NIH awards UA grant to purchase mass spectrometer

August 17, 2007

By Flinn Foundation

The University of Arizona has received a $925,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to purchase a new mass spectrometer that will serve more than 20 university departments. The award buttresses UA’s reputation as a leader in mass spectrometry, a key tool in bioscience research conducted at the molecular level.

The grant is one of 14 High End Instrumentation (HEI) awards made nationally this year by NIH for biomedical research equipment costing more than $750,000. The Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance Mass Spectrometer is an exceptionally precise instrument designed to identify unknown compounds, quantify known materials, and reveal the structure and chemical properties of molecules.

The device, which will arrive in December, will be housed in the department of chemistry, where researchers from across the university will have the opportunity to refine and build on their project results from lower-performance instruments. UA already has substantial mass spectrometry facilities, and its expertise using those less-precise tools was a key selling point in its grant proposal.

Vicki Wysocki, a BIO5 member and professor in the Chemistry Department, is the lead investigator on the grant. Dr. Wysocki said that major users of the new mass spectrometer will include the Arizona Cancer Center; the UA’s departments of biochemistry and molecular biophysics, cell biology and anatomy, and chemistry; the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center; and the College of Medicine.

Dr. Wysocki told the Tucson Citizen that scientists from Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) and other researchers that require the advanced technology will also be able to use the instrument. As is the case with other mass spectrometry devices at UA, all users will pay for instrument use, defraying the cost of consumables, maintenance, and staffing.

For more information:

UA gets new tool with $925K award,” Tucson Citizen, 08/08/2007

BIO5 News Release, 07/16/2007