The revolutionary story of quantitative liquid chromatography mass spectrometry

It all started 30 years ago when SCIEX cracked the liquid-phase/gas-phase dilemma.
Revolutionizing quantitative analysis with LC-MS/MS technology sparked a new era of discoveries.
Generation Quant was born.


Putting pieces together in a different way and inventing something that nobody had considered before.

That's what sparked 50 years of innovation at SCIEX.

In the 70s, SCIEX mass spectrometry mobile laboratories were known for going on disaster sites for pollution control. But, detecting something is not enough. Without quantification, it is hard to tell if what you have identified is essential or not. That drove SCIEX to develop and commercialize the first triple quadrupole mass spectrometer in 1981.

The realization that it could be a revolutionary tool for liquid analysis instead of gas analysis focused our scientists on this fundamental question: how to couple two incompatible techniques, mass spectrometry and liquid chromatography? It took almost ten years, but SCIEX researchers finally cracked the liquid-phase/gas-phase dilemma and developed the first commercial LC-MS/MS instrument in 1989. That meant a new generation of quantification had begun.


“My definition of innovation is when you’ve got something that nobody wants. That’s how you know you got something.”

Tom Covey, Principal Research Scientist at SCIEX

“It ’s always easy to detect something. But what does it mean at the end of the day? We always need to turn it back into a quantitative answer.”

Yves LeBlanc, Principal Research Scientist at SCIEX

Key Milestones Define a Generation


The story of Generation Quant unfolds over 5 episodes. It is the story of a revolution in the quantitative analysis industry.
A revolution enabled by SCIEX technology inventors and led by the scientists using LC-MS/MS to impact our world.

The Story of Generation Quant


Hear from the pioneers who helped bring LC-MS/MS technology to life.
Learn from the scientists who have since been using it to impact our world.

Episode 1


Episode 2


Episode 3


Episode 4


Episode 5


A Look Into The Future


“The challenge is continuing to innovate, making sure we have the next best thing that will enable our customers to make the discoveries that they need to do to progress their research or help make people’s lives better”

Tanya Gamble, Global Product Manager, Nominal Mass Systems — SCIEX

Making the Impossible, Possible
Turning the ordinary into the extraordinary is real innovation. Imagine running LC-MS/MS analysis 50 times faster than the quickest analysis times achieved so far. Imagine all the possibilities with the time saved back for discoveries.

The Generation Quant is approaching its next milestone.
Watch the video to take a look into the future.
Watch Video


A Generation of Passion
SCIEX (Scientific Export) is formed in 1970 by Dr. Barry French and others from the University of Toronto Aerospace department to develop analytical instrumentation based sensors technology used in space. Their mission, to make advanced analytical technology available to the broader scientific community. Today, 50 years later, the same passion for analytical sciences is shaping the future.

Generation Quant

The technologies behind the numbers.
The people behind the numbers.

Every generation recognizes its heroes and icons. For Generation Quant, these include the SCIEX innovations of the atmospheric pressure ionization interface and collisional focusing, which revolutionized the whole field of LC-MS/MS analysis

Since then, SCIEX innovations in mechanical and electrical design have spanned LC-MS/MS performance in sensitivity, selectivity and productivity.

Adopted very quickly by the pharmaceutical industry as the gold standard for quantitative analysis, SCIEX solutions soon expanded to more application areas and more scientists all over the globe. “In my mind, Generation Quant means the generation of scientists who have taken this technology and move the science forward” says Ashley Sage (Senior Manager, Global Portfolio & Technology Marketing at SCIEX)

Rachel Eineman, Research Technician at the Stoller Biomarker Discovery Center, uses SCIEX solutions for biomarker research. She says: “The main benefit of those studies is to build up almost like fingerprints for each person and each disease so we can predict how people are going to respond to illnesses, what diseases they are going to get, that kind of things” She is one of the people behind the numbers within Generation Quant.

The scientists forming Generation Quant rely on SCIEX LC-MS/MS unquestionable quantitative answers to make the world a better place.

A legacy of innovation in LC-MS/MS technology.
Discover SCIEX products and technologies.
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“It is one of the most important things in the world to know how much of a variety of substances are around. It affects our entire lives.”

Jim Hager, Principal Research Scientist at SCIEX


“They solved problems that had existed for decades and that was how to measure analytes in an LC flow reproducibly and with high sensitivities and signal to noise ratios that were just not possible before.”

Jim Hager, Principal Research Scientist at SCIEX


“So more drugs come out and faster, the drugs are better, and ultimately, people are going to get the drugs, and we are going to save lives.”

Liz Thomas, Co-founder/CEO – Alderley Analytical


“That led to a discovery of an entirely new physical principal. To this day, 99 point... if not all atmospheric mass spectrometers on the planet today utilize that principle.”

Tom Covey, Principal Research Scientist at SCIEX


“The Turbo V Source was one of the first if not the first ion source where background noise was reduced because of the design of the ion source.”

Jim Hager, Principal Research Scientist at SCIEX


“If we can detect cancers early, then, in reality, you won’t lose your parents early, you won’t lose your children, and we might be able to make the world a better place because of that.”

Stephen Tate, Manager, Software Applications Research Group at SCIEX


“It's not over yet, there's still more to be gained. But that clued us in to the fact we had to look elsewhere.”

Tom Covey, Principal Research Scientist at SCIEX


“SWATH® Acquisition is our preferred approach for many reasons. We can get very efficient and good proteomics signature maps in almost a couple of hours.”

Ivona Baricevic-Jones, Scientific Project Manager – Stoller Biomarker Discovery Center

There is more to come from Generation Quant...