April 2022 Meeting

Speaker: Glen P. Jackson, West Virginia University

Topic: Hair Reveals what People Conceal: Biometric Traits from the Chemical Analysis of Human Hair

Date: Monday, April 18, 2022

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

Location: Shimadzu Scientific Instrument, Inc. Training Center 7100 Riverwood Drive, Columbia, MD 21046 (Directions)
This will be an in-person meeting. Attendees are required to show a vaccine card (either at the door or in advance using the web form) . If you have submitted your vaccine card before, your status is already recorded.

Dinner: Please RSVP to Dapeng Chen (cdpumd@gmail.com) by Friday, April 15th if you will be attending the dinner.

Abstract: This presentation reveals the profound ways in which isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS) can provide information about the geographic origin and history of almost everything around us, including our fellow humans. The presentation explains, from an atomic/isotopic perspective, the ways in which we are literally what we eat. The talk also explains how researchers use IRMS measurements of hair to determine the geographic origin and travel histories of animals and humans.
Building upon these established capabilities, our research develops the ability to objectively classify the hair of different human donors into soft biometric grouping factors such as biological sex and alcohol consumption or to predict continuous variables like age. Classification is accomplished either through the quantitation of amino acids in the shafts of human hair, which is comprised mainly of structural proteins named keratins, or through the precise measurement of naturally occurring stable isotopes of 13C/12C of each amino acid in the hair shafts. Our work also demonstrates that amino-acid-specific analysis of human hair can predict type II diabetes in the donors. In other, unrelated applications, we use the same methodology to link individual blowflies to their carrion (flesh) diet and to link Eastern oysters to their harvesting areas.

March 2022 Virtual Meeting

Speaker: Christine A. M. France, Smithsonian Institution

Topic: Soldiers, Slaves, and Cannibalism: Stable Isotope Indications of Historic Life in North America

Date: Monday, March 21, 2022

Time: 6:45 Virtual Social, 7:15 pm Presentation

Location: See Zoom invite in email on March 11 and 17 (sign up)

Abstract: Archaeological studies often include human remains, consisting of only bones and teeth, whose identity has been lost to time. However, with the right biochemical proxies, bones and teeth can yield information about diet, provenance, and demographics of these unknown individuals. The Smithsonian Museum Conservation Institute Stable Isotope Mass Spectrometry Laboratory applies stable isotopes to North American archaeological remains in an effort to better understand the life history and lifestyles of 17th , 18th and 19th century individuals. Examination of carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen stable isotopes from three case studies highlight insights into dietary grain components, geographical provenance and affiliations, meat consumption, and marine dietary inputs. Soldiers from the American Civil War and post-Civil War periods (ca. 1860-1885) show oxygen isotope values indicative of cross-geographical allegiances. Comparative African populations from Ghana show carbon and oxygen isotope values unique to their region, providing means to distinguish enslaved African Americans that were recent arrivals in the Trans-Atlantic Slave trade (late 1700’s). Nitrogen and oxygen isotope values provide insight into the social class and provenance of a young girl cannibalized during the harsh years leading up to Jamestown Colony’s near failure in 1610. All of these examples emphasize the power of this technique to offer some identity to otherwise anonymous individuals, and to provide new insights into our history.

4th Annual North American Mass Spectrometry Summer School

4th Annual North American Mass Spectrometry Summer School
June 20-23, 2022, Madison, WI

Join us for our fourth annual mass spectrometry summer school. We are proud to have assembled over a dozen world leading experts in mass spectrometry for this three-day course. Our goal is to provide our students, both from academia and industry, an engaging and inspiring program covering the latest in the application of mass spectrometry to omic analyses. Tutorial lectures range from mass analyzers to the basics of data analysis. This program is made possible by generous funding from the National Science Foundation (Integrated Organismal Systems, Plant Genome Research Program, Grant No. 2010789) and the National Institutes of Health National Center for Quantitative Biology of Complex Systems (P41 GM108538). There is no cost to participate.

Registration closes on April 1, 2022: https://www.ncqbcs.com/resources/training/summer-school.

Expert Instructors:
Scott McLuckey | Purdue University
Rachel Loo | University of California-Los Angeles
Jenny Brodbelt | University of Texas-Austin
Joshua Coon | University of Wisconsin-Madison
Shawnna Buttery | STAR Protocols, Cell Press
Jesper Olsen | University of Copenhagen
Lingjun Li | University of Wisconsin-Madison
Jürgen Cox | Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry
Edward Huttlin | Harvard University
Ben Garcia | Washington University
Evgenia Shishkova | University of Wisconsin-Madison
Jessica Prenni | Colorado State University
Vicki Wysocki | Ohio State University
John Bowden | University of Florida

Tandem MS
Mass analyzers
Data acquisition
Data analysis
Experimental design
Top-down/Native MS
Spectral Intrepretation

February 2022 Virtual Meeting

Speaker: David Goodlett, University of Victoria

Topic: Lipid A as a Therapeutic and Diagnostic

Date: Monday, February 21, 2022

Time: 6:45 Virtual Social, 7:15 pm Presentation

Location: See Zoom invite in email on February 10 and 17 (sign up)

Abstract: Lipid A is the membrane anchor for Gram-negative bacteria that holds the much larger lipopolysaccharide (LPS) molecule in place in the outer membrane. Importantly in mammals, Toll receptor 4 (TLR4) recognizes lipid A the result of which is activation of a cytokine cascade that can aid the host in clearing the infection or if unchecked lead to a deadly cytokine storm. There are a range of activities from agnostic to antagonistic that are directly related to structure (e.g. Li). To exploit this we are working to better define the lipid A structure activity relationship for use as a vaccine adjuvants and antisepsis therapeutics (e.g. Scott). We are also using lipid A and related Gram-positive molecules to identify bacteria direct from source in under an hour (Leung) and have recently developed an antibiotic susceptibility test that works in concert with microbial identification providing results a day faster than existing methods. At the ICCVS in Gdansk we are interested in investigating the classic use of bacterial extracts as an immunotherapy (i.e. Coley’s toxins late 1800s NYC) that have been recently revived (Kim). We are also working to define protein antigens that can be used as imaging agents, therapeutics and diagnostics in point of care devices (Freiberg). I’ll present the above topics from the perspective of how mass spectrometry is helping to solve these problems. I’ll also mention how we are working to get down to single cell analysis for proteomics and lipidomics (Weke). And I will provide some perspective on our capabilities at the Genome BC Proteomic Centre where we carry out fee-for-service experiments in metabolomics and proteomics.

Sandy Markey, Ph.D.

Sanford P. Markey, Ph.D. 1942-2022.

It is with great sadness that we share the news of the death of Sandy Markey, loving husband of Carol, father of Amy (and Shane), Daniel (and Robyn), and grandfather of Ella, Zachary, and Chloe. Sandy lost his long battle with cancer on the morning of February 6, 2022.

All who met Sandy immediately felt his warmth, sincerely, and empathy and shortly afterwards discovered his clarity of thought. These qualities had a major effect on our programs at NIST both before and after his retirement from NIH nearly ten years ago. We develop reference mass spectral libraries here, but even before such a library existed, in the earliest days of the ASMS Sandy lobbied for that that organization to lead a community-based effort to construct such a resource. This reflected his long-held commitment to service and his view of science as a community-based endeavor. This idea of a library was pursued through Hank Fales at NIH, eventually leading to our program – now the NIST/EPA/NIH library, for which he played a role in throughout his career, submitting some of its earliest entries. When I visited Sandy about 20 years ago, he suggested that we build a library of peptide spectra. “Interesting idea” I said, “but what is a peptide?”. He told me and after further instruction we now have a highly developed peptide ion fragmentation library and major involvement in the field of proteomics – including current studies on the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein and our long involvement with the NIH/NCI Clinical Proteomic Tumor Analysis Consortium program, in which Sandy played a major role. In the meantime, he co-founded the US HUPO organization using creative financing to get it started which he never divulged to me. While at NIH he sent two colleagues to NIST, Jeri Roth and Sara Yang, one of whom managed our initial proteomics program and another who still leads our tandem library software development work. With retirement from NIH in view, they convinced him to accept a 3-days-a-week appointment at NIST. Since then, Sandy has been a central figure in our quality control program and was well known here for his ready assistance to all, especially junior staff, in introducing them to the ways of doing and publishing research. He even advised us of a major animal milk resource at the National Zoo, leading to new libraries and an article in the Washington Post. I am pleased also that we linked him to one of our external evaluators, with whom his enjoyed sailing just a few years ago in, of all places, Tennessee. He was always deeply supportive of members of our group, ready to help them make the best decision. Many members of our group and in the community sorely miss him. His presence here was also a major factor in our recent recruitment of two senior NIH staff who knew him well, Lewis Geer and Douglas Slotta who had hoped to work with him for a much longer time. Sandy has left a deep imprint on the work on many at NIST and in our memories. It is great fortune to have known him. – Stephen Stein, NIST

When I think of Sandy, I think of someone who was always drawing people in. And Sandy was involved in lots of things and knew lots of people. Most recently, we have him to thank for being the motivating force behind incorporating the WBMSDG as a non-profit entity. Sandy drew on his experience and connections in founding and incorporating US HUPO to help us and guide us through the process. Even though that was recent, it feels like it was ages ago. Sandy always made it a point to be very approachable and to know everyone and to be very encouraging. – Jim Kelley, NIH

Sandy was a great mentor for the mass spectrometry community at NIH over many decades. I personally had the benefit of his presence by consulting with him at almost every step of my career advancement. He was very respected and loved by colleagues at NIH. He organized proteomics symposium at NIH in 2001 to stimulate the interest of NIH on the then emerging field. He always promoted the collaborative spirit in the community. At the 2016 symposium held in honor of his retirement from NIH, Sandy urged us to continue the symposium at a regular basis as a new collaborative avenue among mass spectrometry community in the area. He was a warm and caring person, always thinking of the community ahead of his own interest. We will miss him greatly. – Hee-Yong Kim, NIH

Sandy co-organized the WBMSDG in the late 1970s was a speaker in 2013, 2012, 2011, 1990, 1985, and 1982.