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Fields & Applications Clinical, Mass Spectrometry, Translational Science

Mass Spec at the Analytical–Clinical Interface

The role of MS in screening, monitoring, and subsequently improving patient health has far-reaching implications – from giving premature babies a fighting chance to evaluating environmental factors that contribute to disease. These applications span the clinical research spectrum, from the operating room to the lab bench, and – thanks to instrumental advances and the increasing power of data processing methods – are becoming increasingly important. Here, four influential analytical scientists – Candice Ulmer, John Yates, Donald Chace, and Peter Nemes – detail how they are wielding the power of mass spectra to identify, support and treat patients now and in the future.
 

Omics and Public Health


By Candice Z. Ulmer, Research Chemist & Associate Service Fellow, Clinical Chemistry Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA

As a Clinical Research Chemist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, my responsibilities include the planning and execution of programs for the harmonization and accurate reporting of chronic disease biomarkers – and other biomarkers deemed important by stakeholder organizations, including parathyroid hormone (PTH), anti-müllerian hormone, follicle stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, and steroid hormones.

We study these markers to enhance the diagnosis and treatment of select endocrine diseases and advance CDC Standardization Programs – aimed at improving the accuracy and precision of these same measurements, and many more, in patient care. In fact, I now ensure the accurate reporting of 17 such analytes, including the examples mentioned above, in addition to further roles generating population data, training laboratory professionals, and acting on the International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine Committee on Bone Metabolism and the Clinical Chemistry Committee for the American Society for Mass Spectrometry.

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About the Authors

Matthew Hallam

I've always wanted a career in which I could practice my creativity, even when I worked on the assembly line in a fish factory. At one time, I channeled this need into dance, drawing, poetry and fiction, and I still do most of these things. But, following completion of my MSc(Res) in Translational Oncology and time working in labs and as a Medical Writer for major pharmaceutical companies, I'm happy to find myself in a career that allows me to combine my creative side with my scientific mind as the Editor of The Analytical Scientist.


Candice Z. Ulmer

Research Chemist & Associate Service Fellow, Clinical Chemistry Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA

Research Chemist & Associate Service Fellow, Clinical Chemistry Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA


John Yates

John Yates is Ernest W. Hahn Professor of Chemical Physiology and Molecular and Cellular Neurobiology at The Scripps Research Institute, LaJolla, California, USA. He was recently named Editor of the Journal of Proteome Research. 


Donald Chace

Chief Scientific Officer, Medolac & Newborn Screening and Molecular Biology Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), MA, USA.


Peter Nemes

Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA

Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA

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