Within the life sciences progress depends on the integration of chemistry, physics, mathematics, informatics and biology to answer ever more complex research questions at the systems level. The Mass Spectrometry of Biomolecules group combines mass spectrometry with biomolecular and organic chemistry to support and advance research themes that are carried out in close collaboration with other groups within the Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences.
As a research group our focus is in developing new sample preparation and mass spectrometry applications to expand the tool-kit of applying mass spectrometry based proteomics and metabolomics for life scientists. We make these novel approaches available to scientist through our role as mass spectrometry core facility, ensuring state of the art applications quickly find their way into the field. Currently our main focus is on:
- Bacterial (spore) proteomics and metabolomics for food spoiling and medically relevant micro-organisms.
Here we collaborate with Molecular Biology and Microbial Food Safety and a number of collaborators at the Amsterdam UMC. We develop and apply new ‘omics methods for profiling microorganisms both in the context of single cultures to unravel molecular mechanisms of spore formation and pathogenesis as in microbiome research. Micro-organisms studied include B. subtilis, B. cereus, C. difficile and N. meningitidis.
- High sensitivity measurements of low input samples: i.e. from rare cells or small tissue sections.
The measurement of proteins and metabolites in sample limited contexts remains a challenge, especially if deep coverage and untargeted analysis is required. We are developing a number of state of the art solutions to measure deep proteomes and metabolomes in the context of rare cell isolates for neurobiology (collaborations with Molecular Neuroscience and Amsterdam UMC) or specific plant tissues and insects (collaborations with Plant Physiology and Plant Hormone Biology).