The Protein Chemistry Lab, or PCL, was named No. 1 Top Performer for Protein Engineering, Productions and Characterization labs in a recent international survey performed by Science Exchange. The PCL was ranked No.1 out of 526 protein service labs that operate through the exchange. Science Exchange is a global one-stop shop for laboratory services, where scientists can locate labs that provide the specific analysis needed for their project. Through the Exchange, scientists and corporations have an opportunity to connect, innovate and collaborate widely with other laboratories in an effort to make new discoveries.
The PCL, a core resource facility within Texas A&M University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, operates as a fee-for-service facility that provides support in advanced protein chemistry and proteomics research throughout the Texas A&M University System. The laboratory accepts samples on a first-come, first-served basis from faculty, scientists and students of Texas A&M, other educational institutions and industrial scientists. It provides state-of-the-art instrumentation, systems, software, technical expertise and training for the application of modern molecular biological technologies.
Larry Dangott, Ph.D., Texas A&M AgriLife Research senior research scientist and director of the PCL, indicated that the lab’s services have remained uninterrupted since the lab’s inception nearly 23 years ago. “The lab provides instrumentation that scientists may not want to buy on their own – because the instruments are specialized – or their project requires sophisticated analyses that they may not know how to do,” Dangott said. “The university funds this centralized resource, and many others, that provide the instrumentation and highly trained, professional scientists to run them.” Dangott credits recently retired Jinny Johnson with a great deal of the success of the PCL, especially in her specialty area of Amino Acid Analysis. “Jinny was the best there is. She always maintained the highest standards and produced the highest quality data. Clients loved working with her because they could trust that the data was accurate. We were a team that produced some good science.”
Part of the PCL’s mission is to keep abreast of technological advances in protein chemistry and proteomics. In coordination with a user committee comprised of faculty-users of the lab, the facility tries to respond to the wishes of the faculty and users but also remains in the know on new developments that may be of use to faculty. “A great deal of our success stems from close relationships with our user committee and faculty-users and communicating with them to understand their needs so we can best advise them,” Dangott said. “We also take a great deal of pride in our involvement in graduate student training and feel that we have made a positive contribution to the educational mission of the department and the university.”
“The relationship with Science Exchange started about 10 years ago in an effort to expand our impact on the larger scientific community,” he explained. “Through Science Exchange, we have expanded not only the lab’s visibility but also that of Texas A&M University,” he said. “And from that, we have met and satisfied many international colleagues, collaborators and clients and added to the university’s already excellent reputation as a top-tier research institution.”