The Agilent Center of Excellence (COE) in Biomolecular Characterization was established as a genuine partnership between the University of Southern California (USC) and Agilent technologies, a global leader in life sciences, diagnostics and applied chemical markets. The center is housed in Michelson Center for Convergent Biosciences (MCB) of University Park campus.

The goal of establishing this research facility is a convergence of researchers across science and engineering to work together on multidisciplinary approaches for the development of new drugs, diagnostics, and medical devices. The Agilent COE provides a collaborative scientific environment with access to new and cutting-edge Agilent instrumentation and technologies for diverse research groups, graduate students and local customers to accelerate biomolecular characterization and advanced discoveries in life sciences.

The Agilent COE facility is available for all USC researchers and researchers outside of USC. The broad type of instrumentation in the facility support diverse research activities over the community.


Agilent COE is governed by two co-directors. Dr. Valery Fokin, USC Dornsife Professor of Chemistry, is one of the COE’s two co-directors. His research focuses on molecular level biological interactions and chemical reactivity. The other co-director is Dr. Richard Roberts who has focused his research on the engineering new peptides and proteins for biology, diagnosis, and therapy using mRNA display. He is Professor of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and Materials Science and Molecular and Computational Biology. The collaboration also involves some of the world’s most influential scientists in MCB focusing their research on structural biology.