Saturday, May 20, 2023

Hopkins 2nd Annual Mass Spec day proteomics overview!


(Everyone was sort of on the edges -- and this was Ron Schnaar talking about super complex surface glycans (eeeek)-- the fact anyone is visible is a big thing in my mind! ) 

I started my first real job in clinical chemistry at Johns Hopkins 20 years ago this August (eeeeeeek!) and I've been bumming around the city, hospital and university off and on ever since. For all of that time, there really hasn't been much mass spectrometry here. If you total the hospital system and the university (which are separate entitities) there are just about 50,000 full time employees and 23,000 full time students. That's sort of big for a school that has never really had even a Metabolomics core. 

SO...the fact that there were two rooms full of posters with a lot of people I DIDN'T EVEN KNOW showing all sorts of mass spectrometry data is super exciting. 

Highlights for this reader base? 

Chan-Hyun Na showed some great stuff on how his group is finding non-canonical peptides in Alzheimer's models. That is, of course, a protein disease that genomics isn't all that helpful with. While I'm a huge fan of the Steen lab work on this topic, I had no idea they were doing this super effectively across the street. 

Stephen Fried doesn't just do really mass spectrometry to solve fundamental questions about the earliest stages of enzyme evolution (cool recent paper here). He demonstrated some applications of similar approaches to understand neurological decline. 

Rahul Bharadwaj showed some work with Bob Cole's core (I think Lauren DeVine will have a poster at ASMS showing this data, it was too popular for me to get to it), super ridiculously small laser capture microdissection samples + high plex TMT proteomics (MS3 based quan, I think, I can't always read my notes) from people who were so amazing that they left their brains to the Lieber brain banks. Super cool stuff. 

Ron Schnaar studies the most frustrating looking cell surface glycans of profound medical importance through photoreactive probes his team synthesizes themselves. He made a really solid argument for why intricate biological pull-down studies benefit from the super high accuracy TMT multiplexing you get on the Orbitraps largely designed for that purpose. When your biology and the molecular aspects of your experiment are super complex, it is nice to have the best quan on the back end that you can get (and the internal QC aspects of multiplexing). 

Josh Smith talked about his continued work with adductomics -- there it is -- I was sure I had a blog post on a paper of his from a few years ago. If you aren't familiar, it is cool and scary stuff. Actually, that paper was on targeting -- here is a very recent JASMS study doing it untargeted! 

That was only half the day! There were great posters (Bob O'Meally is making custom SureQuant panels, check out his poster if you're in Houston, it's really cool) and the rest of the day was imaging and them small molecules and there was even a single cell ICP-MS (accurately measuring metal concentrations in one cell at a time). Super cool day. 

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