2019 ASMS “Emerging Investigators” Focus

Within this issue of the Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry, we are pleased to present the work of 11 early career researchers, whose articles comprise the 2019 “Emerging Investigators” focus section. The goal of the Emerging Investigators focus is to showcase some of the exciting fundamental and interdisciplinary research that is being performed by a group of researchers who are still establishing their independent academic careers, but have already demonstrated their potential to make important contributions to their respective areas of research, and have the potential to become future leaders within the field. Similar to the Emerging Investigators focus sections published by JASMS in 2015 and 2017, the authors were invited to contribute articles for peer review based on recommendations from prominent mass spectrometrists, including the JASMS Editor-in-Chief, Associate Editors, members of the Editorial Board, and members of the ASMS Board of Directors. Brief biographical sketches of the contributing authors, that  exemplify the diverse academic backgrounds and paths from which they have arrived at their current positions and that  have influenced their current and future research interests, are listed below. I hope that these snapshots will serve as informative and inspiring examples to the younger members of our society. I would like to thank each of the authors for their contributions and look forward to following their career progression in the decades to come.

Candice Bridge is an Assistant Professor at the University of Central Florida (UCF) and holds a joint faculty position between the Department of Chemistry and the National Center for Forensic Science. She earned her Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from UCF in 2007. She then conducted postdoctoral research in 2008 at the Center for Research and Education of Optics and Lasers at UCF. In 2008, she was a Lecturer in Chemistry at Howard University. She then moved to the US Army Defense Forensic Science Center (Forest Park, GA) in 2009, as a Forensic Chemist conducting case work, and as the Educational Outreach Director, Human Research Protection Administrator, Research Manager, and a Research & Development Program Director. In 2014, she returned to UCF as an Assistant Professor to start her independent research career in forensic analytical chemistry. Her research focuses on the analysis of forensic trace evidence to understand the uniqueness of chemical features. Using various mass spectrometry techniques, she develops methods that increase the validity and evidentiary value of forensic evidence via chemometric statistical analysis. Her research focuses on lubricants from sexual assaults, gunshot residue, drug and metabolite identification, and other trace evidence. Additionally, she investigates ambient ionization reactions with the goal of developing targeted ionization methods.


Stephanie M. Cologna is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She received her Ph.D. under the mentorship of David H. Russell at Texas A&M University in 2010. Following her doctoral studies, Stephanie moved to the National Institutes of Health to pursue postdoctoral training. As a postdoc, she was jointly mentored by the late Alfred L. Yergey III and Forbes (Denny) Porter and investigated protein biomarkers of genetic disorders with cholesterol synthesis and trafficking defects. Research in the Cologna laboratory currently utilizes mass spectrometry combined with biochemical and molecular biology techniques to investigate protein and lipid alterations as well as modifications related to human disease. In particular, her group’s work is focused on neurodegeneration and the human disease, Niemann-Pick, type C.


Elyssia S. Gallagher is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Baylor University (2015–Present). In 2013, she received her Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Arizona under the direction of Dr. Craig Aspinwall. She was then awarded a National Research Council Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in the Biomolecular Measurement Division at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (2013–2015). In this position, she applied hydrogen/deuterium exchange-mass spectrometry (HDX-MS) to characterize protein structures, dynamics, and binding interactions (advisor: Dr. Jeffrey Hudgens). She also designed a new method for performing in-line HDX-MS analyses of transmembrane proteins. The long-term goal of the Gallagher group is to advance the field of glycobiology through the development of novel analytical approaches that define glycan structures and their roles in diverse cellular processes, ranging from the enhanced structural stability of glycoproteins to alterations in membrane receptor signaling. Current research efforts focus on the development and application of novel methods to characterize glycans, glycoproteins, and their biologically relevant interactions. Specifically, the Gallagher group is moving the HDX field in a new direction, focusing on the reproducible analysis of solvated carbohydrates and glycans.


Neha Garg joined the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2017 as an Assistant Professor. She completed her Ph.D. in Biochemistry in 2013 under the mentorship of Professor Wilfred A. van der Donk and Professor Satish Nair from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, where she investigated the biosynthesis and discovery of bacterial peptide natural products. Fascinated by the diverse functional roles of microbial secondary metabolites, she joined the laboratory of Professor Pieter C. Dorrestein at the University of California, San Diego, to interrogate the role of natural products produced by commensal and pathogenic microbiome in human health and disease and created a knowledge-based resource to visualize the metabolomes of human organs in 3D. At Georgia Tech, as a member of both the Center for Microbial Dynamics and Infection and the Center for Cystic Fibrosis and Airway Research, she investigates how small molecules play a role in host-microbe and microbe-microbe interactions and how these interactions change upon environmental triggers and drug-exposure and change in community structure. She utilizes spatial metabolomics to visualize such interactions at the molecular level and high resolution metabolomics and bioinformatics to inventory the underlying molecular players. She hopes her research will generate fundamental understanding of how a community of microbes co-exists with the host and this understanding will enable development of new treatment strategies for infectious diseases.


Michael Landreh is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology, at the Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm. After being introduced to mass spectrometry by Professor Emeritus Jan Sjövall, he obtained his Ph.D. in 2012 from the Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics at the Karolinska Institutet under the supervision of Professor Hans Jörnvall. He then joined Professor Jan Johansson in the Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society at the Karolinska Institutet as a postdoctoral researcher before moving to the group of Professor Dame Carol Robinson at the University of Oxford as a Marie Curie Fellow and Junior Research Fellow of St. Cross College. In 2017, he was appointed Assistant Professor in Protein Mass Spectrometry under the mentorship of Professor Sir David Lane at the Karolinska Institutet, where he received an Ingvar Carlsson Award from the Swedish Society for Strategic Research and became a tenure track group leader in 2018. Dr. Landreh’s research focuses on novel mass spectrometric approaches to study protein interactions that elude other spectroscopic methods. The Landreh group combines native MS, ion mobility MS, and HDX-MS to follow the complex assembly mechanism of spider silk, unravel lipid, and drug interactions in membrane proteins and elucidate how chaperones control amyloid formation.


Aneika C. Leney joined the School of Biosciences at the University of Birmingham, UK, in 2018. She completed her Ph.D. in Biological Mass Spectrometry at the University of Leeds, UK, under the supervision of Alison Ashcroft and Sheena Radford, funded in part by Waters. Then, she moved to the Alberta Glycomics Centre in Edmonton, Canada, to study protein-glycolipid interactions in John Klassen’s group. Following her interest in native mass spectrometry, she joined the laboratory of Albert Heck at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, whereby she utilized the latest Orbitrap technology to monitor protein posttranslational modifications. At Birmingham, the Leney group develops and applies a combination of mass spectrometry tools to monitor posttranslational modifications on proteins to determine how they alter protein function.


Yansheng Liu is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmacology at Yale University School of Medicine. He received a Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from the Shanghai Institute for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China in 2011. Between May 2011 and October 2017, he completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. Ruedi Aebersold at the Institute of Molecular Systems Biology, ETH Zurich, Switzerland, where he studied human “genotype-phenotype” association by characterizing proteome dosage effect and contributed to the development of SWATH-MS, a data-independent acquisition mass spectrometry (DIA-MS) technique. In December 2017, he joined the faculty at the Yale Cancer Biology Institute (West Campus) and Department of Pharmacology at Yale. He has co-authored over 35 publications, including first author publications in Cell and Nature Biotechnology. He currently serves as an Editorial Board member for the journals of Proteomics and Proteomics-Clinical Applications. His current research group aims to contribute to the development of multiplexed, high-throughput DIA-MS techniques, and other proteomic methods, as well as their applications in studies of protein turnover, cancer aneuploidy, and cancer signaling transduction.


Nick Manicke works on the development of novel mass spectrometry technologies, focusing especially on development of novel sampling and ionization methods. Applications of these approaches have included clinical measurements, chemical warfare agent detection, and forensic analyses. Manicke is an Assistant Professor at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology. He is also affiliated with the Forensic and Investigative Sciences Program. After receiving a B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of Evansville (Indiana) in 2004, Manicke moved to West Lafayette, IN, to pursue a Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry under the supervision of R. Graham Cooks. After graduating in 2009, he remained in the Cooks group as a postdoctoral researcher investigating paper spray mass spectrometry. In 2011, Manicke helped start a spin-out company based on that technology and served as the company’s principle scientist for 2 years before joining the faculty at IUPUI in 2013.


Michael Marty is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry at the University of Arizona (UA). He earned a B.A. in Chemistry and Mathematics at St. Olaf College (Northfield, MN) in 2010, graduating summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. He then completed his Ph.D. in Chemistry as a Springborn Fellow at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 2013 under the direction of Prof. Stephen Sligar. He then performed postdoctoral research at the University of Oxford with Prof. Dame Carol Robinson before joining the faculty at UA in 2016. He was awarded an ASMS Research Award in 2018, a 2017 Bisgrove Scholar Award, and an NIH Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award. His research group applies lipoprotein nanodiscs with native mass spectrometry to study membrane proteins and antimicrobial peptides and their interactions with lipid bilayers. As the developer of the UniDec suite of computational tools, he is also interested in mass spectrometry data analysis and deconvolution.


Laura M. Sanchez is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). She attended Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA, where she obtained a B.A. in Chemistry in 2007 and was an intramural dodgeball champion (‘05–07). She completed her Ph.D. in Chemistry at the University of California, Santa Cruz, in 2012 as an NSF graduate research fellow advised by Roger Linington. During this time, she synthesized natural product analogues while pursing the structure elucidation of natural products using a variety of analytical methods. As an NIH IRCADA postdoctoral fellow in Pieter Dorrestein’s lab at UC San Diego, she focused on applying molecular networking and imaging mass spectrometry to probe and characterize metabolic exchange in polymicrobial communities, specifically those associated with cheese rinds. Since 2015, she has been in her independent position at UIC, where her NIH- and NSF-funded research program utilizes a variety of mass spectrometry techniques to probe how cells and microbes use chemistry to coordinate activities in a variety of biological systems. Her lab has specifically focused on developing different biological systems to extend the use of imaging mass spectrometry to include chemical exchange in cancer metastasis and polymicrobial communities.


Liangliang Sun is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry at Michigan State University (MSU). He joined MSU in August 2016. Before that, he worked with Prof. Norman Dovichi at the University of Notre Dame as a postdoctoral fellow (2011–2012) and as a Research Assistant Professor (2013–2016). He received his Ph.D. degree in Analytical Chemistry in 2011 from the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, advised by Profs. Yukui Zhang and Lihua Zhang. He earned a bachelor degree in Bioengineering in 2005 from the Dalian University of Technology, China. The Sun group at MSU develops novel analytical tools based on capillary electrophoresis-mass spectrometry for comprehensive and sensitive bottom-up and top-down proteomics. The research group also applies these novel tools to uncover proteome dynamics in vertebrate embryos during early embryogenesis with high time resolution and single-cell resolution. He has published about 90 peer-reviewed papers, including 25 papers in the ACS journal Analytical Chemistry.


Gavin E. Reid

Associate Editor, JASMS

School of Chemistry, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute

The University of Melbourne

Parkville Victoria 3010, Australia

Email: gavin.reid@unimelb.edu.au

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Reid, G.E. 2019 ASMS “Emerging Investigators” Focus. J. Am. Soc. Mass Spectrom. 30, 1339–1342 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13361-019-02249-9

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