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Bioanalytical Mass Spectrometry

Using high-performance mass spectrometry to characterize biomolecules in complex biological systems

The Bioanalytical Mass Spectrometry Group focuses on development and deployment of high-performance mass spectrometry techniques for analytical characterization and chemical imaging of non-volatile biomolecules, including proteomes and metabolomes, to address key science questions of interest to a variety of programs supported by the Department of Energy and National Institutes of Health.

Research is designed to be interdisciplinary and focuses on technology development, customized methodology, and advanced informatics for characterization of a variety of biomolecules.  Particular emphasis is given to sensitive detection and characterization of proteins, lipids, and metabolites.  Research involves two primary areas: 1) Chemical imaging by mass spectrometry, and 2) Liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC/MS) approaches for characterizing complex proteomes and metabolomes, including microbiome systems. 

Research in chemical imaging by mass spectrometry is focused on sensitive detection and spatial resolution of a variety of small biomolecules, particularly metabolites.  Advancements are underway for in-situ mass spectrometric characterization in microfluidic devices and sensitive methods of miniature probe sampling of biological systems, such as single-cell metabolomics. The work in LC-MS for complex biological systems involves extensive collaborations with biologists to custom-design and deploy advanced LC-MS/MS approaches for comprehensive characterizations of proteomes, lipidomes, and metabolomes for a variety of microbial and plant systems, including microbiomes.  Significant attention is given to design and execution of integrated ‘omics measurement campaigns to examine biological molecular machinery at a systems level. The group maintains a variety of state-of-the-art mass spectrometric instrumentation and associated sample prep and instrumentation labs.