Seminar: High throughput chemical characterization of the cells in the brain
High throughput chemical characterization of the cells in the brain
In the postgenomic era, one expects the suite of chemical players in a brain region to be known and their functions uncovered. Perhaps surprisingly, many neurochemicals remain poorly characterized and for those that are known, their localization, dynamics and function are oftentimes unknown. Several approaches for assaying the chemical content from individual brain cells are highlighted, including mass spectrometry imaging, single cell mass spectrometry, and microfluidic sampling coupled to mass spectrometry.
Using these approaches, we can measure multiple classes of analytes including lipids, fatty acids, neurotransmitters and neuropeptides, among others. The single cell assays allow differences in the metabolome and peptidome from supposedly homogeneous populations of cells to be explored.
Additionally, our ability to characterize the peptides in individual organelles such as the secretory dense core vesicles enables subclasses of organelles to be explored. Several applications of single cell mass spectrometry are highlighted from the discovery of unusual metabolites to the characterization of both known and previously unknown neuropeptides and peptide hormones.
Jonathan Sweedler received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Arizona in 1988, spent several years at Stanford before moving to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1991 where he has been ever since.
At Illinois, he is currently the James R. Eiszner Family Endowed Chair in Chemistry, Director of the School of Chemical Science, and affiliated with the Institute of Genomic Biology and the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology.
His research interests focus on developing new approaches for assaying small volume samples, including metabolomics and peptidomics, based on mass spectrometry. He has used these tools to characterize small molecules and peptides in a range of animal models across the metazoan and in samples as small as individual cells and cellular domains.
Sweedler, with large international teams of biologists and technologists, has performed comprehensive interrogation of the genome, transcriptome and peptidome in a range of animal models to uncover signaling peptides and pathways involved in wide range of functions and behaviors. J. Sweedler has published more than 400 manuscripts and presented 500 invited lectures.
He has received numerous awards including the ACS Award in Analytical Chemistry and the ANACHEM Award. He is currently the Editor-in-Chief for Analytical Chemistry.
Jonathan V. Sweedler
Department of Chemistry
University of Illinois, Urbana IL 61801 USA
jsweedle [at] illinois.edu