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Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (LCMS) Facility at UB

History of the Facility

Liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry provides the cornerstone for modern pharmaceutical analysis and much basic biochemical/pharmacological research. This facility began in 2000 with a grant from the Major Shared Equipment Program of the NIH/NCRR. The grant provided funds for our first instrument, an ABI/Sciex API3000 triple quadrupole mass spectrometer and liquid chromatography system.

This NIH-provided instrument was the first instrument, to our knowledge, that was freely available on a shared basis to the large community of NIH-supported scientists in our extended geographic area. We are deeply appreciative of the NIH program; it provided the only means at our disposal to obtain this critically-needed major equipment. We are also indebted to those anonymous reviewers of our first grant proposal; they were able to see past our limited experience in LC/MS-MS analysis (at that time), and recognized the impact that this state-of-the-art equipment, in this geographical area, would have on a very wide range of meritorious and important ongoing research projects.

Demand grew steadily for this unique resource, to the point that insufficient instrument time was available to serve our portfolio of research projects. Furthermore, tight scheduling made it difficult to serve projects that involved large batches of samples, such as several NIH-supported clinical trials.

A generous philanthropic gift to the School of Pharmacy from the John and Edith Kapoor Charitable Foundation provided funds for a second API3000 LC/M S-MS instrument, which was purchased in 2002. One instrument is now devoted to batch-wise processing of samples from larger projects, while the second is scheduled in 2-4 time slots per day. Demand for instrument time has remained high, with annual utilization of approximately 1,800-2,400 hours per machine of useful data acquisition.

In 2003, Bristol Myers Squib donated a surplus single quadrupole instrument (Micromass Platforma). This instrument was designated for advanced undergraduate/graduate student training in LC/MS analysis.

In 2004, Pfizer, Inc donated two triple quandrupole instruments (Finnigan TSQ7000). One was been brought on line to help the facility meet demand for LC/MS-MS analysis, and the second was being held in reserve for parts and spares. These instruments were subsequently retired (July 2006) with the development of a plan for acquiring newer instruments.

In June-Aug of 2004, the facility moved out of its 450 square foot home to larger quarters in 430 Cooke Hall on the UB North Campus. This expansion provided much needed space for the installation of existing and planned equipment.

In late 2004, Pfizer, Inc. donated a surplus ion trap instrument (Finnigan LCQ Classic). This gift provided an essential and unique capability for the facility, permitting molecular characterization of drugs and their metabolites. In late 2006, with the acquisition of additional state-of-the-art replacement equipment, the LCQ Classic was refurbished, moved to new quarters (see below), and re-tasked.

In 2005, a successful grant proposal to the NIH/NCRR major shared equipment program funded the purchase of a linear ion trap instrument (Finnigan LTQ) along with a multidimensional capillary liquid chromatography (MDLC) system (Amersham/GEHealthcare) capable of nanoLiter flow-rate separations. The acquisition of this instrument also, to our knowledge, provided the first access to researchers in this relatively large geographical area to instrumentation for high-throughput proteomic analysis. The instrument supports a growing capability in quantitative protein analysis. Applications include biomarker identification both for pharmacodynamic analysis and for mechanistic investigations of disease states and processes.

In June of 2006, our facility was asked to expand operations and establish a facility at the New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics & Life Sciences (CBI), located in the Buffalo Life Sciences Complex on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus in downtown Buffalo. The purpose of this facility will be to perform research that advances the analysis of proteins, peptides, and small-molecule drugs, and to support research in proteomics and clinical translational research.

Additional links to this facility will be provided as instrumentation comes on line (expected 2nd quarter 2007).

Recognizing a need to expand capacity and enhance capabilities in the area of quantitative instrumentation, we submitted a proposal to the NIH/NCRR in March of 2006 for a state-of-the-art triple quadrupole MS instrument. In February of 2007, we received Notice of Award. Additional links and information will be provided as decisions are made regarding capabilities and configuration of that instrument.

The Future

This shared facility has been a driving force for the incorporation of new analytical techniques in a wide range of research, and also has made possible research to develop new analytical approaches to address problems in basic and applied research. In fulfilling our mission as an academic research facility, a large number of undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral trainees have had access and training on this state-of-the-art equipment.

At the present time, the facility is well-equipped and well staffed. New projects are being initiated that represent not only opportunities to advance the research of collaborating investigators, but also provide opportunities for our staff scientists to contributed in areas of analytical chemistry and quantitative mass spectrometry.

We have seen a need to expand our undergraduate/graduate training in Pharmaceutical analysis in general, and specifically in liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry. To address this need, we have enhanced didactic and practical training for undergraduate/graduate and professional students in modern LC/MS analysis. Fall 2006 was the first semester in which a revised and expanded version of PHC560 was offered to meet that need. Those on the UB campus can find up-to-date information on the course at



Last Modifed: Wednesday, 23-May-2007 15:12:32 EDT