Joint Mass Spectrometry Facility

Researcher using the Mass Spectrometer

An initiative of the Research School of Chemistry and Research School of Biology in partnership with CSIRO Black Mountain Campus.

The Joint Mass Spectrometry Facility (JMSF) was created in 2016 by the Research School of Chemistry and Research School of Biology to consolidate and grow mass spectrometry facilities at the ANU. In partnership with the CSIRO Black Mountain campus, the JMSF is supporting research in the greater Canberra region as an important aspect of the Science and Industry Endowment Fund (SIEF) supported Analytical Precinct.

The JMSF is focusing on three main application areas using a variety of mass spectrometry instruments. These application areas include:

  • Metabolomics
  • Proteomics
  • Synthetic (single) molecule characterisation

Equipment

The Joint Mass Spectrometry facility is equipped with several instruments to facilitate the analysis of a variety of compounds. Please see the right hand side links.

People

Dr Adam J. Carroll

Manager, Joint Mass Spectrometry Facility

Dr Carroll has been engaged in mass spectrometry-based research since 2005. His PhD, awarded in 2010, was completed at the University of Western Australia under the co-supervision of plant scientist and proteomics specialist, Prof Harvey Millar, and the late natural products chemist, A/Prof Emilio Ghisalberti. His PhD research focused on mass spectrometry based proteomics, metabolomics and mass spectrometry data analysis software development. During his PhD, he developed MetabolomeExpress – one of the world’s first online mass spectrometry data processing pipelines and public data repositories to facilitate the efficient and transparent processing, sharing and re-use of mass spectrometry metabolomics datasets. These tools were applied to: 1) the proteomic characterisation of plant ribosomes, including the elucidation of novel post-translational modifications; and 2) the metabolomic analysis of plant responses to environmental and genetic perturbations, particularly focused on abiotic stress and perturbations of aerobic respiration pathways. Dr Carroll moved to the ANU as a post-doctoral plant scientist in the laboratory of Professor Murray Badger where he set up the ANU’s first high throughput GC/MS metabolomics platform, established a cutting-edge robotics facility for high-throughput preparation of biological samples and integrated forward genetic screening, next-gen genome sequencing and metabolomics to hunt for novel genes involved in plant photorespiration. An output from this project was PhenoMeter – the world’s first metabolome database search using metabolic phenotypes as queries to identify similar phenotypes in other studies (like a BLAST search for metabolic phenotypes). In 2015, he moved to the laboratory of Prof Guillaume Tcherkez to study plant biochemical responses to CO2, O2 and light using a range of techniques including metabolic labelling with 13CO2. In 2018, he wrote a successful ARC LIEF proposal to establish Australia's first highly automated high resolution / accurate mass 2D-GC-EI-QTOF MS/MS at the ANU. In 2019, he wrote a successful ANU MEC proposal to establish the first ion mobility spectrometry (IMS)-capable LC/MS instrument in the ACT, at the ANU. In 2019, he published the first paper demonstrating that metabolic responses to drought of crop varieties grown in a glasshouse could be used to predict their yield based drought tolerance in the field. He began as Manager of the JMSF in May 2017 where he continues to provide training and support and develop hardware and software tools to facilitate cutting-edge mass spectrometry-based research. He is an author of over 35 peer-reviewed publications with >3000 citations and teaches mass spectrometry, metabolomics and proteomics to third-year undergraduate students.

Academic background: Chemistry, Biochemistry, Plants, Software and Automation

Computer languages and tools: C++, Qt, Swift/iOS, Python, Javascript, TypeScript, PHP, SQL, R, HTML, Apache, Docker, VueJS, NodeJS, OpenCV, Tesseract, Laravel, Django, Unity, Autodesk CAD, Linux, Windows

Scientific interests: everything from the quantum to the cosmological (with a bias towards the molecular and the biological)

Hobbies: Gardening, hiking, environmental conservation work, making music, developing software, experimenting with 3D VR/AR technologies and building things with open-source electronics and microcontrollers.

Ms Anitha Jeyasingham

Technical Officer

Mrs Anitha Jeyasingham did her B.Sc. (Honours) at the University of Jaffna, Sri Lanka. After working as an academic in Sri Lanka, she was awarded the prestigious NZODA scholarship to do her M.Sc. at the University of Waikato, New Zealand followed by employed as an Organic Analyst at Hill Laboratories.  Shortly after she was promoted to analytical division, which introduced her into the world of Mass spectrometry.

After migrating to Australia in 2004, she joined the Mass Spectrometry unit at the Research school of chemistry.  Stemming from her work in New Zealand, Anitha specializes in synthetic small organic molecule analyses. She provides and maintains a high ratio of comprehensive analytical support to over 20 research groups in RSC, RSB and surrounding area, in particular in reaction monitoring, identification, accurate mass measurements, purity checks and characterisation of synthetic compounds.

The research interests of RSC are diverse and produce a wide variety of compounds from very small, volatile and unstable organic compounds to very large macro-cyclic compounds. 

Mr Joseph (Joe) Boileau

Technical Officer

Joe completed his Bachelors in Biotechnology (Honours) at the ANU in 2017. During his honours project, Joe developed a quantitative proteomics workflow for investigating the proteomic response of plant cells to signalling peptides. In 2018 Joe was employed as a technical officer in the ANU’s RSB/RSC Joint Mass Spectrometry Facility. Since then, he has diversified his mass spectrometry toolkit to include labelled and label-free quantitative proteomics, top-down proteomics, native and denatured protein analysis, synthetic molecule characterisation, ion mobility mass spectrometry and absolute quantification on a wide range of sample types. Joe supports users of the mass spectrometry facility in applying routine techniques as well as developing new methods for novel problems using LC-MS. Joe also provides training and support for routine Nuclear Magnetic Resonance applications such as 1D and 2D experiments, variable temperature operation and cryoprobe analyses.

During his time at the JMSF, Joe has gained experience in many software tools for mass spectrometry. Joe is experienced in the use of MaxQuant, Proteome Discoverer and the OpenMS toolkit for proteomics applications. Joe is also familiar with Waters, Thermo Fisher and Agilent proprietary software for data acquisition and analysis. He also develops custom bioinformatic tools using powerful open-source mass spectrometry data analysis libraries such as OpenMS, pyMZML, pyteomics and pythoMS. Joe also has skills in computer aided design (CAD), 3D printing, laser cutting and metal work.