Tuesday, June 11, 2019

ASMS 2019 -- Maybe my final wrapup?

Maybe this will be my last post on the magical event that was ASMS Atlanta. To be honest, I came to ASMS to do a lot of boring things -- or at least not really proteomics things -- like small molecule instrument shopping (ummm... if you haven't seen it...that thing Conor is holding in the picture above is a fricking ion trap. A surprisingly high resolution ion trap that we demo'ed at a secret location (which made it even cooler! I was frantically texting my team that we all had to meet at these elevators before they closed and we all made it and were rewarded a fully functional with MX908 we could hold and test things on!) We had some problems during the demo because we kept underestimating how sensitive it was and the little thing would initiate a 2 minute self-cleaning procedure -- cause that's a thing that an ion trap can do?!?!?) See -- boring stuff -- but, -omics mass spec isn't the only thing that has been advancing like crazy.

One really big thing for us for ASMS was -- okay -- for real -- how do we take this RNASeq and PacBio data and integrate it into proteomics? While running to a meeting we scored with Dr. Jack Henion -- which I was NOT going to be late for (he's awesome btw, and ---

-- can confirm...) And...if you haven't seen his awesome little mass spec you can juuuuust fit into the hatchback of a 2011 Chevy Volt and can power for a full day off of it's internal battery (I have done all this math myself, which means it's probably wrong, you should check out this dramatization)

-- Maybe found my favorite thing of the whole conference. David Tabb with a microphone and a projector right in the middle of the session hall enthusiastically explaining how to integrate "next-gen" sequencing data with proteomics -- 

-- it seemed like the most random thing ever -- like David heard everyone in the US was struggling with this, so he flew over with his own projector and a megaphone just to help us (it was slightly less cool than this -- it was a new-to-me session format of informatics talks during the poster sessions and I hope it never goes away. There was a great talk from Megan Burke on NIST Hybrid Search the final day I only got to catch for a minute. ProSIT+Hybrid search time?)

OH. THIS. Should be mentioned.   MSQC.LIVE  It's still in beta, but Ben Neely gave a great talk about what it will be able to do in order to make proteomics QC super easy to interrogate. It's worth mentioning that this is an unsupported project. The people building this are just QC nerds doing it in their spare time. 

I think I saw 3 applications of "chromatogram libraries" -- and now I think I get the concept. It's been on the blog before, but I think I mischaracterized it. You should ignore anything I've written about it and just look at this cool paper. 

Yeah...I should probably wrap this up. It's gotten too rambly and chaotic. I was explaining to a collaborator at the NIH who was attending his first ASMS one of the big challenges here that I don't face at other meetings I go to. At ASMS people show off new stuff. Hot-off-the-press stuff. Poster abstracts they submitted in January and the experiment didn't actually work until the day they were running out the door to get on the plane stuff. That seems normal if ASMS is your conference you attend all the time. This isn't normal in general. People don't go to AACR, for example, and show data they haven't published yet. They talk about the stuff they've already got securely in press. They keep their data close to their chests and in locked freezers back home and they keep their lips sealed so they don't get scooped. I've got loads I can't wait to revisit later.

That's it. Done poorly writing about ASMS. I'm already looking forward to Houston. Though... I am trying to figure out how to justify going to Adelaide first....I've almost got the airline miles to pull it off...

Oh...and I also got my Ocean Protein Portal sticker back (had to return my old work laptop and couldn't get the sticker off in one piece-- and I got a bonus sticker that gets me odd looks when working in airports....)


  1. I am curious who is you among three person in the picture at ASMS Atlanta. What's pity I didnot recognize you even I met you at ASMS Atlanta. Hope to meet you next ASMS conference.

  2. That's my small molecule field tracking team (partially assembled at the conference) I'm not pictured. Next time!