Mass Spectrometry for Biomarker Discovery
Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization (MALDI) is one of the common methods for survey mass spectrometry of proteins. Our group has developed novel data analysis methodologies to extract the maximal information from MALDI spectra, and to simplify its analysis. In addition, we have developed new matrices, using Room Temperature Ionic Liquids (RTILs), that provide us with higher spatial resolution without decreasing the mass resolution. In one of our projects, we are showing that fundamental forces (space charge) can be the ultimate limit of the mas resolution.
"Automated Assignment of Ionization States in Broad-Mass Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization Spectra of Protein Mixtures," Dariya I. Malyarenko, William E. Cooke, Christine L. Bunai, Dennis M. Manos. Rap. Com. in Mass Spectrometry, Vol 24, pages 138 - 146 (2009)
"Precision Enhancement of Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry Using High Resolution Peak Detection and Label-Free Alignment," M.B. Tracy, H. Chen, D. Weaver, D.I. Malyarenko, M. Sasinowski, O.J. Semmes, L.H. Cazares, R.R. Drake, E.R. Tracy, and W.E. Cooke, Proteomics 8, p. 1530-1538 March (2008).
As part of the Chesapeake Algae Project (ChAP), we are developing methods to grow large quantities of wild algae in coastal waters. The algae will provide a feedstock for new biofuels, while growing it reduces the pollutants produced in populated areas. This environmental "twofer" proposes a way to use natures most productive plants to help solve the energy problem while reducing manmade pollution.
Experimental Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics
One of the fundamental problems in atomic physics is the understanding of the quantum three-body system such as that formed by an ion and two electrons. The ground state of these systems is typically well understood, but the additional phase space introduced when one or both of the electrons are excited makes this problem unsolvable much like the classical case. Our laboratory has introduced several multiphoton laser techniques to illuminate the electron-electron interaction in a number of limiting cases. In a direct spinoff from this work, we have developed a technique which uses ultra-fast (sub-picosecond) lasers to manipulate one of the two electrons so that it writes digital information onto the wavefunction of the other electron. This creates a dynamic memory in a single atom capable of storing several bits. Our research uses a variety of continuous-wave and pulsed laser systems spanning wavelengths from the infra-red to the ultra-violet, with pulse powers as large as 1010 Watts.
"Residual-ion orientation after autoionization," Phys. Rev. A 47, R2438 (1993).
"Technique for measuring linewidths of autoionizing Rydberg States", Phys. Rev. A 55, 1544 (1997).
"Measuring angular distributions with large-acceptance-angle detectors", Meas. Sci. Technol. 12, 299 (2001).