Why is Biological Mass Spectrometry important?
Mass spectrometry is a methodology that helps to identify and quantify the constituents of complex mixtures, like cell extracts, serum and medium. Two areas where mass spectrometry excels in biology are proteomics - global profiling of the proteins in a system, and metabolomics - global profiling of the metabolites in a system. Using these techniques, we can track changes in cell biochemistry over time, investigate the mode of action of drugs, trace the fate of nutrients through biochemical pathways or find biomarkers for disease.
What do we study?
Metabolomics and proteomics are in constant development. We look at new applications of mass spectrometry to biology, whether improving the number or types of molecules detected, optimising methods for new sample types or organisms, or helping researchers interpret complex and ambiguous data. This is particularly important in industrial biotechnology, where production of valuable chemical products relies on a complex interplay of biochemical pathways.