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Jeffrey M. Spraggins


Our group focuses on the development of next-generation molecular imaging technologies and advanced applications for imaging mass spectrometry (IMS). Much of our work has centered on advancing the capabilities and applications of Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance (FTICR) platforms for molecular imaging. Traditionally thought of as only applicable for small molecule and lipid MALDI experiments, recently we have demonstrated FTICR protein imaging capabilities and the use of high mass accuracy imaging MS to assist in protein identificaiton. We have also been heavily involved in the development of ultra-high speed MALDI-TOF platforms. We published one of the early papers demonstrating the capabilities of continuous laser raster sampling for high throughput image acquisition. By firing the laser continuously we showed that high quality ion images could be acquired at rates greater than 30 pixels/s. In addition to instrumental and method development, our team is involved in a number of biocomputational projects related to improving molecular imaging capabilities and expanding the applicability of the technology. One area of particular interest is our work with multi-modal image fusion. This work aims to create new imaging modalities that synergistically combine data from different imaging experiments (e.g. microscopy and IMS). Our long term research goals are to develop instrumental and computational technologies that both maximize IMS performance and motivate novel approaches to translational research.


Molecular imaging data collected from a mouse kidney tissue section at 10 micron spatial resolution using MALDI FTICR imaging mass spectrometry. The selected image is an overlay of three lipids detected in negative ion mode (PA(40:4), PI(38:4) and PI(38:3)) that each have very unique spatial distributions highlighting the ability imaging mass spectrometry to provide high-quality histological images with the molecular specificity of mass spectrometry.