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Biology Across the Disciplines

Campagna and student work on mass spectrometerResearchers interested in systems biology now have a new resource on campus that provides novel bioanalyses. The Biological Mass Spectrometry Center provides state-of-the-art capabilities in metabolomics and lipidomics, which allow simultaneous detection of thousands of metabolites and lipids. This facility engages a number of faculty from the colleges of Arts and Sciences; Engineering; Education, Health, and Human Sciences; and Veterinary Medicine at UT, as well as the UT Institute of Agriculture and the UT Medical Center. Although the center is only a few years old, data generated from this effort has already been incorporated into several successful proposals to the National Science Foundation and has led to joint publications with faculty from the departments of Microbiology; Biochemistry and Cellular and Molecular Biology; Chemistry; Nutrition; Animal Science; and Food Science, as well as the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Shawn Campagna, associate professor of chemistry, directs the program with the assistance of an eight-member advisory council of faculty representatives from the participating units. The center also engages undergraduate junior and senior chemistry majors through mentored research. Currently, the facility employs and provides tuition waivers for two graduate students who help maintain the instrumentation and execute experiments. The center also acts as a managed user facility that provides training on the use of and access to state-of-the-art instrumentation for graduate students from a number of departments.

Article from Higher Ground 2013 Annual Report. Picture by Jeremy Hughes.