SOP Mass Spectrometry Facility Hosts First-Ever Open House

Event highlights cutting-edge mass spectrometry instrumentation and services available to faculty, staff, and students at the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

By Malissa Carroll
October 29, 2013

The Mass Spectrometry Facility at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy hosted its inaugural open house on Oct. 17, to introduce faculty, staff, and students from the School of Pharmacy and surrounding research community to its ongoing research and innovative services. The facility, which is part of the School’s Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences (PSC), provides state-of-the-art expertise, methodology, and instrumentation to researchers across the University System of Maryland and beyond.

“The mission of the Mass Spectrometry Facility is to accelerate biomedical discoveries by providing investigators with access to cutting-edge technologies in mass spectrometry,” said David Goodlett, PhD, the Isaac E. Emerson Chair in PSC and director of the facility. “We are very fortunate to be able to offer such a wide range of instrumentation and services, and, once completed, our facility will have the ability to perform a vast array of unique assays that span the spectrum from small molecule quantitation to top-down proteomics.”

During the open house, six researchers from the Schools of Pharmacy and Dentistry — including Goodlett, who kicked-off the event with his presentation titled “Mass Spectrometric Detection of Chemically Cross-Linked and ADP-ribosylated Amino Acids” — presented case studies that detailed how mass spectrometry can be used to solve biomedical problems.

Chemical cross-linking mass spectrometry (CXMS) was the focus of Goodlett’s presentation. Using examples from his research, Goodlett demonstrated how his laboratory devised a new method to overcome challenges associated with this emerging field.

“CXMS is high-throughput and requires much less material than the traditional high-resolution structural methods to assess protein structure, including nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and X-ray crystallography,” said Goodlett. “However, the heterogeneity generated by these experiments still poses a challenge to identifying cross-links. Fortunately, my laboratory has developed a CXMS workflow that is rapid, uses simple cross-linking reagents, and requires neither enrichment nor the use of stable isotope-enriched cross-linking reagents.”

This workflow, Goodlett explained, is now available to individuals conducting research at the School’s Mass Spectrometry Facility.

Maureen Kane, PhD, assistant professor in PSC and co-director of the Mass Spectrometry Facility, and Jace Jones, PhD, laboratory research manager for the Mass Spectrometry Facility and research scientist in Kane’s laboratory, highlighted additional workflows available to researchers using the Mass Spectrometry Facility, including liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) for small molecule and metabolite analysis, biomarker discovery and validation, targeted and global metabolomics, and mass spectrometry imaging.

“We’re happy to have this opportunity to start sharing the investment and hard work that went into building this first-class Mass Spectrometry Facility with the research community at the University of Maryland, Baltimore,” said Kane.

Other researchers who delivered presentations during the open house included Young Ah Goo, PhD, research assistant professor in PSC and associate director of the Mass Spectrometry Facility, who spoke about proteomics and the use of mass spectrometry to discover biomarkers for a wide range of human diseases; Robert Ernst, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Microbial Pathogenesis at the School of Dentistry, who spoke about mass spectrometry-based methods for lipid analysis; and Patrick Wintrode, PhD, associate professor in PSC, who spoke about the application of mass spectrometry to the field of structural biology.

Tours of the Mass Spectrometry Facility were also offered to those who attended the open house.

Related Links:

Related News Stories