Agilent Early Career Professor Award

Agilent congratulates Gary J. Patti, winner of the 2017 Agilent Early Career Professor Award

2017 Focus: Contributions to the development and advancement of techniques for the detection of nucleic acids, proteins, or other biomolecules in the context of Liquid Biopsy and its utilization for early detection, characterization and surveillance of cancer and other diseases and conditions.

Gari J. Patti, Ph.D

Gary J. Patti, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry 
Arts and Science
Washington University in St. Louis

Dr. Patti received a B.A. in Chemistry and Philosophy from Saint Louis University in 2002 and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Washington University. He then conducted his Postdoctoral work at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, in Dr. Gary Siuzdak's laboratory from 2008 to 2011. There he was involved in the development of widely used metabolomics informatic resources such as the METLIN metabolite database and XCMS software for data processing.

Dr. Patti joined Washington University as Assistant Professor in 2011, with joint appointments in Chemistry (Arts & Sciences) and Genetics (School of Medicine). His lab has published 51 papers and has received numerous grants and awards. His lab has focused on developing new technologies for following isotope labels in untargeted metabolomics. These isotope-based resources have a rapidly increasing number of uses, including clinical applications. Additionally, his laboratory has created other innovative metabolomic technologies that include a new peak picking algorithm, software for deconvolving contaminated spectra, and a method for removing artifacts. The application of these metabolomic technologies has led to two major biochemical discoveries, the finding of a previously unknown metabolite uniquely increased in patients suffering from chronic pain and the discovery that cancer cells utilize lactate to synthesize a large fraction of their lipids. Lactate has long been thought of as a waste product in fermenting cells, but his lab has shown that it is imported into mitochondria for productive use.

The current major goal of his research program is to continue to develop new metabolomic technologies to overcome current barriers to study human disease and model animals in the context of organismal biology. The innovative solutions that his lab is pursuing rely heavily on measuring stable isotopes incorporated into metabolites, proteins, and DNA by mass spectrometry and are aimed at the identification of metabolic changes in body fluids associated with cancer.
His outstanding work has been recognized by many awards including the Pew Biomedical Scholars award, the Camille Dreyfus award, the Sloan Foundation award, the Mallinkcrodt Scholars awards. (press release)


Purpose of Award

  • Promote and encourage excellent research enabling measurements of importance to Agilent Technologies and the world
  • Establish strong collaborative relationships between Agilent researchers and leading professors early in their career
  • Build the prominence of Agilent as a sponsor of university research

Selection Criteria

  • Significant original research contributions enabling measurements of importance to Agilent Technologies and the world
  • Outstanding potential for future research
  • Alignment with specified award focus
  • Professor completed Ph.D. or M.D. less than 10 years before January 1, 2017.

Award Information

  • An unrestricted research award of $100,000 distributed over 2 years to university in the professor's name
    • Option to use all or part of award to obtain Agilent products at 50% discount
    • Option to accelerate payments to facilitate procurement of equipment with list price over $100k
  • Engraved plaque commemorating award
  • Recognition on Agilent's website

2018 ECPA Award

  • Award focus, instructions and deadlines will be posted in October 2017.


Past Winners

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