Generating a mass spectrum of all the different types and structures of molecules within a sample
Mass spectrometry is an analytical technology that is used in a variety of different fields of science and medicine to elucidate the chemical structure of molecules such as protein peptides or chemical compounds. The sample material (like blood plasma or urine) is separated into its constituent molecules by ionisation; thereby generating a collection of charged molecules or fragments which are then measured for their mass-to-charge ratios. This generates a mass spectrum of all the different types and structures of molecules within the sample.
The University of Melbourne has specialist expertise in both Metabolomics and Proteomics areas of mass spectrometry. Proteomics refers to the mass spectrometry used to identify, characterise and quantify proteins within a given sample and involves separation and sequencing of the core protein structure as well as analysis of post-translational modifications. It has wide-reaching applications in science and medical research such as drug development and testing and biomarker discovery. Metabolomics measures the chemical processes involving metabolites; the end product of cellular processes that are indicative of changes within the cellular environment and are useful indicators of abnormalities/health, responses to drug testing and discovering new biomolecules.
The University Platforms
Located within the Bio21 Institute, the Proteomics Platform features an open access HPLC system (high pressure liquid chromatography) and 7 mass spectrometers including a Thermo OrbiTRAP ELITE ETD, an ABSCIEX 5600 Triple TOF and an ABSCIEX 5500 Triple quadrupole. The facility offers unique unlimited instrument access via yearly subscription as well as training, consultation and access to in-depth bioinformatics analysis.
The University of Melbourne hosts the Victorian node of Metabolomics Australia; offering an advanced analytical facility providing state-of-the-art metabolomics infrastructure. The facility supports a large range of applications using multiple mass spectrometry and related technologies, and includes provision of expert data analysis and interpretation. The platform is open access on a fee-for service basis and caters to customised project needs*.
* If you are a researcher working for an end-user organisation from industry or government, come and see the Melbourne node of Metabolomics Australia to discuss submitting an application for seed funding of up to $10,000 from Bioplatforms Australia for a collaborative project.