2011 Sigma Xi Monie Ferst Lecture with Dr. Graham Cooks

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The Georgia Tech chapter of Sigma Xi welcomes Purdue University Professor R. Graham Cooks, recipient of its 2011 Monie Ferst Award, to speak on "Ambient Ionization, Miniature Mass Spectrometers and Disease Diagnosis." Dr. Graham is the featured speaker for the daylong Sigma Xi Monie Ferst Award Symposium

To attend, RSVP to Cecelia Jones at sigmaxi@me.gatech.edu.

A minor revolution is occurring in mass spectrometry with the growing recognition that it is possible to use simplify sample preparation time and still obtain significant chemical information on complex real-world samples. At the core of this development is a set of ambient ionization experiments in which ionization is performed in air, outside the mass spectrometry using a charged spray (desorption electrospray ionization, DESI) or other simple (and fast) procedure. Samples can also be ionized directly from a substrate such as paper or plant material (paper spray, PS) or by using low temperature plasma for ionization. DESI is applied in disease diagnosis by imaging tissue sections for their lipid distributions. These methods give qualitative and quantitative information on particular systems. In the case of DESI, an imaging experiment utilizes the spatial distribution of the chemical information collected for multiple analytes from the mass spectrometer to analyze histological sections of biological tissue. Examples of disease diagnostics in human bladder, liver and brain cancer will be given. The low temperature plasma ionization method is applied to food safety including bacterial identification. The very simple ionization method of paper spray is applied to quantitation of therapeutic drugs in whole blood in a few seconds. The combination of these ambient ionization techniques with miniature mass spectrometers allows rapid in situ analysis, at home, in the grocery store, on the factory floor. Applications of mass spectrometry to guide surgical decision-making in real time are just one of the outcomes indicated by the data described. So too are in situ real-time measurements of drug levels in blood, agrochemical residues in foods, and many other applications of complex mixture analysis.

About the Speaker: 
Graham Cooks is a Henry Bohn Hass Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at Purdue University and Director of the Center for Analytical Instrumentation Development. He is a pioneer in the conception and implementation of MS/MS and of desorption ionization. These interests led to the construction of miniature ion trap mass spectrometers and their application to problems of trace chemical detection. His work on ionization methods has contributed to the ambient ionization methods including desorption electrospray ionization. Some inventions and concepts introduced by Cooks are ion soft landing, neutral loss scans, the use of matrices in ionization, multiple reaction monitoring (MRM), single reaction monitoring (SRM), hybrid mass spectrometers, handheld mass spectrometers, the kinetic method of thermochemical determination and MS/MS for mixture analysis.

Cooks is a past president of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry and the International Mass Spectrometry Society and a Life Member of the British Mass Spectrometry Society. He is the recipient of the ACS awards in Mass Spectrometry and in Analytical Chemistry, the Robert Boyle and Centennial Medals of the Royal Society of Chemistry.



  • Workflow Status:Published
  • Created By:Michael Hagearty
  • Created:09/28/2011
  • Modified By:Fletcher Moore
  • Modified:10/07/2016