Tuesday, February 28, 2012

LC/MS Applications in Biomedical Research Symposium at NIH

Today was the Agilent-sponsored symposium on LC/MS Applications at the NIH.  This was easily the best manufacturer-sponsored event I've ever attended.  Normally I feel these things are big commercials for new equipment with one or two good talks in between.  This was the opposite.  I feel like I saw a number of really good talks and with limited high pressure sales techniques.  I really commend Agilent for putting on such a nice event.
Overall impressions:
1.)  The NIH main campus is a confusing place to get around.  But I made it, and I will be less intimidated about going there again.  Actually, this had nothing to do with the talk, but was a big part of my day.
2.)  I finally got to see Gary Siuzdak.  As the author of the second best Introduction to Mass Spectrometry Book, and the book that got me started in the field, I'd been looking forward to this talk since I heard about it.  He didn't disappoint. They are doing some really interesting things at Scripts, including some SELDI-like analysis of cancer cells.  A great talk.
3.)  My favorite talk, content-wise, was by a Postdoc at Johns Hopkins by the name of Patrick Shaw.  He showed some really interesting SILAC-based work using the strangest cancer cell lines I have ever heard of.  The highlight of the work was in the way he implemented SILAC labelling with subcellular fractionation to implicate integrin translocation in tumorigenesis.  Really smart work.
4.) Another good talk came out of Hopkins from Dr. David Colquhoun.  While I still don't understand the premise of his talk, linking malaria and HIV, I was impressed by the scope of the work.  They performed proteomic analyses on the membranes from one particular sub-organ of mosquitoes.  This involved removing the midgut from an estimated 30,000 mosquitoes.  This is a task that only a postdoc at Hopkins would perform.  I can NOT wait to dig up their data from the repository.

All in all a nice day where I learned a lot and got to walk across a nice campus on a very spring-like day.

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