Dr. Alan Marshall

Dr. Alan Marshall
Stem Field
National High Magnetic Field Laboratory
Title of Research
Instrumentation/Applications of Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance Mass Spectrometry
Description of Research Area

Protemics. (a) Monoclonal antibodies from multiple myeloma patients (joint with Mayo Clinic).  With nano-LC 21 tesla FT-ICR MS and MS/MS for human blood, we can sequence mAb with sufficient coverage to identify the isotype, as well as identify the nature and site(s) of mutations for individual patients.  Our assigned amino acid sequences match DNA sequencing 100%, without the need for invasive biopsy or false negatives.  (b) Hemoglobin variants.  In collaboration with a clinical lab at U. Utah, we can sequence and quantitate hemoglobin subunit variants in 30 min, and have already identified a new one.

Mapping Contact Surfaces in Protein Complexes.  We use solution-phase H/D exchange to compare solvent-accessible segments of free and bound protein, enabling mapping of the contact interface(s).  We have mapped protein complexes up to 7.7 Mda in molecular weight.

Petroleomics/Biofuels.  We have resolved and assigned 126,000 different chemical formulas for an asphalt volcano sample (i.e., a 40,000 year-old oil spill).  We work with major oil companies to (a) identify deposits in production and refining, and (b) identify the species that cause oil/water emulsion problems. We also analyze the oil produced by pyrolysis of municipal solid waste, to determine which components will be potential sources of fuel.

Special Research & Career Skills

I teach my postdocs how to write manuscripts and proposals, prepare poster and oral presentations, and I connect them with external users of our facility (there were 250 users from 80 research groups in 2017).  I have placed 37 former Ph.D.’s and postdocs in university faculty positions.