I am a graduate student at the George Washington University in Washington D.C. in the research group of Professor Akos Vertes. Here, I focus on developing and applying new mass spectrometry (MS) based technologies for the analysis of biological systems by atmospheric pressure and laser desorption ionization methods, such as laser ablation electrospray ionization (LAESI) and silicon nanopost arrays (NAPA). These new techniques allow us to study perturbations of biochemical pathways, the mechanism of action for drugs, provide insight into the kinetics of intermediates within metabolic networks, and allow for biological tissue imaging.
Using the ambient ionization technique allows for high-throughput analysis of cells with minimal sample preparation, further incorporating ion mobility separation (IMS) results in rapid separation of isobaric ions and isotopologs. My research entails using this technique to study the dynamic changes from environmental, genetic modifications, and use stable isotope labeling to determine turnover rates of molecules in live microorganisms.
The other technique my research focuses on, consists of laser desorption ionization from nanophotonic (NAPA) platforms for ultra-trace analysis of volume-limited samples such as single cells. Another aspect of these platforms is the capability for matrix-free biological tissue imaging for the distribution of biomolecules and xenobiotics. To further explore the enhancement of these nano-post platforms, I have designed and nanofabricated elevated bow-tie arrays that incorporate the laser electric field vector parallel to the posts as in NAPA, as well as parallel with the surface bow-ties.
The George Washington University
Department of Chemistry
Washington DC 20052