Analyst Emerging Investigator Lectureship 2021 – Nominations Open!

Analyst Emerging Investigator Lectureship 2021

Analyst is delighted to announce the fourth Analyst Emerging Investigator Lectureship is open for nominations.

The Analyst Emerging Investigator Lectureship is a platform for an early career analytical scientist to raise the profile of the analytical sciences to the wider scientific community and general public.

 

Lectureship details

  • The recipient will receive up to £2000 contribution towards travel and accommodation costs to attend and present a lecture based on their research at a leading international meeting.*
  • Recipients will be invited to contribute a review to Analyst in the following year.

 

How to nominate

Self-nomination is not permitted.

Nominators must send the following to the editorial team (at analyst-rsc@rsc.org) by 16th April 2021.

  • A recommendation letter, including the name, contact details and website URL of the nominee.
  • A one-page CV for the nominee, including their date of birth, summary of education and career, a list of up to five of their top independent publications, total numbers of publications.
  • A one-page statement of achievement with a lay summary, written by the nominee describing their best accomplishments.
  • A supporting letter of recommendation from an independent referee. Ideally this should not be someone from the same institution or the nominee’s post doc or PhD supervisor.

The nominator and independent referee should comment on the candidate’s presenting skills.

Incomplete nominations or those not adhering to the above requirements will not be considered.

Particulars and selection criteria

  • To be eligible for the Lectureship, nominees typically will be within 10 years of completing their PhD, but appropriate consideration will be given to those who have taken a career break or followed a different study path.
  • The editorial team will screen each nomination for eligibility and draw up a shortlist of candidates based on the nomination documents provided.
  • The recipient of the Lectureship will then be selected by the Analyst Editorial Board.

For any queries, please contact the editorial team at analyst-rsc@rsc.org.

Previous winners

2020 – Yi-Lun Ying

2018 – Wei Min

2016 – Patrick L. Hayes

 

*Should the Covid-19 outbreak prevent travel to an international meeting, the recipient will still be eligible to receive the prize.

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New Associate Editor: Karen Faulds

Analyst welcomes Professor Karen Faulds (University of Strathclyde, UK) as our newest Associate Editor.


Karen Faulds is a Professor in the Department of Pure and Applied Chemistry at the University of Strathclyde and an expert in the development of surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) and Raman techniques for novel analytical detection strategies and in particular multiplexed bioanalytical applications. She has published over 140 peer reviewed publications and has filed 5 patents. She has been awarded over £20M in funding as principal and co-investigator from EPSRC, BBSRC, charities, industry and governmental bodies. Her Groups research has been recognised through multiple awards including the Nexxus Young Life Scientist of the Year Award (2009), Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) Joseph Black Award (2013), Craver Award (2016) and Charles Mann Award (2019). She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (2012), the Society for Applied Spectroscopy (2017) and the Royal Society of Edinburgh (2018). She has been named as one of the Top 50 Women in Analytical Science (2016), Top 10 Spectroscopist (2017) and Top 100 Influential Analytical Scientists (2019) by The Analytical Scientist. She has given over 90 invited talks at national and international conferences.

She was elected as the first female and youngest Chair of the Infrared and Raman Discussion Group (IRDG) in 2014 which is the oldest spectroscopic discussion society in the UK. She is an appointed member of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) Chemical Biology Interface Division Council and a member of the Federation of Analytical Chemistry and Spectroscopy Societies (FACSS) Governing Board and a member of the International Steering Committee of the International Conference on Raman Spectroscopy (ICORS). She is the Strathclyde Director of the EPSRC and MRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Optical Medical Imaging joint between the Universities of Edinburgh and Strathclyde, serves on the editorial board of RSC Advances and the editorial advisory board for Analyst, Chemical Society Reviews and Analytical Chemistry.


Read some of Karen’s recent Analyst papers here:

DNA detection by SERS: Hybridisation parameters and the potential for asymmetric PCR

DOI: 10.1039/c9an01732a

 

Detection of cardiovascular disease associated miR-29a using paper-based microfluidics and surface enhanced Raman scattering

DOI: 10.1039/c9an01748h

 

Surface enhanced resonance Raman spectroscopy (SERRS) for probing through plastic and tissue barriers using a handheld spectrometer

DOI: 10.1039/c8an01249k

 

Development of a label-free Raman imaging technique for differentiation of malaria parasite infected from non-infected tissue

DOI: 10.1039/c7an01760j


Karen also served as a Guest Editor for Analyst‘s recent Analytical Nanoscience themed collection. You can read the collection here.


Submit your best work to Karen now!

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New Editor-in-Chief of Analyst – Norm Dovichi

Analyst is delighted to welcome a new Editor-in-Chief, Norm Dovichi. 

Norman Dovichi is an emeritus professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Notre Dame. He received his BSc with a dual major in Chemistry and Mathematics from Northern Illinois University and his PhD in Physical Analytical Chemistry from the University of Utah, where he was Joel Harris’s first PhD student. He spent two years as a postdoctoral fellow at Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory with Dick Keller. Since then he has held faculty positions at the Universities of Wyoming, Alberta, and Washington before moving to Notre Dame. Dovichi has graduated 69 PhD students, has published over 300 papers, holds seven US patents, and has given over 350 invited talks. He has served on the editorial advisory boards of 16 journals and served as Associate Editor for Analytical Chemistry for 17 years. He also has been named as an honorary professor at the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

His group played a pioneering role in a range of research topics in analytical chemistry. In the 1980s, he introduced the concept of single molecule detection to the chemical literature; in recognition for this work, he was invited as a plenary lecturer at the Nobel Conference on Single Molecule Spectroscopy held in 1999. In the 1990s, his group developed capillary array electrophoresis instruments for high-throughput DNA sequencing. He was recognized for this work by the journal Science as an “Unsung Hero of the Human Genome Project” and he was a plenary lecturer at the symposium on the Evolution of DNA Sequencing Technology, held at Cold Springs Harbor in 2015. Over the last decade, his group has focused its attention on coupling capillary electrophoresis with tandem mass spectrometry as a tool for high throughput and high sensitivity proteomic analysis. This instrumentation has been patented and is now marked by CMP Scientific and Agilent. Finally, his group has recently coupled capillary electrophoresis with next-generation DNA sequencing for the comprehensive metagenomic analysis of complex environmental microbiomes.


Analyst would also like to take this opportunity to thank our previous Editor-in-Chief, Professor Duncan Graham, for his service to the journal.


Submit your best work to Norm and our team of Associate Editors now! 

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Analyst Emerging Investigator Lectureship 2020 Winner

Analyst is delighted to announce the winner of our 2020 Emerging Investigator Lectureship, Yi-Lun Ying. This Lectureship was launched to be a platform for an early career analytical scientist to raise the profile of the analytical sciences to the wider scientific community and general public.

Yilun Ying

Dr. Yi-Lun Ying received her B.Sc in Fine Chemistry (2009), and Ph.D in Analytical Chemistry (2014) from East China University of Science and Technology (ECUST). After a doctoral exchange study in the University of Birmingham (2014), Dr. Ying carried out her postdoctoral research on nanopore single-molecule analysis and nanoscaled biosensors at ECUST. Since 2016, she started her independent work on the nanopore electrochemistry at ECUST. In 2019, she was promoted to professor at State Key Laboratory of Analytical Chemistry for Life Science in Nanjing University and also acted as a co-PI at the Chemistry and Biomedicine Innovation Center.

Dr. Ying currently focuses on developing electro-optical nanopore sensing modules for addressing peptide/protein sequencing and revealing the heterogeneous structure-activity relationship of the single biomolecules. To push the detection limit of the electrochemical measurement, her team is currently exploring the advanced artificial intelligence for nanopore arrays and innovating new sensing mechanisms to reserve the richest single molecule dynamics.

Dr. Ying’s work has been recognized by several awards and honors, including the L’Oreal-UNESCO International Rising Talents (2016), Excellent Young Scholars of National Natural Science Foundation of China (2019), National Ten Thousand Talent Program for Young Top-Notch Talent (2019). She has also served as an Editor for Results in Chemistry from its inception.

Once again, we offer our warmest congratulations to Yi-Lun on her acheivement!


Read some of Dr Ying’s most recent Analyst papers here*:

A thumb-size electrochemical system for portable sensors
Analyst, 2018, 143, 2760-2764
The analysis of single cysteine molecules with an aerolysin nanopore
Analyst, 2020,145, 1179-1183
Analyst, 2020,145, 2510-2514
*Free to read until July 15th with an RSC publishing account
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Analyst Emerging Investigator Lectureship 2020

Analyst is delighted to announce the third Analyst Emerging Investigator Lectureship is open for nominations.

The Analyst Emerging Investigator Lectureship is a platform for an early career analytical scientist to raise the profile of the analytical sciences to the wider scientific community and general public.

 

 

 

Lectureship details

  • The recipient will receive up to £2000 contribution towards travel and accommodation costs to attend and present a lecture based on their research at a leading international meeting.
  • Recipients will be invited to contribute a review to Analyst in the following year.

 

 

How to nominate

Self-nomination is not permitted.

Nominators must send the following to the editorial team (at analyst-rsc@rsc.org) by 29th February 2020:

  • A recommendation letter, including the name, contact details and website URL of the nominee.
  • A one-page CV for the nominee, including their date of birth, summary of education and career, a list of up to five of their top independent publications, total numbers of publications.
  • A one-page statement of achievement with a lay summary, written by the nominee describing their best accomplishments.
  • A supporting letter of recommendation from an independent referee. Ideally this should not be someone from the same institution or the nominee’s post doc or PhD supervisor.

The nominator and independent referee should comment on the candidate’s presenting skills.

Incomplete nominations or those not adhering to the above requirements will not be considered.

Particulars and selection criteria

  • To be eligible for the Lectureship, nominees typically will be within 10 years of completing their PhD, but appropriate consideration will be given to those who have taken a career break or followed a different study path.
  • The editorial team will screen each nomination for eligibility and draw up a shortlist of candidates based on the nomination documents provided.
  • The recipient of the Lectureship will then be selected by the Analyst Editorial Board.

For any queries, please contact the editorial team at analyst-rsc@rsc.org.

Previous winners

2018 – Wei Min

2016 – Patrick L. Hayes

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ABS Trust: Gordon F. Kirkbright and Edward Steers Bursary Awards, 2022.

The Gordon F. Kirkbright bursary award is a prestigious annual award that assists a promising early career scientist of any nation to attend a recognised scientific meeting or visit a place of learning. The fund for this bursary was established in 1985 as a memorial to Professor Gordon Kirkbright in recognition of his contributions to analytical spectroscopy and to science in general.

Owing to the generosity of one of our former trustees, an eminent atomic spectroscopist, Professor Edward B.M. Steers, we are now able to award an annual Edward Steers bursary, in addition to the long standing Gordon Kirkbright bursary, to similarly assist a promising early scientist engaged in or utilising analytical spectroscopic techniques.

The ABS Trust defines early career as being either a student, or an employee in a non-tenured academic post or in industry, within 7 years of award of PhD excluding career breaks. The same conditions apply to each bursary.

Applications are invited for both the 2022 Gordon Kirkbright Bursary and the 2022 Edward Steers Bursary.  Although both funds are administered by the ABS Trust, the Kirkbright award is not restricted to spectroscopists, but is open to all involved with or utilising analytical science-based techniques.

Application Forms can be downloaded via:

http://www.abstrust.org/kirkbright-and-steers-bursary-awards

or for further information visit:

http://www.abstrust.org/ or contact abstrustuk.kirkbright@gmail.com

The closing date for entries is 30 November 2021.

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Analyst Desktop Seminar featuring Yi-Lun Ying and Jaebum Choo

The Royal Society of Chemistry is delighted to announce our inaugural free, online-only RSC Desktop Seminar Lectureship Series, featuring virtual talks by our recent journal lectureship winners. Each session will include an introductory talk by a journal board member as well as the lectureship winner. The RSC Desktop Seminar Lectureship Series is an effort to not only replace in-person research seminars during the current pandemic situation but to also expand access for researchers around the world looking to connect to some of the leading minds in the chemical sciences.

This webinar will allow researchers to hear from the Analyst Emerging Investigator Lectureship 2020 winner.

Analyst desktop seminar: Register now!

23rd February 2021; 8am GMT/4pm CST

 

Speakers

  • Jaebum Choo (Chung-Ang University) – “Application of nanodimple-based SERS sensors for ultrasensitive detection of COVID-19 biomarkers”
  • Yi-Lun Ying (Nanjing University) – “Nanopore Dynamic Chemistry for Single-Molecule Sensing”

 

Programme

16:00 CST   Introduction

16:05 CST   Application of nanodimple-based SERS sensors for ultrasensitive detection of COVID-19                                                                               biomarkers – Jaebum Choo

16:25 CST   Questions

16:30 CST   Nanopore Dynamic Chemistry for Single-Molecule Sensing – Yi-Lun Ying

17.10 CST   Questions

17.25 CST   Closing remarks

 

Featuring:

Professor Jaebum Choo

Jaebum Choo is a Professor in the Department of Chemistry at Chung-Ang University. He obtained a PhD in Molecular Spectroscopy at Texas A&M University in 1994. From 1995-2019, he was a faculty member of Hanyang University. He was a Director of the “Center for Integrated Human Sensing System” (ERC, 2009-2013) and a BK21+ Director of Bionano Fusion Technology Program (2013-2019) supported by National Research Foundation of Korea. Professor Choo became a Baik Nam Distinguished Professor in 2015 due to his excellent academic achievements. His main research areas are SERS, biosensors, micro-devices and molecular spectroscopy. His current research programs are centered on the development of highly sensitive optical nano-sensor systems for rapid and sensitive in vitro diagnostics. He has given more than 130 invited lectures in the USA, Europe and Asia, published over 250 research papers in peer-reviewed journals and contributed six book chapters.

Scientific talk: Application of nanodimple-based SERS sensors for ultrasensitive detection of COVID-19 biomarkers

Dr Yi-Lun Ying

Dr. Yi-Lun Ying received her B.Sc in Fine Chemistry (2009), and Ph.D in Analytical Chemistry (2014) from East China University of Science and Technology (ECUST). After a doctoral exchange study in the University of Birmingham (2014), Dr. Ying carried out her postdoctoral research on nanopore single-molecule analysis and nanoscaled biosensors at ECUST. Since 2016, she started her independent work on the nanopore electrochemistry at ECUST. In 2019, she was promoted to professor at State Key Laboratory of Analytical Chemistry for Life Science in Nanjing University and also acted as a co-PI at the Chemistry and Biomedicine Innovation Center.Dr. Ying currently focuses on developing electro-optical nanopore sensing modules for addressing peptide/protein sequencing and revealing the heterogeneous structure-activity relationship of the single biomolecules. To push the detection limit of the electrochemical measurement, her team is currently exploring the advanced artificial intelligence for nanopore arrays and innovating new sensing mechanisms to reserve the richest single molecule dynamics.

Scientific talk: Nanopore Dynamic Chemistry for Single-Molecule Sensing

We hope that you can join us for this exciting event.

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Analyst Desktop Seminar featuring Yi-Lun Ying and Jaebum Choo

The Royal Society of Chemistry is delighted to announce our inaugural free, online-only RSC Desktop Seminar Lectureship Series, featuring virtual talks by our recent journal lectureship winners. Each session will include an introductory talk by a journal board member as well as the lectureship winner. The RSC Desktop Seminar Lectureship Series is an effort to not only replace in-person research seminars during the current pandemic situation but to also expand access for researchers around the world looking to connect to some of the leading minds in the chemical sciences.

This webinar will allow researchers to hear from the Analyst Emerging Investigator Lectureship 2020 winner.

Register now!


Date & Time: 23rd February 2021; 8am GMT/4pm CST

Speakers

  • Jaebum Choo (Chung-Ang University) – “Application of nanodimple-based SERS sensors for ultrasensitive detection of COVID-19 biomarkers”
  • Yi-Lun Ying (Nanjing University) – “Nanopore Dynamic Chemistry for Single-Molecule Sensing”

Programme

16:00 CST    Introduction from Analyst Executive Editor, Philippa Ross

16:05 CST    Application of nanodimple-based SERS sensors for ultrasensitive detection of COVID-19                                                                               biomarkers – Jaebum Choo

16:25 CST    Questions

16:30 CST    Nanopore Dynamic Chemistry for Single-Molecule Sensing – Yi-Lun Ying

17.10 CST    Questions

17.25 CST    Closing remarks

 

Featuring:

Professor Jaebum Choo

Jaebum Choo is a Professor in the Department of Chemistry at Chung-Ang University. He obtained a PhD in Molecular Spectroscopy at Texas A&M University in 1994. From 1995-2019, he was a faculty member of Hanyang University. He was a Director of the “Center for Integrated Human Sensing System” (ERC, 2009-2013) and a BK21+ Director of Bionano Fusion Technology Program (2013-2019) supported by National Research Foundation of Korea. Professor Choo became a Baik Nam Distinguished Professor in 2015 due to his excellent academic achievements. His main research areas are SERS, biosensors, micro-devices and molecular spectroscopy. His current research programs are centered on the development of highly sensitive optical nano-sensor systems for rapid and sensitive in vitro diagnostics. He has given more than 130 invited lectures in the USA, Europe and Asia, published over 250 research papers in peer-reviewed journals and contributed six book chapters.

Scientific talk: Application of nanodimple-based SERS sensors for ultrasensitive detection of COVID-19 biomarkers

 

Dr Yi-Lun Ying

Dr. Yi-Lun Ying received her B.Sc in Fine Chemistry (2009), and Ph.D in Analytical Chemistry (2014)

Yilun Ying

from East China University of Science and Technology (ECUST). After a doctoral exchange study in the University of Birmingham (2014), Dr. Ying carried out her postdoctoral research on nanopore single-molecule analysis and nanoscaled biosensors at ECUST. Since 2016, she started her independent work on the nanopore electrochemistry at ECUST. In 2019, she was promoted to professor at State Key Laboratory of Analytical Chemistry for Life Science in Nanjing University and also acted as a co-PI at the Chemistry and Biomedicine Innovation Center.Dr. Ying currently focuses on developing electro-optical nanopore sensing modules for addressing peptide/protein sequencing and revealing the heterogeneous structure-activity relationship of the single biomolecules. To push the detection limit of the electrochemical measurement, her team is currently exploring the advanced artificial intelligence for nanopore arrays and innovating new sensing mechanisms to reserve the richest single molecule dynamics.

Scientific talk: Nanopore Dynamic Chemistry for Single-Molecule Sensing


We hope that you can join us for this exciting event.

 

 

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Karen Faulds’ Editor’s Choice Collection in Analyst

We are delighted that Professor Karen Faulds (University of Strathclyde, UK) recently joined the Analyst Editorial Board.

“I am delighted and honoured to have joined Analyst as an Associate Editor and look forward to contributing in a positive way to the publishing activities of the RSC as we address inequalities and improve diversity in publishing. This is an issue I feel very passionately about and will work hard to improve during my time as an Associate Editor” says Professor Faulds.

Professor Faulds’ research focuses on using surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) to create new approaches to bioanalysis for use in the life and clinical sciences. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, Strathclyde Director of the EPSRC and MRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Optical Medical Imaging, and was named as one of the Top 100 Influential Analytical Scientists (2019) by The Analytical Scientist.

Professor Faulds is looking forward to handling submissions in the areas of spectroscopy, analytical nanoscience, bioanalytical sensors, and biomedical analysis and diagnostics.

Professor Faulds has looked back at SERS papers published in Analyst over the last few years, and highlighted some of the most exciting and outstanding contributions for her Editor’s Choice collection below. She adds that “it was very challenging to select this collection of representative articles due to the high number of excellent SERS articles published in Analyst. I hope you enjoy reading these articles as much as I did, and that these demonstrate the breadth and depth of SERS research published in Analyst; from multiplexed bioassays to imaging to SESORS.”


A graphene oxide/gold nanoparticle-based amplification method for SERS immunoassay of cardiac troponin I
Xiuli Fu, Yunqing Wang, Yongming Liu, Huitao Liu, Longwen Fu, Jiahui Wen, Jingwen Li, Peihai Wei and Lingxin Chen
Paper, from our Bioanalytical Sensors themed collection
Analyst, 2019, 144, 1582-1589

Protein corona-resistant SERS tags for live cell detection of integrin receptors
Sian Sloan-Dennison, MaKenzie R. Bevins, Brian T. Scarpitti, Victoria K. Sauvé and Zachary D. Schultz
Paper
Analyst, 2019, 144, 5538-5546

Rapid differentiation of Campylobacter jejuni cell wall mutants using Raman spectroscopy, SERS and mass spectrometry combined with chemometrics
Malama Chisanga, Dennis Linton, Howbeer Muhamadali, David I. Ellis, Richard L. Kimber, Aleksandr Mironov and Royston Goodacre
Paper, from our Analytical Nanoscience themed collection
Analyst, 2020, 145, 1236-1249

Highly sensitive detection of exosomes by SERS using gold nanostar@Raman reporter@nanoshell structures modified with a bivalent cholesterol-labeled DNA anchor
Ya-Fei Tian, Cui-Fang Ning, Fang He, Bin-Cheng Yin and  Bang-Ce Ye
Paper, HOT article
Analyst, 2018, 143, 4915-4922

A rapid dual-channel readout approach for sensing carbendazim with 4-aminobenzenethiol-functionalized core-shell Au@Ag nanoparticles
Kaiqiang Wang, Da-Wen Sun, Hongbin Pu and Qingyi Wei
Paper
Analyst, 2020, 145, 1801-1809

Surface enhanced Raman scattering sensor for highly sensitive and selective detection of ochratoxin A
Raymond Gillibert, Mohamed N. Triba and Marc Lamy de la Chapelle
Paper, from our Analytical Nanoscience and Bioanalytical Sensors themed collections
Analyst, 2018, 143, 339-345

Dynamic pH measurements of intracellular pathways using nano-plasmonic assemblies
Kazuki Bando, Zhiqiang Zhang, Duncan Graham, Karen Faulds, Katumasa Fujita and Satoshi Kawata
Paper, from our Analytical Nanoscience themed collection
Analyst, 2020, 145, 5768-5775

Multiplexed detection of biomarkers in lateral-flow immunoassays
Lei Huang, Shulin Tian, Wenhao Zhao, Ke Liu, Xing Ma and Jinhong Guo
Minireview
Analyst, 2020, 145, 2828-2840

PEGylated nanographene-mediated metallic nanoparticle clusters for surface enhanced Raman scattering-based biosensing
Ahmed Ali, Eun Young Hwang, Jaebum Choo and Dong Woo Lim
Paper
Analyst, 2018, 143, 2604-2615

Surface-enhanced spatially-offset Raman spectroscopy (SESORS) for detection of neurochemicals through the skull at physiologically relevant concentrations
Amber S. Moody, Taylor D. Payne, Brian A. Barth and Bhavya Sharma
Paper, from our Analytical Science in Neurochemistry themed collection
Analyst, 2020, 145, 1885-1893

Direct monitoring of light mediated hyperthermia induced within mammalian tissues using surface enhanced spatially offset Raman spectroscopy (T-SESORS)
Benjamin Gardner, Pavel Matousek and Nick Stone
Paper, Open Access
Analyst, 2019, 144, 3552-3555

Paper-based SERS analysis with smartphones as Raman spectral analyzers
Fanyu Zeng, Taotao Mou, Chengchen Zhang, Xiaoqing Huang, Bing Wang, Xing Ma and Jinhong Guo
Communication, HOT article, from our Analytical Nanoscience themed collection
Analyst, 2019, 144, 137-142

Rapid and specific duplex detection of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus genes by surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy
Phani R. Potluri, Vinoth Kumar Rajendran, Anwar Sunna and Yuling Wang
Paper
Analyst, 2020, 145, 2789-2794


 

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Emerging Investigator Series – Rebecca Whelan

Analyst is delighted to introduce our latest Emerging Investigator, Rebecca Whelan! You can read Dr Whelan’s paper, Affinity-free enrichment and mass spectrometry analysis of the ovarian cancer biomarker CA125 (MUC16) from patient-derived ascites, and find out more about her in the interview below!


Rebecca Whelan was born and raised in various small Wisconsin towns. She earned her B.A. with a double major in Chemistry and English from Lawrence University in Appleton, WI. She then moved west, joining Dick Zare’s lab at Stanford University for graduate work. Her focus there was the development of biosensor detectors for capillary electrophoresis (CE) separations. CE separations and affinity recognition remained core themes during her postdoc with Bob Kennedy at the University of Michigan and the start of her independent career at Oberlin College. Rebecca established a vigorous bioanalytical chemistry research program centered on undergraduate scholars at Oberlin and remained there for 14 years. She was excited to have the chance to relocate to the University of Notre Dame in August 2018. The Whelan lab at Notre Dame works in bioanalytical chemistry, using molecular recognition, small-scale separations, and mass spectrometry to characterize and detect ovarian cancer biomarkers.


  1. Your recent Emerging Investigator Series paper focuses on analysis of an ovarian cancer biomarker, using mass spectrometry. How has your research evolved from your first article to this most recent article?

Our first article on using mass spectrometry to analyse ovarian cancer biomarker CA125 (MUC16) was a method development paper, in which we showed the compatibility of suspension trapping with this large mucin protein (Anal Bioanal Chem, 2020, 412, 6361-6370). That study used two commercially available sources of CA125, one being a truncated variant expressed in CHO cells, and the other being full-length protein isolated from pooled human biofluids. The innovation in this most recent paper is analysing the CA125 isolated from the biofluids of individual ovarian cancer patients.

 

  1. What aspect of your work are you most excited about at the moment?

We are excited—and humbled—by the opportunity to continue working with samples from individuals with ovarian cancer. As we apply our bottom-up proteomics analysis strategy to samples derived from a larger number of individuals, we will look both for what is shared among samples and what is unique to individuals. The possibility of breaking through the current paradigm of how CA125 is detected to find a personalized CA125 signature that is detectable by mass spectrometry is very exciting to us. Such an innovation would generate new opportunities in personalized care for this serious disease. At the same time, we will continue to push the analytical performance of our method, lowering the limit of detection and improving quantitation through targeted analysis.

 

  1. In your opinion, what is the biggest advantage to using a mass spectrometry based assay, over other possible methods of analysis?

CA125 is currently detected through an immunoassay that has remain largely unchanged for decades. As with any immunoassay, what the assay really detects is an epitope, which in this case is mostly likely a discontinuous peptide sequence. Amazingly, the epitopes of CA125 have not been definitively identified (although we, and others, are actively working on that!) We wondered: what if some CA125 proteoforms in a patient’s blood happen to contain fewer epitopes, or happen to present epitopes in configurations that are not detectable by the immunoassay? Such samples would be incorrectly assessed as containing less CA125 than they actually do, which could have significant clinical implications. Mass spectrometry side-steps this dependence on epitope recognition completely.

 

  1. What do you find most challenging about your research?

CA125 (MUC16) is a challenging analyte. It’s the second-largest protein in the human body, with a variable molecular weight of 3 to 5 MDa, depending on its glycosylation. Like many other mucin proteins, it’s sticky: after all, one of its biological functions is to make mucus! In practical terms, this large size and stickiness means that if you aren’t careful, the protein will adsorb irreversibly to tips and tubes while also sticking to itself. In previous work, my group used this stickiness to advantage, performing aptamer selection inside tubes to which CA125 had adsorbed (J. Nucleic Acids, 2017, Article ID 9879135, 9 pages). For quantitation, however, the stickiness poses an obstacle that must be overcome. In addition to the analyte’s innate challenge, we work with a challenging sample matrix: crude human biofluid is our starting material. Any analyst who has tried to transition an assay from well-controlled conditions (commercially available analyte dissolved in buffer) to real-life samples knows that complexity and challenge abound in the real world. We firmly believe, however, that analytical researchers must strive to work within this complexity, because that it how real benefit to human health can be achieved.

 

  1. At which upcoming conferences or events may our readers meet you?

Naviya Schuster-Little—the graduate student who is first author on this paper—will be presenting at Pittcon 2021 in a virtual session (Tuesday, March 9, 8:30 am – 8:50 am) and would love to hear your feedback and answer your questions! I am a devoted attendee of the Midwestern Universities Analytical Chemistry Conference (MUACC) and the Gordon Research Conference on Bioanalytical Sensors, as well as Pittcon.

 

  1. How do you spend your spare time?

Music is a big part of my life. I’ve had several stints as a DJ on college radio stations in cities where I’ve lived, including Appleton, Wisconsin (WLFM) and Oberlin, Ohio (WOBC). I also love to cook (vegetarian, mostly) and go on rambles in places both familiar and unfamiliar.

 

  1. Which profession would you choose if you were not a scientist?

I’m from a family of educators and can’t imagine a life that does not involve teaching in some capacity. As an undergraduate, I completed an English major as well as a Chemistry major and edited my college’s literary magazine. After college, I seriously considered earning a PhD in 17th century English literature (I love John Donne!) or an MFA in poetry. So maybe I would be a teacher of writing or literature.


If you are interested in reading other articles from the Emerging Investigator Series, you can find them here.

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Emerging Investigator Series: Jean-Nicolas Dumez

Introducing one of our recent Emerging Investigator Series authors, Dr Jean-Nicolas Dumez! Read Dr Dumez’s recent paper ‘online reaction monitoring by single-scan 2D NMR under flow conditions,’ and find out more about him in the interview below!


Jean-Nicolas Dumez is a CNRS associate scientist at the University of Nantes, working on the developments of NMR methods for the analysis of solution mixture. He did a Ph.D. in solid-state NMR at the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon in France, followed by two post-doctoral stays, working in magnetic resonance imaging, at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, then in hyperpolarisation, at the University of Southampton in the UK. He joined the CNRS and moved to solution-state NMR in 2014, first in Paris-Saclay, then in Nantes. He works on the development of NMR methods, and currently focuses on the analysis of solution mixtures.


Your recent Emerging Investigator Series paper focuses on 2D NMR for online reaction monitoring. How has your research evolved from your first article to this most recent article?

I have worked in nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) since my master’s research project, but I have moved from solids to imaging to liquids. My main interest is in the development and use of spin-dynamics tools and concepts to look at molecules. I have enjoyed moving between topics, and this paper includes ingredients collected along the way in these different areas.

What aspect of your work are you most excited about at the moment?

We are working on fast methods related to the ones described in the Analyst paper, which use diffusion information to separate the spectra of molecules in a mixture. This involves concepts that we borrow from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and a nice mix of theory, experiments and simulation. We are also working towards reaction monitoring with these methods.

In your opinion, what is the biggest advantage to using single-scan ultrafast 2D NMR compared to other NMR methods?

The obvious advantage is speed. For out-of-equilibrium systems (chemical reactions, hyperpolarised substrates) that evolves on a minute timescale or less, there is often no other way to collect a full 2D NMR spectrum.

What do you find most challenging about your research?

When developing NMR methods, sometimes finding the right concept is the most challenging aspect and then everything runs smoothly. Sometimes turning this concept into something that works for more than special cases is the real challenge. Both can be interesting, and I find it hard to predict in advance.   

At which upcoming conferences or events may our readers meet you?

I usually participate to magnetic resonance conferences such as EUROMAR and ENC. Hopefully the NMR community will be able meet in Asilomar next year!

How do you spend your spare time?

Most of my time outside the lab is happily spent with my family, and I occasionally still get a chance to read a few pages from a novel or listen to a recent record.

Which profession would you choose if you were not a scientist?

I have never contemplated a profession that was not science related, be it teaching, fundamental research, R & D…


 

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