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Chemistry professor Julia Laskin awarded unique NSF Special Creativity Extension


Writer(s): Purdue Chemistry


Julia Laskin, William F. and Patty J. Miller Professor of Analytical Chemistry, has been recognized with a Special Creativity Extension by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

The project entitled “Emerging Computational Methods in Mass Spectrometry Imaging” has been awarded two years of additional funding, as well as additional equipment funds.

According to the NSF, the objective of this unique award is “to offer the most creative investigators an extended opportunity to attack adventurous, ‘high-risk’ opportunities in the same general research area, but not necessarily covered by the original/current award.”

The award recognizes Laskin’s creative accomplishments in developing innovative mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) techniques for mapping of lipids, proteins, and other important biomolecules in biological tissues. Her group has developed nanospray desorption electrospray ionization (nano-DESI) technique that enables imaging of biological samples at a resolution of 10 microns without any special sample preparation. This capability is particularly advantageous for imaging of biological systems in their native state and distinguishing individual cells and cell types in tissues.

Laskin’s team will use this funding to expand the capabilities of nano-DESI MSI for imaging with even higher spatial resolution and develop multimodal imaging approaches.

These capabilities will provide insights into key biochemical pathways in both health and disease.

The funding was extended by the NSF’s Chemical Measurement and Imaging Program and the Chemistry Division.