Opportunity at National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Confident Identification of Metabolites in Biological Samples
Material Measurement Laboratory, Chemical and Biochemical Reference Data Division
Please note: This Agency only participates in the February and August reviews.
Metabolomics can provide insight into many cellular processes. Metabolomic profiles of biological fluids (plasma/serum, urine, etc.) or bioprocess samples (mammalian cell lines or cell culture media) can be used to identify markers relevant to human health or biomanufacturing success. A critical step in the metabolomic analysis of any such biological mixture is the confident identification of its chemical components. The most sensitive and widely employed method for making such identifications involves matching tandem spectra acquired via liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) against reference spectra in a mass spectral library. However, confident identifications can be very challenging when identifying isomers or related compounds that produce similar mass spectra and separating them from the wide range of accompanying spectra that originate from artifacts and background. The goal of this project is to obtain confident metabolite identifications using both computational methods (such as prior probability or creating a validated material-specific mass spectral library) and experimental methods (such as the use of isotopic labeling methods or orthogonal information like ion mobility).
Applicants are expected to have knowledge of LC-MS/MS. Knowledge of mass spectral libraries would be beneficial.
References: https://doi.org/10.1002/rcm.7475; https://doi.org/10.1002/bit.27661
Liquid Chromatography; Mass Spectrometry; Metabolomics; Biomanufacturing; Bioinformatics
Open to U.S. citizens
Open to Postdoctoral applicants