NEW YORK (360Dx) – Quest Diagnostics and Rutgers University-New Brunswick announced today that they have collaborated to open the new Quest Diagnostics Sports Science Laboratory at the Rutgers Center for Health & Human Performance.
The new laboratory, which will be housed within the Rutgers New Jersey Institute of Food, Nutrition, and Health, or IFNH, will combine research conducted at Rutgers on athletic performance and recovery with diagnostics information from Quest's Blueprint for Athletes biometric testing service.
The first research projects from the new center will focus on three areas: how changes in biomarker levels are associated with training load and performance variables, such as changes in movement, mechanics, endurance, power, and body composition; the correlation between biomarkers in the Blueprint for Athletes testing and performance, metabolism, nutrition, and bone density in male triathletes; and how point-of-care microsampling may expand hormone analysis capabilities.
The new center will build on the existing collaboration between Rutgers and Quest in sports science. In 2015, Rutgers used Quest's Blueprint for Athletes to track progress of the Rutgers University women's soccer team, Shawn Arent, director of the Center for Health and Human Performance at the Rutgers-New Brunswick Institute of Food, Nutrition and Health said, in a 2016 interview.
In that study, researchers found that a dip in the team's performance midseason corresponded to biomarker data showing that the players' cortisol and inflammation was climbing. There were also changes in the players' iron and omega-3 levels. By changing the player's training, nutrition, and sleep schedules, the biomarkers returned to baseline levels and player performance improved, according to Arent.
Through the new expanded collaboration, Quest and Rutgers also aim to create new products and services based on actionable insight from their joint research studies. The intellectual property and inventions resulting from the collaboration will be jointly owned by both entities.
"The insights from the data derived from Blueprint for Athletes will provide the context for us to consider performance variables holistically, including nutritional education and intervention, injury assessment, and training load monitoring, as well as sophisticated biometric analyses," Arent said in a statement today.
Through the new collaboration, Richard Schwabacher, Quest executive director for sports science and human performance, will serve on the IFNH External Advisory Board. Quest will also have the opportunity to appoint visiting scholars to IFNH and to provide Rutgers students with internships and independent study opportunities. Arent, who is already a member of the Quest Diagnostics Sports Diagnostics External Advisory Board, will continue in that role.
The Blueprint for Athletes service is currently used by the New York Giants, the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Kansas City Chiefs, the Houston Texans, the Washington Wizards, the Houston Rockets, the Seattle Sounders, the New England Revolution, FC Dallas, DC United, and the Washington Capitals, Quest said.