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J Biomol Tech. 2010 September; 21(3 Suppl): S77.
PMCID: PMC2918078

The Vanderbilt Mass Spectrometry Shared Facilities

D.B. Friedman, M.L. Reyzer, E.H. Seeley, M. Wade Calcutt, D.L. Hachey, and R.M. Caprioli
Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, United States

Abstract

CF-33

The Vanderbilt Mass Spectrometry Research Center (MSRC) provides an integrated bioanalytical service facility to Vanderbilt researchers coupled with a strong MS research component.The synergies achieved by merging research and service provide investigators with state-of-the-art proteomics, tissue profiling/imaging, and bioanalytical MS technologies. These cores are managed by a professional staff of six faculty members and five research assistants, bioinformatics specialists, and an instrument engineer. The Proteomics Laboratory supports multiple technology platforms, including HPLC peptide separations and 2D gel separations of intact proteins. Analysis can be performed by ESI-linear ion trap/orbitrap and MALDI-TOF/TOF MS with all of the necessary downstream bioinformatics for protein identification and characterization. We routinely utilize single- and multi-dimensional LC/MS/MS for protein cataloguing and differential-expression studies (using spectral counting), and Difference Gel Electrophoresis (DIGE) for large-scale expression studies on complex proteomes. The Tissue Imaging core provides tissue sectioning, staining, and MS directly from tissue sections via either high resolution imaging across an entire tissue section, or higher-throughput histology-directed profiling using specific tissue areas.As with the proteomics analysis, the necessary tools and infrastructure are available for downstream biostatistical analysis of the MS data. Both of these cores work closely with users at all stages of experiments including detailed informatics consultations and training. They generally operate as limited-access facilities where users prepare samples and core technical staff performs the analyses. The Bioanalytical MS Core provides instrumentation to perform a wide variety of analyses (e.g. identification and structural analysis of biological molecules, and qualitative and quantitative assays of drugs and metabolites). The MS Core operates in an open access environment where users are encouraged to run their own samples with the advice and assistance of Core personnel. The MSRC also offers a variety of educational opportunities for training in instrument operation and data analysis to facilitate optimal core usage.


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