Montana State University

Free lecture on mass spectrometry set for Jan. 16 at MSU

December 30, 2014 -- MSU News Service

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571

BOZEMAN -- A free public lecture about improvements in the use of mass spectrometry to analyze complex biological fluids will be given on Friday, Jan.16, at Montana State University.

Timothy Hamerly, a doctoral candidate in MSU’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the recipient of a Kopriva Graduate Fellowship, will present "Letting Biology Do the Heavy Lifting" at 4:10 p.m. in the Byker Auditorium in the Chemistry and Biochemistry Building. A reception will follow.

The ability to rapidly and reproducibly differentiate complex biological fluids is an important part of everything from healthcare to food production. To address this need, Hamerly developed a protein sensor assay that greatly reduces the number of molecules seen by a mass spectrometer, resulting in decreased time spent analyzing data and increased rates of biomarker discovery.

Taking advantage of a ready-made biological detector, Hamerly’s protein sensor assay has had great success in tracking biological changes as cells recover from oxidative stress and animals respond to hemorrhagic shock. He has also shown that the assay is able to differentiate wine varietals and can be used to follow the aging of whiskey, as well as the spoilage of milk.

Hamerly’s lecture is presented by the Kopriva Science Seminar Series, which is funded through an endowment created by Phil Kopriva, a 1957 microbiology graduate from MSU. Kopriva, who died in 2002, also created an endowment to fund the Kopriva Graduate Fellowship Program, which provides support and opportunities for graduate students in the College of Letters and Science, particularly in the biomedical sciences. The series features seminars by MSU graduate students, faculty members and guest speakers.

For more information about this and other Kopriva lectures, go to

Evelyn Boswell, (406) 994-5135 or