ASMS News & Views

Nov 09, 2015

2013 ASMS Research Award Winner Article ‘Highlight’

The ASMS annually presents two Research Awards to academic scientists within four years of joining the tenure track faculty or equivalent in a North American university. The purpose of these awards, fully sponsored by Thermo Scientific and Waters Corporation, is to promote academic research in mass spectrometry by young scientists.

In this month’s issue of JASMS, we are pleased to highlight a research article by one of the 2013 ASMS Research Award winners, Dr. Matthew F. Bush, Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Washington, and Kenneth J. Laszlo, a Ph.D. student in Dr. Bush’s laboratory. The article, entitled “Analysis of Native-Like Proteins and Protein Complexes Using Cation to Anion Proton Transfer Reactions (CAPTR)”, was supported by Dr. Bush’s ASMS Research Award. This article reports the use of ion/ion proton transfer reactions between native-like protein cations and monoanions. These reactions yield a long series of charge-reduced products that are shown to improve the certainty of charge-state assignments and the resolution of components in mixtures using native mass spectrometry.

Research in the Bush lab focuses on using mass spectrometry to elucidate the structures, assembly, and dynamics of biological molecules. Towards that end, the Bush lab investigates the mechanisms underlying native electrospray ionization, develops ion mobility and ion chemistry technologies for characterizing protein complexes, and applies native mass spectrometry to a wide range of biological systems, including those involved in bacterial secretion, regulating protein degradation, and protein homeostasis. With the support of the ASMS Research Award, the Bush lab began new projects that use ion/ion chemistry to characterize the stoichiometries of protein complexes in solution and the effects of charge on the structures of proteins and protein complexes in the gas phase.

Dr. Bush received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Carleton College in 2003. He then pursued his Ph.D. from 2003–2008 with Evan Williams and Richard Saykally at the University of California, Berkeley. During that time he used infrared laser spectroscopy and Fourier-transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry to investigate zwitterion formation in gas-phase biomolecules and the effects of hydration on ion structure. In 2008 he joined the laboratory of Carol Robinson FRS DBE at the University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford, during which time he was a Waters Research Fellow, a Junior Research Fellow of Jesus College, University of Oxford, and developed analytical frameworks for using ion mobility mass spectrometry experiments to characterize the structures of biological molecules. Dr. Bush joined the chemistry faculty at the University of Washington in 2011, where he is also a member of the Biological Physics, Structure and Design Program and the Molecular Engineering & Sciences Institute. He has been named an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow, received the Young Investigator Award in Analytical Chemistry from Eli Lilly, and co-authored 42 peer-reviewed publications.