The NVMS Spring Symposium took place on 16th of June 2022 at Radboud University, near HMFL-FELIX labs. More than 80 participants joined this first in-person meeting since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
The morning session started with Paul Boersema, who showed us how MS is used at Byondis to investigate the physico-chemical properties and biological effect of anti-drug conjugate antibodies. Ahmed Ali from the Leiden Academic Center for Drug Research (LACDR) then lead us through the journey of achieving successful single-cell metabolomics despite the associated analytical challenges. A great example of the love-hate relationship that MS users can sometimes have with their mass spectrometer! Despite those challenges, Ahmed showed very promising results of the use of single-cell metabolomics in cancer diagnosis and drug discovery. Single cell was also the topic of the last speaker of this session, Guinevere Lageveen-Kammeijer from Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC), who demonstrated the importance of investigating the glycome of single cells. Guinevere showed the role that capillary electrophoresis – mass spectrometry can play in single cell glycomics, which also enables the separation of isomers.
We closed the morning session with the General Assembly of the NVMS, where we notably announced that Anouk Rijs (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) will be the new President of the NVMS. The members voted in favor of this suggestion and with much enthusiasm. Anouk will officially start her mandate during IMSC2022.
During the lunch break, the participants not only enjoyed networking with the community but also had the possibility to exchange new ideas with young scientists who presented their poster. The afternoon session was kicked off by Rianne van Outersterp from HMFL-FELIX, who gave a very informative tutorial on molecular structure identification in MS using infrared ion spectroscopy. During this tutorial, we learned that MS(/MS) is sometimes not enough to identify molecular structure and that combining infrared spectroscopy with MS (infrared ion spectroscopy) can further increase the confidence in molecular structure identification. She provided the audience with a relevant knowledge prior to the lab tour of FELIX scheduled later on that day! Peiliang Han, from Maastricht MultiModal Molecular Imaging Institute (M4i), then presented his results obtained with the development of a novel workflow based on atmospheric pressure photoionization (APPI) combined with ion mobility and MS as a process analytical technique for application to continuous flow chemistry.
After the afternoon coffee break and poster session, Sebastian van den Wildenberg, one of the 2022 NVMS Conference Fund winners, presented his research performed at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) on the development of new assays for protein biomarker analysis. Sebastian notably showed the results obtained with the implementation of a workflow combining immunoprecipitation and top-down proteomics for the quantitation of the protein Neuron-Specific Enolase in small cell lung cancer. Tobias Wörner from Thermo Fisher Scientific wrapped the afternoon session with his presentation focusing on the exploration of the molecular composition of large biomolecules through native MS using the QExactive-UHMR. Native MS comes with many challenges but Tobias walked us through this approach and showed interesting applications, including the characterization of vaccine scaffold protein.
To conclude this day rich in very interesting presentations, we had the chance to visit the HMFL-FELIX lab and mingle with the community during the traditional “borrel” – a well-deserved moment after these two years without in-person NVMS meetings!