Mass Spectrometry - Instrument and Methods Development, Ion Chemistry, Characterization of Biomolecules
Ph.D, Purdue University (1980); Research Scientist and Group Leader Oak Ridge National Laboratory, (1980-1992); President, American Society for Mass Spectrometry, (2008-2010); Vice President for Programs, American Society for Mass Spectrometry, (2006-2008); Associate Editor, Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry, (1990 - 2007); Chair, International Workshop on MS/MS, (1999 - 2007); Vice President for Arrangements, American Society for Mass Spectrometry, (1987-89); Board of Directors, Asilomar Conf. on Mass Spectrometry, (1987-0989); Editorial Advisory Board, Instrumentation Science and Technology, (1993 - present)
Our research focuses on the development of instrumentation and methods for the application of mass spectrometry, and especially tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS), primarily in the area of biological chemistry. There is a strong synergism between the research involving development of new instrumentation (or modification of existing instrumentation) and the applications. Development of new instrumentation allows us to do novel experiments in the characterization of different chemical systems, while understanding the needs for analysis of these systems drives the development of the next generation instrumentation and methods. Currently the primary focus in instrument/methods development involves ion activation methods, in particular electron capture dissociation (ECD) and related techniques, and infrared multiphoton photodissociation (IRMPD). We also have a long history of developments in ion trap mass spectrometry.
In the area of biological applications we focus on peptide and protein analysis, which is where the ECD is most applicable. We are interested not only in identifying peptide and protein primary structure, but also in understanding the influences of three dimensional structure on the resultant MS/MS spectra. In that regard we are also interested in ion mobility spectrometry as a means to select various conformations of ions for study via various MS/MS techniques. These techniques include IR spectroscopy using IRMPD, ion/molecule reactions (H/D exchange), ECD, along with more convention low and high energy collision-induced dissociation.
At various times we are also involved in other instrumentation development, such as development of a quadrupole ion trap for real-time aerosol detection and a new approach to explosives detection based on mass spectrometry. We also work on developing and improving ionization techniques.