Mass Spectrometry Imaging
There is a growing application of this collection of techniques and they are being inclused in correlative microscopy pipelines, therefore the RMS seemed a logical choice to address this void and bring together expertise in so many different microscopy and imaging modalities.
Other science section
In response to communications with other members of the mass spectrometry imaging community, it was recognised that there was no section or focused interest group within the RMS based on mass spectrometry imaging. Yet, based on the growing application of this collection of techniques, and especially their ever increasing inclusion in correlative microscopy pipelines, the RMS seemed to be a logical choice to address this void as no other society can bring together expertise in so many different microscopy and imaging modalities.
Some points that were raised by everyone who responded were that it would be beneficial for the group’s priorities to raise public and political awareness for mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) across disciplines in order for the technique(s) to gain more visibility and representation at conferences and politically-based think-tank sessions that report directly to the various funding agencies. A second common theme was to demonstrate the potential of MSI in all disciplines and promote communication, collaboration and support in the MSI community so that there is a greater understanding and knowledge of the resources available and of the subject overall.
From the industrial viewpoint, specific suggestions included that one of the main aims for the group should be to raise awareness of ambient (or atmospheric) mass spectrometry techniques, as some samples can be difficult to analyse using traditional methods and some emerging methods hold great promise. In addition, it was recognised that an MSI Focused Interest Group would provide an effective means of communicating information (and raising awareness of) MSI techniques and applications. Specifically, the MSI FIG would provide a vehicle for education about the techniques, in particular how some techniques that are traditionally used in biosciences could be applied in the physical sciences and vice-versa. It was also noted that a FIG could help spawn interest in MSI to younger scientists and would assist in the development of future knowledgeable MSI researchers (and thus experts for careers in industry R&D). An MSI FIG would also be an effective means of developing collaborative relationships between universities and industry.
From the academia side, it was suggested that the group would be an effective way to facilitate links between researchers who are developing MSI technology and their potential end-users (and quite possibly the MSI equipment manufacturers themselves), as well as encouraging technical discussions between users of mass spectrometry imaging. Furthermore, at the undergraduate level many of the MSI techniques used by the experts within this group are not taught nor discussed to any significant length in university curricula across all disciplines (there might be a mention of TOF-SIMS occasionally). As it currently stands, most starting M.Phil or PhD/D.Phil students are starting from “ground zero” in contrast to other techniques for which they have greater knowledge such as optical, confocal or electron microscopy methods. The group would like to see that the “playing field” is evened out so to speak.
We also believe it critical that any MSI FIG include representation from the data processing, image representation and data handling standpoint. The FIG could be used as a platform, for example, for standardization of MSI imaging representations, dissemination of image processing pipelines, handling of metadata for reproducibility and best practices for image processing and mathematical/statistical analysis with discussions on their limits of interpretability. With large data sets that will only continue to grow, the group would be a good platform to gain support for data handling, processing and analysis tasks and could be used to address a particular need for more discussion surrounding data storage and transfer, as MSI data are becoming very large and complex and used in large cohort / longitudinal studies fairly routinely now.
Paul spent 20 years working in colloid science at the BBSRC Institute of Food Research (became ‘The Quadram Institute’ in 2018) in Norwich, specialising in electron, light and scanning probe microscopy.
Paul has worked at Smith+Nephew (global medical devices company) for the past 15 years. His laboratory is currently located at Smith+Nephew’s Wound Dressing factory in Hull, enabling daily contact with R&D, Patents and Manufacturing colleagues.
Paul’s laboratory uses a wide range of microscopies and spectroscopies including SEM, TEM, LM, µ-XCT, EDX, µ-XRF, FTIR and Raman for microstructural characterisations and measurements. The diversity of materials and biological specimen types investigated by Paul’s team necessitates the use of MSI and several other surface specific analytical techniques to investigate nanoscale
Stephanie is an Associate Principal Scientist of the Imaging and Data Analytics group in AstraZeneca, with a focus on the integration of different imaging modalities and data-rich technologies to explore complex tissue biology. She leads the implementation of the Imaging Mass Cytometry platform within AstraZeneca and cross-functional teams for its integration with Histology and Mass Spectrometry Imaging to understand the cell types and phenotypes underlying heterogeneity of drug delivery, response and resistance. The power of the approach is exemplified as part of the Rosetta CRUK Grand Challenge to create a Complete Cartography of Cancer. The Imaging and Data Analytics group is a global capability encompassing imaging capabilities from in vivo radiomics, histopathology, multiplexed tissue imaging, mass spectrometry imaging, at sites in the UK, Sweden and US. These sit alongside data science hubs with expertise in machine learning, AI, bioinformatics, multi-omics analysis, cheminformatics, modelling, computer vision and image analysis to support projects from across the AstraZeneca portfolio. In her previous role in the High Content Biology group, Stephanie specialised in the development of high content immunofluorescence imaging and advanced image analysis to reveal greater insight from high throughput screens for mechanism of action of genotoxicity and DNA damage response. Before joining AstraZeneca, Stephanie completed her undergraduate Masters at the University of Oxford, and her PhD at the Institute of Cancer Research, working in the Cell Communication and Cancer Biology labs of Dr Claus Jorgensen and Professor Chris Marshall, and in collaboration with the Dynamical Cell Systems team lead by Professor Chris Bakal using Mass Spectrometry Proteomics and High Content Imaging to study Tumour-Stroma signalling in Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma.
Amy gained her PhD in Analytical Chemistry from Loughborough University, where she collaborated with a pan-European consortium to monitor cell-based therapies in transplant research. She followed this by securing an Enterprise Fellowship, which enabled her to work with a leading laser ablation manufacturer to commercialise innovations in imaging technology. She is currently employed as a Lecturer in Chemistry at Loughborough University. Her current research involves imaging of trace metals in biological samples using LA-ICP-MS. Typical applications include the investigation of metallodrugs in cancer research and the imaging of anomalies, such as nanoparticles and fibres, in tissue. She also has a keen interest in the development of software for both imaging research and teaching.
Spencer Thomas is a Senior Research Scientist at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) and a Visiting Research Fellow at the Department of Computer Science at the University of Surrey. His background is in physics, computer science and mathematics, with research interests in data analytics, multimodal data and machine learning. Spencer join The National Centre of Excellence in Mass Spectrometry Imaging (NiCE-MSI) at NPL in 2016 and has worked with a range of mass spectrometry imaging modalities including MALDI, DESI, REIMS, ToF-SIMS and Orbi-SIMS, NanoSIMS, LA-ICP-MS and Imaging Mass Cytometry. In addition, he has worked with related techniques such as Raman and histology imaging data for multi-modal studies. Spencer’s research is primarily in the analysis of data from healthcare domain with machine learning, as well as the storage and curation of mass spectrometry data.
Carla currently works in the Bioimaging group of GSK as an Scientific Leader, in Cellular Imaging and Dynamics. The group focus both on microscopy (confocal and super resolution) and mass spectrometry (SIMS and single-cell high resolution metabolomics) at a cellular level, concentrating on the effects of pharmacological treatment of cells and tissues.
Carla has worked in the pharmaceutical industry for 14 years. Her first role was at Pfizer in Sandwich where she worked mainly as an analytical chemist/proteomics scientist, she was for just over 5 years. She then moved to Novartis in Basel for 9 months, and her role involved performing protein characterization. She returned to the UK in 2012 when she was offered a position at GSK, during her time at GSK she has done a GSK sponsored part-time PhD with the University of Nottingham and the National Physical Laboratory, the subject of her PhD thesis was: “Probing the distribution of pharmaceutical compounds in cells using ToF-SIMS”, under the supervision of Prof. Morgan Alexander, Prof. Ian Gilmore and Dr. Andy West.
Dr Greg McMahon
Dr Greg McMahon received his B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Metallurgical Engineering at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario Canada. Following a brief stint in industry where he was seconded to the Materials Technology Laboratory/CANMET in Ottawa, in 1990 he decided to pursue his Ph.D in Saarbrucken, Germany in the group led by Prof. Herbert Gleiter, who were leading the field in studying the unique properties of nanocrystalline materials. His thesis was on the study of the microstructural and optoelectronic properties of nanocrystalline ZnO solids exhibiting quantum size effects using an array of microscopic and microanalytical techniques (SEM/EDX, TEM, XRD, Mossbauer spectroscopy, luminescence). After graduating in 1994 he returned to MTL/CANMET as post-doc and subsequently research scientist in charge of the Cameca ims 4f facility and later went on to work with Fibics Inc. using FIB and quadrupole SIMS as well as maintaining the 4f lab for MTL. In 2004 the call of the prototype Cameca NanoSIMS took him to Boston where he was the Assistant Director to Prof. Claude Lechene at the Natural Resource for Imaging Mass Spectrometry (NRIMS) at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s hospital, introducing him to the field of biological sciences. After 4 years there he went on to become Electron Microscopy facility manager at Boston College prior to moving to the UK in 2015 to be part of the NanoSIMS group at University of Manchester and finally to Principal Research Scientist in NanoSIMS imaging at the National Physical Laboratory.
Melanie Bailey is Chief Analyst for the Surrey Ion Beam Centre, which is the UK’s national facility for Ion Beam Applications and services £50M EPSRC grants. She is CI of an EU grant which links ion beam facilities across Europe. She holds an EPSRC Fellowship (£1.3M), which sponsors her research group for the next 5 years. She has worked closely with the Home Office Centre for Applied Science, Israel Police and the Netherlands Forensic Institute to develop protocols for secondary ion mass spectrometry analysis of fingerprints. She has worked as an Expert Consultant for the International Atomic Energy Agency and has worked with a number of police departments on forensic case work.