How do you see mass spec technology advancing in the future?
"I think diagnostics, just like medicine, will become incredibly personalized. There are more technologies coming out every day that enable people to monitor their well-being and receive actionable information to help prevent certain health concerns. Mass spectrometry is a technology that enables you to measure accurately most types of molecules in your body. It has the ability to measure the change of any particular molecule, or a panel of molecules, or the interaction between molecules. It has the ability to generate and process incredible amounts of data in a short time. Because of the power of the technology, we are seeing the increased use of mass spectrometry in drug development and companion diagnostics, as well as an adoption in the clinical labs. One can see mass spec moving in a direction where people will be able to measure the relevant clinical markers indicative of their well-being, or the predictiveness of an issue on a routine basis in a more personalized manner. "
What have been some of your favorite projects to work on at SCIEX?
"I can name a few :
Developing and Launching ICAT in 2001 and iTRAQ in 2004. These were chemistries and MS based workflows that changed the way quantitative proteomics was being done, and paved the way for biomarker discovery. Some of these concepts are been extended to the analysis of small molecules and other different innovative ways.
The development of the Amplifex line of chemistries. These chemistries were designed specifically to improve signal strength, and enable assays where sensitivity was a challenge and difficult to perform, especially with the low and mid end MS platforms. Not having an equivalent to PCR currently, this is the closest one can think about in the protein and small molecule world.
Development of Vitamin D Class II kit. Technically this was not challenging, but the accomplishment was in the development of know-how and expertise in designing and developing a Class II kit, and getting it through the FDA approval process."