chromatographers, will be used to analyze some 25,000 samples of blood, urine, and tissues in the first year of operation, ScienceInsider reported. Researchers will scour the samples for myriad molecules produced by the body's chemical reactions—known as the body’s “phenome”—and link them to disease.

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