The Mass Spectrometry Resource at Washington University in St. Louis is a Biotechnology Facility supported by a grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH.) The faculty directors are Michael L. Gross, John Turk, Reid Townsend, Kevin Yarasheski, and Fong-Fu Hsu. The faculty is assisted by a group of staff scientists.
Our goals are:
• conduct basic research in the science of mass spectrometry
• establish collaborative research projects with scientists at WU and at other institutions
• provide a service in mass spectrometry
• to educate and train students in mass spectrometry
• disseminate results of our research and descriptions of the subject of mass spectrometry
We are developing and applying methods in lipidomics, proteomics, protein biochemistry and biophysics, and biomarkers. We also are interested in new trap designs in FT-Ion Cyclotron Resonance and improved accurate mass measurements. We are also developing new matrix and sample-handling strategies for MALDI, and software for proteomics. More information is available by consulting our publication lists.
We are excited to collaborate and utilize mass spectrometry for the identification, characterization, and quantitation of biomolecules including: new and unusual lipids, to identify proteins and their posttranslational modifications in proteomics, to analyze mixtures of antigenic peotides in immunology, to determine the composition of bacterial cell walls, and to understand the properties of proteins and their complexes with other molecules. Collaborations directed at the trace analysis of other biomolecules and in isotope ratio mass spectrometry is another goal. Collaborations can be arranged by contacting Reid Townsend (proteomics), John Turk and Fong-Fu Hsu (lipidomics and metabolomics), Kevin Yarasheski (isotope ratio MS, lipidomics), or Michael Gross (protein biochemistry/biophysics, proteomics, peptide analysis).
We provide services for accurate mass of synthetic and natural products, GC/low resolution MS, LC/MS, LC/MS/MS, MALDI, high performance MALDI, and isotope ratio MS. To arrange service projects, please contact Henry Rohrs at the Chemistry Resource, Jan Crowley or Fong-Fu Hsu at the Medical Resource, or Reid Townsend at the Proteomics Resource. A list of fees for these services at the Chemistry Resource is available on the fee schedule. A list of fees for services at the Medical School Resource is available on the fee schedule.
Training and Education
The resource provides training for users of mass spectrometry and education for graduate and postdoctoral students. In addition to research opportunities, Michael Gross teaches a graduate course in mass spectrometry (Chemistry 550) in the Department of Chemistry during alternate spring semesters (2007, 2009). The resource also sponsors the Midwest MS Discussion Group and hosts lectures by experts in mass spectrometry approximately two times per month. Approximately half the lectures are held in the morning at the Medical School Campus and the others are in the evening at the Danforth Campus. Occasionally a workshop or symposium is organized by the resource. For the past 10+ years the resource has co-sponsored a symposium entitled “Bridging the Gap Between Ion Chemistry and Biological Applications of Mass Spectrometry,” held in conjunction with the annual Experimental Biology meeting (a list of past speakers/titles is available here.)
Members of the resource are active in publishing results of our research in the original science literature and as review articles and book chapters that describe some of our research interests. The resource hosts the editorial office for Journal of American Society of Mass Spectrometry and the Encyclopedia of Mass Spectrometry. We also host the Midwest MD Discussion Group.
The resource is well equipped with a variety of modern and mature mass spectrometers. Our most powerful instruments are hybrids comprised of ion traps interfaced with either Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometers or orbitraps. We also make use of quadrupole/time-of-flight mass spectrometers, ion traps, MALDI time-of-flight, and older quadrupole and tandem sector instruments. Most of the instruments are interfaced to capillary liquid chromatographs. In the near future, we will add a 12-tesla FT-ICR mass spectrometer for top-down proteomics. Our instrument holdings are among the most extensive for an academic laboratory in the United States of America.
The Mass Spectrometry Resource at Washington University in St. Louis is a merger of the former NSF Midwest Center for Mass Spectrometry (founded in 1978 at the University of Nebraska) and the Biomedical Mass Spectrometry Resource (founded in 1976 at Washington University). The present resource, which was formed in 1994 with support from the NIH National Center for Research Resources (Grant No. P41RR000954), has one laboratory in the Department of Chemistry, directed by Michael L. Gross, and two in the School of Medicine, one directed by R. Reid Townsend and the other by John W. Turk. Michael Gross is the principal investigator. The Resource is now administered by NIGMS (Grant No. P41GM103422).