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Professor Julia Laskin part of a research team awarded NIH Director's Transformative Research Award


Writer(s): Purdue Chemistry, Caltech, NIH


Julia Laskin, William F. and Patty J. Miller Professor of Analytical Chemistry, is part of a research team that has been awarded the National Institute of Health's (NIH) Director's Transformative Research Award.

The collaboration is led by Michael Roukes, Frank J. Roshek Professor of Physics, Applied Physics, and Bioengineering at Caltech.

Roukes's five-year award will enable the co-investigators to develop novel nanotechnologies that can provide high-throughput, single-molecule analysis of the proteome—the population of all proteins within an organism—with subcellular resolution.

Dr. Laskin’s involvement and contributions to the team include the development of approaches for high-resolution protein imaging in tissues using mass spectrometry. Her group has developed nanospray desorption electrospray ionization (nano-DESI) — a powerful ambient ionization technique for molecular imaging of biological samples using mass spectrometry.

Recent demonstration of nano-DESI imaging of individual proteoforms and the development of novel microfluidic nano-DESI probes provide a path to imaging of the proteome with high spatial resolution. Subcellular deep mapping of the proteome will be achieved by combining these developments with single-molecule detection capabilities developed by the Caltech and Thermo teams.

This award, granted to only six teams nationwide this year, "supports individuals or teams proposing transformative projects that are inherently risky and untested but have the potential to create or overturn fundamental paradigms," according to the NIH.

In addition to Laskin, Roukes' co-investigators in this effort are Alexander Makarov of Thermo Fisher Scientific, Kenneth Shepard of Columbia University, and Amir Safavi-Naeini (MS/PhD '13) of Stanford University; and, at Caltech, Tsui-Fen Chou (research professor of biology and biological engineering), John Sader (research professor of aerospace and applied physics), and Jeff Jones (senior scientist, proteomics.)


Related links:

Project Title: Next-Generation Spatial -Omics: High-Throughput, Single-Molecule Proteomic Imaging with Subcellular Resolution

Grant ID: R01-MH136394

Funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and Common Fund