Subscribe to Newsletter
Techniques & Tools Mass Spectrometry, Clinical, Environmental, Food, Beverage & Agriculture, Metabolomics & Lipidomics, Translational Science, Business, Education, Professional Development

A Postcard From Anaheim

Dear Reader,

Don’t think we forgot about you! ASMS 2024 might have wrapped up last week, but #TeamMassSpec is still buzzing about all the new technologies and developments unveiled during the annual conference – from Papanastasiou and Makarov’s latest Orbitrap to Lingjun Li’s EndoGenius platform for immunopeptidomics analysis. 

The show definitely did not disappoint; with more than 70 sessions on the latest mass spectrometry research, it was always going to grab our full attention – and here are just some of the highlights.

Oral presentations

Nina Zhao from the Dorrestein lab kickstarted the Monday sessions with her work on space travel and the dangers astronauts face – which surprisingly are not only comets, but also the chemical environment of the International Space Station (ISS)! In collaboration with astronaut Kate Rubis, the team was able to collect samples and identify the microbes that lurk within the ISS. With the help of LC-MS/MS and untargeted metabolomics, they created a 3D molecular map of the surfaces on the ISS – pointing out the microbial “hotspots” that could pose a threat to the health and safety of the astronauts.

Despite the early start on Tuesday for the sessions on “Imaging: Instrumentation & Method Development” and “Clinical Analysis: Innovations,” attendees were definitely eager to see the latest applications of the MS in the clinic. Of course, Eberlin’s MasSpec Pen couldn’t be missed here – now being applied for minimal invasion mouth cancer screening. iKnife pioneer Takats and his team also introduced us to their new technology; laser desorption-rapid evaporative ionization mass spectrometry (LD-REIMS) – an emerging molecular pathology tool. 

Joseph Loo’s interest on native MS (see his recent article) is definitely contagious. Room 303ABCD was really busy during the session on “Fundamentals: Native MS and Structures of Large Ions” – with applications of the technique in virology, glycobiology, and protein analysis. 

Parag Mallick’s closing plenary was full of science and magic – literally, as he performed quite a few card tricks and experiments on stage! “The story of magic and science is one of estranged siblings,” said Mallick as he explained how modern science has actually derived from what was once believed to be magic; alchemy, botany, necromancy, and more. “The lens of perception is so powerful that all scientific observation is fundamentally flawed [...] We cannot observe the world objectively. ” Which is why the magician-researcher urges the scientific community to find inspiration in magic, letting go of the biases and cognition gaps – allowing the mind to perceive more and create more ideas to combat the problems of the world. 

Sparking conversations…

What also stood out to me from this year’s ASMS were the increased number of interactive workshops. Environmental analysis experts – Kevin Parker, Jessica Hoskins, Jingyue Yang and Erin Baker – gathered together to discuss the current challenges in the detection and monitoring of human carcinogens with MS, also opening the floor for questions to the audience. Another interesting hot topic discussed in one of the workshops was the NIH and NSF review and funding processes –  with Salvatore Sechi, Kelsey Cook, Kenneth Ryan, Doug Sheeley sharing tips and tricks on how to tackle the (nerve wracking) applications. 

The ASMS committee also made sure to highlight diversity with networking  sessions from FeMS+, Hispanics and Latinx in MS Special Interest Group, and several others…

The poster exhibition was also a great aspect of the show – sparking conversation between presenters and attendees. Covering a great variety of application fields featuring mass spec; from studies on emerging contaminants, such as PFAS, to cancer research, miniaturized instrumentation to artifact analysis, the halls were filled with chatter and ideas (I was not eavesdropping, I promise). The stars? All the early career scientists showcasing not only their hard work in the lab, but also giving us a hint of what the future leaders of mass spectrometry look like!

And the award goes to…

I’ll finish off with big congratulations to all ASMS awardees (check out the full run down here!) and especially to Jenny Brodbelt – who won the John B. Fenn prize – and Gary Patti – who was awarded the Biemann Medal (check out this article from Gary Suizdak, who featured heavily in Gary Patti’s talk). 

“I’m very passionate about my career. I absolutely love what I do. If I didn’t get paid to do this, I would do it for free! And you might think that as passionate as I am about my job, that I have always known that I wanted to do this, but actually this isn’t the case. I was confused for a long time and my career has been anything but linear – there’s been a lot of twists and turns. If it wasn’t for a few chance occurrences, the ASMS, mentoring and following my heart and my passion, I wouldn’t be standing up here today,” revealed Patti during his speech, highlighting the influence of mentorship and conferences like ASMS.  

With a combination of fascinating lectures, hundreds of posters to check out, new products on show, not to mention the hospitality suites, mass spectrometrists showed Anaheim – and the world – what makes #ASMS and #TeamMassSpec so unique.

We hope you enjoyed the meeting just as much as we did. We will see you next year – in Baltimore! 

Receive content, products, events as well as relevant industry updates from The Analytical Scientist and its sponsors.
Stay up to date with our other newsletters and sponsors information, tailored specifically to the fields you are interested in

When you click “Subscribe” we will email you a link, which you must click to verify the email address above and activate your subscription. If you do not receive this email, please contact us at [email protected].
If you wish to unsubscribe, you can update your preferences at any point.

About the Author
Markella Loi

Associate Editor, The Analytical Scientist

Related Application Notes
Revolutionizing PFAS Detection in Air: High Sensitivity with the Aim Reactor

| Contributed by TOFWERK

Detection of ozone-depleting substances and halogenated GHGs in industrial zones with a cryogen-free preconcentration–GC–MS system

| Contributed by Markes International Ltd

Room temperature and sensitive analysis of haloanisoles in wine using Vacuumassisted headspace SPME with GC/ECD

| Contributed by Markes International Ltd

Related Product Profiles
Higher Peaks – Clearly.

| Contributed by Shimadzu Europa

Compact with countless benefits

| Contributed by Shimadzu Europa

The fine Art of Method Development

| Contributed by Shimadzu Europa

Register to The Analytical Scientist

Register to access our FREE online portfolio, request the magazine in print and manage your preferences.

You will benefit from:
  • Unlimited access to ALL articles
  • News, interviews & opinions from leading industry experts
  • Receive print (and PDF) copies of The Analytical Scientist magazine