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The Sights and Sounds of Mass Spec

In our excitement for the 71st ASMS Conference on Mass Spectrometry and Allied Topics, we collected together a few interesting thoughts:

“The IM-MS based approach to identifying biomolecular signatures of disease could be applied to any number of discovery-driven and targeted endeavors due to the unbiased nature of the analysis. In addition to wound fluid, our group has looked at human breast cancer tissue extracts, cerebrospinal fluids, cell lysates, serum, and microbial extracts.” – Kelly M. Hines

“In our view, an investigation of protein function through structure-function correlation in vivo using isotope exchange-based mass spectrometry would be an important scientific breakthrough.” – Amrita Mitra and Amit Kumar Mandal 

“If I extrapolate my experiences as a medical parasitologist, it seems we are halfway up the slope – but with a long way to the summit. There is now a rapidly growing interest, that is matched (and initiated) by increasingly sophisticated MS instruments, in the quantitative measurement of multiple proteins or metabolites in patient body fluids.” – André Deelder

“We were curious whether our mass spectrometry technology was sensitive enough to compete with antibody-based tools, such as ELISA, to determine cytokine levels expressed by macrophages when exposed to a bacterial compound. Unexpectedly, we detected way more secreted proteins than we ever thought, enabling a systematic analysis of signaling adaptor functionality.” – Felix Meissner

“My big dream is that one day every hospital will have an Orbitrap mass spectrometer – that would really have the greatest impact on society. There’s a long way to go and, as proven by [my] story, whether it happens or not depends on many different circumstances, but also on me.” – Alexander Makarov 

It seems clear that mass spec and clinical applications are destined to be together. But it may surprise you to learn that all of these quotes are taken from 2013 issues of The Analytical Scientist (cheeky, we know – but we’re only 10 years old and it’s our birthday). How far have we come in the intervening years? Have any of the predictions, hopes, and dreams highlighted above been fulfilled? Have we come far enough? Let us know: [email protected] 

Our “Mass Spec in the Clinic” cover feature pulls you all back to the future – and we feel sure that ASMS 2023 will be bursting at the seams with presentations on the full diversity of human disease (a quick glance at the program confirms our suspicions).

See you in Texas! 

James Strachan, Frank van Geel, Jessica Allerton, and Rich Whitworth

Content Team at The Analytical Scientist

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About the Authors
James Strachan

Over the course of my Biomedical Sciences degree it dawned on me that my goal of becoming a scientist didn’t quite mesh with my lack of affinity for lab work. Thinking on my decision to pursue biology rather than English at age 15 – despite an aptitude for the latter – I realized that science writing was a way to combine what I loved with what I was good at.

From there I set out to gather as much freelancing experience as I could, spending 2 years developing scientific content for International Innovation, before completing an MSc in Science Communication. After gaining invaluable experience in supporting the communications efforts of CERN and IN-PART, I joined Texere – where I am focused on producing consistently engaging, cutting-edge and innovative content for our specialist audiences around the world.

Rich Whitworth

Rich Whitworth completed his studies in medical biochemistry at the University of Leicester, UK, in 1998. To cut a long story short, he escaped to Tokyo to spend five years working for the largest English language publisher in Japan. "Carving out a career in the megalopolis that is Tokyo changed my outlook forever. When seeing life through such a kaleidoscopic lens, it's hard not to get truly caught up in the moment." On returning to the UK, after a few false starts with grey, corporate publishers, Rich was snapped up by Texere Publishing, where he spearheaded the editorial development of The Analytical Scientist. "I feel honored to be part of the close-knit team that forged The Analytical Scientist – we've created a very fresh and forward-thinking publication." Rich is now also Content Director of Texere Publishing, the company behind The Analytical Scientist.

Frank van Geel

Frank van Geel is owner of educational website Chromedia and Scientific Director of The Analytical Scientist. He studied analytical chemistry, specialized in mass spectrometry in the Netherlands and did several years of post-doc work in spectroscopy with Jim Winefordner at the University of Florida in the US. Then he became a science teacher and later publisher in chemistry and physics related topics. He developed numerous publications in chemistry and other sciences. He strongly supports the mission: Building online communities is the road to take. We need to strengthen the quality of analytical chemistry and we need to strengthen our community by sharing know-how and by sharing our opinions, visions and our views of the future of analytical science.

Jessica Allerton

Associate Editor, The Analytical Scientist

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