2024 Young Investigator Travel Awards and Georges Guiochon Student Award

The Washington-Baltimore Mass Spectrometry Discussion Group (WBMSDG) is pleased to announce that applications are now being accepted for the 2024 Young Investigator Travel Awards and Georges Guiochon Student Award. Awards will be granted to outstanding young investigators at the undergraduate or graduate student level to support travel to the 72nd ASMS Conference and HPLC 2024, respectively. Undergraduate and graduate students in laboratories and institutions traditionally associated with the WBMSDG and the former Washington Chromatography Discussion Group in the following geographic regions are encouraged to apply: from Richmond and Charlottesville, VA to the South and Newark, DE to the North.

Three Young Investigator Travel Awards will be given. 1st place: $1000, 2nd place: $750, 3rd place: $500.
Two Georges Guiochon Student Awards will be given. 1st place: $1000, 2nd place: honorable certificate.

Complete applications for either award consist of the following items:
1. 2024 application form for Young Investigator Travel Award or Georges Guiochon Student Award (includes a checklist)
2. Electronic copy of ASMS/HPLC abstract
3. Evidence of abstract acceptance indicating the presentation format (poster or oral)
4. Curriculum Vitae or Resume
5. Two-page summary of research project (figures can be included)
6. Letter of recommendation from advisor

Applicants should submit items 1-5 listed above as a single PDF file to Dr. Andy Qi. Item 6 must be sent directly by the applicant’s advisor to Dr. Andy Qi:

Andy Qi, PhD
WBMSDG co-chair

The deadline for all applications is 5 PM EST on Thursday, May 2nd, 2024. A panel of WBMSDG members will act as reviewers. Please note, previous winners are encouraged to apply if the award application for the upcoming ASMS/HPLC conference significantly differs from the previously successful application. In the event that the conference is cancelled, awards will be given out as well as prize amounts up to the full award to cover any incurred costs associated with travel. Successful applicants to both awards will be expected to give a 10-minute oral presentation at the post-ASMS WBMSDG meeting on June 12th, 2024, at Shimadzu Scientific in Columbia, MD.

April Meeting

Speaker: Fabio P. Gomes, Virginia Commonwealth University

Topic: Native Top-Down Characterization of Proteins and their Complexes in Breast Cancer Cells

Date: April 15, 2024

Time: 6:15 pm Dinner, 7:15 pm Presentation

Location: Shimadzu Scientific Instrument, Inc. Training Center 7100 Riverwood Drive, Columbia, MD 21046 (Directions)

Dinner: Please RSVP to Jonathan Ferguson (jonathan.ferguson33@gmail.com) by Friday, April 12 if you will be attending the dinner.

Abstract: Oligomerization of proteins and their modified forms (proteoforms) produces functional protein complexes. Complexoforms are complexes that consist of the same set of proteins with different proteoforms. The ability to characterize these assemblies within cells is critical to understanding the molecular mechanisms involved in disease and to designing effective drugs. An outstanding biological question is how proteoforms drive function and oligomerization of complexoforms. However, tools to define endogenous proteoform-proteoform/ligand interactions are scarce. I will present a native top-down proteomics (nTDP) strategy that combines size-exclusion chromatography, nano direct infusion, field asymmetric ion mobility spectrometry, and multistage mass spectrometry to identify protein assemblies (≤70 kDa) in breast cancer cells and in cells that overexpress EGFR, which serves as a resistance model of estrogen receptor-α (ER-α) targeted therapies. This nTDP approach was able to identify ~104 complexoforms from 17 protein complexes, which revealed several molecular features of the breast cancer proteome, including EGFR-induced dissociation of nuclear transport factor 2 (NUTF2) assemblies that modulate ER activity. We found that the K4 and K55 posttranslational modification sites discovered with nTDP differentially impact the effects of NUTF2 on the inhibition of the ER signaling pathway.
lightning talks
Bay Xu, PhD (JHU)
Doeun Kim, PhD (NIAID/NIH)

March Meeting (late speaker change)

Speaker: Bob Ernst, University of Maryland, Baltimore

Topic: Bacterial Lipids – Advances in Structural Analysis and Function using MALDI Mass Spectrometry

Date: March 18, 2024

Time: 6:15 pm Dinner, 7:15 pm Presentation

Location: Shimadzu Scientific Instrument, Inc. Training Center 7100 Riverwood Drive, Columbia, MD 21046 (Directions)

Dinner: Please RSVP to Jonathan Ferguson (jonathan.ferguson33@gmail.com) by Friday, March 15 if you will be attending the dinner.

Abstract: Microbial membranes are specialized structures with a specific arrangement of complex lipids and proteins. Depending on the microbe (bacterial, spirochete, fungi), each tends to have a distinct and characteristic lipid composition that resides on or is embedded in the outer membrane. As lipids are a large, diverse group of molecules, it is not easy to generalize lipid composition, which in many cases may be unique to particular genera, such as Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacterial species. Membrane lipids are crucial not only for integrity but also for signaling, responding to environmental stresses, propagation, antibiotic resistance, speciation, and pathogenesis. The characteristics, structure, and specific mechanisms leading to bacterial lipid synthesis and regulation represent long-standing questions that require the latest technologies to improve the resolution of microbial lipidomics. Analytical methodologies for the analysis of bacterial lipids have gradually become more sophisticated due to both advancements in instrumentation and extraction procedures leading to greater adoption of state-of-the-art techniques. Using MALDI-based MS analysis, we can now directly identify bacteria from complex biological samples without the need for ex vivo growth, engineer bacterial lipids to elicit specific host innate immune responses for vaccine adjuvant development, and map host-influenced de novo lipid A, the membrane anchor of lipopolysaccharide (LPS), modifications during Gram-negative bacterial infection, advance our understanding of the host-pathogen interactions.
lightning talks
Jongmin Woo (JHU)
Amit Dey (NIH)

February Meeting

Speaker: Joshua Coon, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Topic: From Systems to Structural Biology – new MS technology to drive discovery

Date: Wednesday February 28, 2024

Time: 6:15 pm Dinner, 7:15 pm Presentation

Location: University of Maryland (Lecture Hall CHM 1402 Directions)

Dinner: Please RSVP to Jonathan Ferguson (jonathan.ferguson33@gmail.com) by Monday, February 26 if you will be attending the dinner.

Abstract: In this presentation I will provide several examples of how MS technology can drive biological discovery. First, we use a high-throughput proteomic, metabolomic, and lipidomic methodology to profile nearly 1,000 human cell lines that each are missing a mitochondrial gene. Then, using computation and informatics, we combine this dataset to discovery the functions of several genes, linking two of them directly to human disease. Next, we use multiple proteases and extensive MS to provide the deepest coverage and analysis of the human proteome to date – confirming that the majority of spliced RNA molecules do indeed get converted into proteins. Next, we describe use of the Orbitrap Astral hybrid to profile human proteomes in under one hour, profile human plasma at a depth of nearly 7,000 proteins, and measure protein phosphorylation at unprecedented depth and speed. Finally, we present on a modified Orbitrap mass spectrometer that is used to prepared samples for cryoEM. Briefly, protein-protein complexes are ionized using native ESI and then either mass analyzed or landed onto a cryogenically cool EM grid within the MS system. Water vapor is introduced to cover the landed particles with amorphous ice. Following landing, the samples are removed from vacuum and placed in a cryoEM instrument for direct imaging.