Mass Spectrometry Research Center
The Mass Spectrometry Research Center (MSRC) brings state-of-the-art mass spectrometry expertise, methodology, and instrumentation to the research and clinical infrastructure of the Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Mass spectrometry is a powerful method of analyzing the molecular weight and structure of a wide variety of molecules and has extensive applications in chemistry, biology, medicine, and forensics. Compounds ranging from small drugs and metabolites to large biomolecules such as proteins can be characterized with attomole sensitivity and ppm mass accuracy.
Richard Caprioli is the Director of the MSRC. Dr. Caprioli is one of the top mass spectroscopists in the world. He has published over 300 scientific papers, including three books. He holds more than 10 patents in scientific achievement. In 2003, Dr. Caprioli received the Thomson Medal Award from the International Mass Spectrometry Society for "outstanding achievements in mass spectrometry and for distinguished service to international mass spectrometry." He received the Field and Franklin Award from the American Chemical Society in April 2006 for Outstanding Achievement in Mass Spectrometry. He has been named as one of the "Pioneers in Proteomics" by the National Institutes of Health.
The MSRC at Vanderbilt University consists of the Proteomics Laboratory, the Mass Spectrometry Core, the Caprioli and Schey Research Labs, the Tissue Profiling and Imaging Core, and a Bioinformatics Group. The MSRC instrument facility currently houses 33 mass spectrometers, of which 18 have been assigned to the shared resource. Specialized instruments for imaging and proteomic studies are also available, such as high-resolution matrix spotters, a cryomacrotome for whole-animal imaging studies, a high-resolution digital microscope for documenting histology data, a 2D gel fluorescence imaging and 2D gel processing robot. Fifteen mass spectrometers with specialized analytical capabilities are available in the research core. The cores are closely integrated and share methodologies and expertise.