Our research focuses on developing new ways of applying mass spectrometry to difficult problems.
Mass spectrometry is useful in such diverse fields as biomedical research and clinical testing, forensic science, homeland security, and food safety because of its sensitivity, specificity, and generality. It is difficult to use, however, and typically requires extensive sample preparation prior to analysis.
A number of so-called “ambient ionization” methods have been developed. These methods—which include DESI (desorption electrospray ionization) for the chemical analysis of surfaces and Paper Spray for rapid analysis of biological samples—allow for the direct analysis of complex samples without the laborious sample preparation process normally associated with mass spectrometry.
The projects in my lab involve both early phase investigation into novel methods and later phase R&D projects that seek to partner with industrial and government laboratories to translate research into impact.