Combining Arrays and Mass Spectrometry for High Throughput Discovery in Biology

Friday, January 23, 2015 - 2:00pm
Fung Auditorium, Powell-Focht Bioengineering Hall
Milan Mrksich

Henry Wade Rogers Professor in Chemistry, Biomedical Engineering and Cell & Molecular Biology
Northwestern University

Combining Arrays and Mass Spectrometry for High Throughput Discovery in Biology


This talk will describe an approach for using mass spectrometry to analyze biochip arrays. The biochips are prepared by immobilizing proteins, peptides and carbohydrates to self-assembled monolayers of alkanethiolates on gold. This biochips are analyzed using the SAMDI technique to identify the masses of substituted alkanethiolates in the monolayer and therefore a broad range of post-translational modifications—including kinase, protease, methyltransferase and carbohydrate-directed modifications—and for discovering chemical reactions. This talk will describe applications to high throughput experiments, including the use of carbohydrate arrays to discover novel enzymes, the preparation of peptide arrays to profile the enzyme activities in cell lysates and high-throughput screening to discover novel reactions and small molecular modulators. These examples illustrate the broad capability of the SAMDI method to profile and discover molecular activities in the life sciences.


Milan Mrksich is the Henry Wade Rogers Professor at Northwestern University, with appointments in the Departments of Chemistry, Biomedical Engineering and Cell & Molecular Biology. He earned a BS degree in Chemistry from the University of Illinois, a PhD at Caltech and was an American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University before joining the faculty at the University of Chicago. Professor Mrksich’s research group is a leader in the science and engineering of materials that contact biological environments. His laboratory has pioneered several technologies, including strategies to integrate living cells with microelectronic devices, methods to enable high throughput assays for drug discovery, and model systems for understanding the interactions of cells with their tissue environments. Professor Mrksich is an active advisor in government and industry.