The Midlands Mass Spectrometry Group 2021 Virtual Seminar Series

Full logoThe Midlands Mass Spectrometry Group (MMSG) has recently been established by Midlands Innovation, and affiliated Midlands institutions, in order to coordinate knowledge transfer and equipment sharing among universities based within the region. It brings together representatives of mass spectrometry facilities and research groups across the Midlands, with a diverse range of science, skills, knowledge and expertise, including key academic researchers, facility managers and technical staff. The group aims to build a regional mass spectrometry community to share best practice and provide a platform for collaborative rather than competitive research and funding, strengthening and supporting submissions to funding agencies. 

The MMSG 2021 Virtual Seminar Series began on in April and will run regular meetings throughout the year (dates to be announced) open to both academic and technical staff.. The events will showcase excellent science and innovation, best practice and the latest methods, and Midlands expertise and aims to encourage shared activity across the region.

Seminar 1: Developing and implementing COVID MS diagnostics for clinical use

14th April 11:00-12:00

Dan Lane - University of Leicester
Professor Andrew Pitt - University of Manchester (Acting Chair of MMSG)

The "gold standard" screening test for COVID-19 relies on detection of viral RNA in nasopharyngeal swabs by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Approaches involving detection of viral proteins by mass spectrometry (MS), a highly specific method widely used in clinical testing, are currently being developed in parallel for COVID-19 detection in nasopharyngeal swabs and saliva. Detection of viral proteins is complementary to the RT-PCR method and is thought to allow a more accurate measure of productive viral infection.

We discuss the development and implementation COVID MS diagnostics for clinical use as part of Operation Moonshot - the DHSC directive. We follow the journey we took in mid 2020 until early 2021, first starting with the crude procedures (protein precipitation) used to extract SARS-COV-2 proteins from human saliva and swab matrices. Then, we explore the use of capture mechanisms (Stable Isotope Standards and Capture by Anti-Peptide Antibodies, SISCAPA) to clean NCAP peptides from biological fluids prior to analysis by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS).

Watch the full Seminar here:

Are you interested in presenting at a future MMSG Virtual Seminar Series or in hearing more about the network? Get in touch!