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Introduction to Modern Mass Spectrometry

Maastricht Summer School
Netherlands, Maastricht
Maastricht Summer School Netherlands, Bonnefantenstraat 2, 6211 KL Maastricht, The Netherlands
Tuition fee €598 per programme


Mass spectrometry is a chemical analysis technique that is experiencing an explosion in popularity and real-world applications. This course provides the fundamentals of mass spectrometry and gives hands-on experience in using a cutting-edge mass spectrometer used for medical and biochemical research.

Course content and structure:
Mass spectrometry is one of the most powerful and versatile chemical analysis techniques. It can be used to study samples ranging from human tissues and excretions to crude oil and antimatter. Much like computers, mass spectrometry is not new. The fundamentals were developed in part to assist with the enrichment of uranium in the Second World War. By the early 1950’s mass spectrometers could be found in many universities. Their applicability broadened over the decades from the field of physics, to physical chemistry, to applied chemistry, then to biological research, and finally medical testing. It is only in the past few years that mass spectrometers have begun to be used in real-time in places such as the operating theatre to assist surgeons in tissue identification. The aim of this course is to teach you the principles and applications of modern mass spectrometry combined with hands-on training and use of cutting-edge mass spectrometers.

This course will cover:
• The science and principles behind mass spectrometry
• The building blocks of a mass spectrometer
• Modern mass spectrometry methods and techniques
• Current and near-future applications of mass spectrometry
• An interactive tour of a cutting-edge mass spectrometry development facility
• Hands-on experience with using a mass spectrometer to analyse biologically-relevant samples.
• Basics of mass spectral data interpretation and processing
• An advanced data interpretation strategy, de novo peptide sequencing

This course is aimed at undergraduate students, graduate students, and professionals who may either use a mass spectrometer, may encounter data produced by mass spectrometry, or may produce samples that could be analysed by mass spectrometry in their future academic studies or career.

• Become familiar with the fundamental chemistry and physics behind mass spectrometry
• Learn the strengths and limitations of mass spectrometry
• Form a mental modal of a mass spectrometry experiment
• Gain familiarity and skills in using mass spectrometers
• Understand the current applications and near-future directions of the field of mass spectrometry
• Fit mass spectrometry into the framework of modern scientific fields

Course Duration and Dates
This is a one week course running from the 20th of July until the 24th of July, 2020

The number of credits earned after successfully concluding this course is the equivalent of 2 ECTS according to Maastricht University’s guidelines. For further information see the MSS terms and conditions

Ian Anthony is a postdoctoral researcher at the Maastricht Multimodal Molecular Imaging Institute (M4i) where he researches building and improving mass spectrometers. He received his doctorate in Chemistry from Baylor University in Waco, Texas. He has taught highly-acclaimed workshops on mass spectrometry, won awards for scientific communication, and published his research in leading analytical chemistry journals. His research interests are in developing imaging mass spectrometry and ion mobility, instrument design from a chemometric perspective, and combining spectroscopy and mass spectrometry.

Instruction language

• High school level algebra
• Basic chemistry and physics vocabulary (e.g., understanding the terms: ion, isotope, volt, charge, molecule, element, electron, proton, photon, diffusion, etc.)
• A strong interest in a field that regularly uses mass spectrometry such as medicine, biochemistry, chemistry, biology, neuroscience, environmental science, physics, semiconductor manufacture, forensics, petroleum refinement, etc.

Recommend literature
No textbook is required, however relevant literature will be presented in class primarily from the following sources:

Skoog, Douglas A., F. James Holler, and Stanley R. Crouch. Principles of instrumental analysis. Cengage learning, 2017.

Watson, J. Throck, and O. David Sparkman. Introduction to mass spectrometry: instrumentation, applications, and strategies for data interpretation. John Wiley & Sons, 2007.

Teaching methods
• Assignments
• Lectures
• Skills
• Trainings
• Work in subgroups
• Working Visits

Assessment methods
• Assignment
• Attendance
• Participation
• Written exam

Apply now! Block 4.1 2019/20
Application deadline
Jun 8, 2020 23:59
Europe/Amsterdam time
Studies commence
Jul 20, 2020

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States

Apply now! Block 4.1 2019/20
Application deadline
Jun 8, 2020 23:59
Europe/Amsterdam time
Studies commence
Jul 20, 2020

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States