APL Colloquium

February 12, 1999

Colloquium Topic: Mass Spectrometry and Human Spaceflight

Mass Spectrometry is an analytical technique that identifies molecules based on their molecular weight. These instruments are composed of two main modules, ionization and desorption component combined with a mass analyzer, and the choice of which to incorporate is dependent on the type of samples to be analyzed. The combination of specific molecular identification and high sensitivity makes mass spectrometry an extremely powerful analytical tool for characterizing chemical and biological substances. At APL we are currently developing and testing a small, efficient time-of-flight mass spectrometer to rapidly identify important biomarkers for human space exploration. We are also using mass spectrometry to evaluate critical biomarkers that are indicators of muscle atrophy and bone demineralization, two physiological processes associated with extended space travel, for the development of more effective countermeasures.

Colloquium Speaker: Miquel Antoine

Dr. Miquel D. Antoine received her B.S. degree from Spelman College in Chemistry and a M.S. degree in Chemistry from Hampton University in 1991. She joined Dr. Gabor Patonay¹s laboratory at Georgia State University as a research assistant where she investigated the effectiveness of near-infrared cyanine dyes as fluoregenic labels. She began her doctoral studies at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, and transferred to the University of Maryland, Baltimore County to work with Dr. Catherine Fenselau, where she received her Ph.D. degree in Analytical Chemistry in 1997. She joined The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory as a post-doctoral fellow in the Spring of 1998 and is currently a member of the Senior Professional Staff in the Milton S. Eisenhower Research and Technology Development Center. Her research interest centers on the use of mass spectrometry in the analysis of biological compounds. Dr. Antoine is a member of the American Chemical Society and the American Society for Mass Spectrometry.