Mass spectrometry (MS) is one of the most powerful techniques for chemical analysis and when combined with an imaging modality allows molecular chemistry to be visualised in 2D and 3D, from the nano- to the macroscale, in ambient conditions and in real‐time. There are numerous techniques each having different modes of operation including label‐free and labelled analyses. In 2017 the CRUK Grand Challenge programme was launched. By pursuing a multiscale (organ to organelle) and multi-omics approach with a range of mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) techniques (MALDI, DESI, SIMS and ICP MS), we aim to deepen our understanding of the interplay of genes, proteins, metabolites and the role of the immune system in cancer development and growth. This presentation will review early results and a discussion of the challenges associated with such a large, multi-technique, multi-site, mass spectrometry project.
Professor Josephine Bunch is a Principal Scientist and Co-Director of the National Centre of Excellence in Mass Spectrometry Imaging (NiCE-MSI) at NPL and Chair of Biomolecular Mass Spectrometry at Imperial College London. She is currently leading a Cancer Research UK Grand Challenge programme (2017-2022; £16 million). She has expertise in a range of mass spectrometry imaging techniques and her group at NPL comprises a multidisciplinary team of around 20 people. To support innovation and instrument development for MSI, Josephine leads a large programme of research and metrology in MALDI and ambient mass spectrometry imaging, funded by the National Measurement System. Within this project a new transmission mode, atmospheric MALDI ion source, with dual mode post-ionisation has been constructed. The group also hosts and co-supervises Ph.D. students from the University of Nottingham, the University of Birmingham, Imperial College London, Oxford University and the University of Surrey.