Plenary Speaker

Ron Heeren

Professor & Limburg co-chair of the Maastricht Multimodal Molecular Imaging Institute

Ron Heeren is Distinguished Professor and Limburg co-chair of the Maastricht Multimodal Molecular Imaging Institute. He has devoted his career to innovations in mass spectrometry, their applications to other disciplines and is considered one of the founders of the field of imaging mass spectrometry. He is known for his collaborative innovative work in the field of imaging mass spectrometry. Prof. Heeren obtained a PhD degree in technical physics in 1992 at the University of Amsterdam on plasma-surface interactions and served as research group leader at FOM-AMOLF for macromolecular ion physics and biomolecular imaging mass spectrometry between 1995 through 2015. In 2001 he was appointed professor at the chemistry faculty of Utrecht University lecturing on the physical aspects of biomolecular mass spectrometry. As a result of his efforts to add value to scientific research, he was awarded the prestigious 2019 Physics Valorization prize by the Dutch organization for scientific Research, NWO. He is active in many professional societies to advance mass spectrometric research, education and professionalization and published numerous, well-cited works in the field of imaging mass spectrometry.

Session Chairs

Bingming Chen

Session 1, Drugs: Detection to Quantitation

Dr. Bingming Chen is an associate principal scientist at Merck. She is part of the Pharmacokinetics, Dynamics, Metabolism & Bioanalytics (PDMB) department, specifically working within the DMPK group. Her research focuses on utilizing mass spectrometry imaging techniques to investigate the tissue distribution of therapeutic agents in preclinical species as well as supporting drug metabolism studies of small molecule programs. Dr. Chen received her doctoral degree in pharmaceutical sciences from the University of Wisconsin-Madison under the guidance of Dr. Lingjun Li in 2017. She also holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and recently completed her Master of Business Administration degree at the Gies College of Business – University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, specializing in business analytics and globalization. Dr. Chen has contributed significantly to her field, publishing 32 peer-reviewed articles in mass spectrometry imaging, quantitative glycomics, and biomolecule characterization.

Ramon C. Sun

Session 2, Data Visualization: Interpretation & Discovery

Ramon C. Sun. Ph. D. Anne and Oscar Lackner Endowed Chair and Associate Professor of Biochemistry Molecular Biology, University of Florida. Dr. Sun also directs the newly established UF Center for Spatial Biomolecule Research. Dr. Sun is the leading expert in spatial metabolism, his lab focuses on understanding the molecular events connecting cellular metabolism, signaling, and physiology, with a strong emphasis on disease etiology of metabolic disorders. To date, his lab has developed a number of new mass spectrometry-based methodologies to profile and image complex carbohydrate molecules with single-cell sensitivity and fine spatial resolution to assess microenvironmental influences with sophisticated machine learning software suite for data analysis. His lab is in a uniquely position to formulate scientific hypotheses based on these data-rich spatial technologies, then, test these hypotheses using transdisciplinary techniques in relevant genetically modified cell line and mouse models. Since establishing his lab, Dr. Sun has already published over 50 manuscripts in well-respected journals such as Cell Metabolism, Nature Communications, Science Advances, Molecular Cancer. Dr. Sun’s recent contributions is his research on metabolic etiologies of pulmonary fibrosis Alzheimer’s disease, and lung cancer. Through the application of his lab’s pioneering spatial metabolomics technologies, he provided foundational insights into how the metabolism and dysregulation of complex carbohydrates can drive the development of pulmonary fibrosis. This research has potential implications for the development of novel therapeutic strategies to combat fibrosis and improve patient outcomes.

Erin Seeley

Session 3, Disease: Markers to Treatment

Dr. Seeley is the Director of the Mass Spectrometry Imaging Facility at the University of Texas at Austin.  She has over 20 years of experience in mass spectrometry and analytical techniques, beginning with her undergraduate research at Penn State University.  Her graduate work at Purdue University involved comparative proteomic analyses with a focus on phosphoproteomics.  She spent a combined 9 years in the lab of Dr. Richard Caprioli (the inventor of MALDI MSI) as a Postdoc and then Associate Director of the Vanderbilt University Tissue Profiling and Imaging Core.  She also worked for 6 years in Contract Research Organizations offering mass spectrometry imaging collaborations and services.  Dr. Seeley joined UT Austin in early 2020 to establish the new CPRIT funded Mass Spectrometry Imaging Facility. In this role, she works on a wide variety of MSI projects ranging from small molecules and metabolites through enzymatically produced analytes.   Throughout her career, her main focus has been on clinical applications of mass spectrometry imaging for improving disease diagnostics and prognostics.

Robert Winkler

Session 4, Emerging Instrumentation & Novel Methods

Robert Winkler studied biotechnology (FH Jena, Germany) and biochemical engineering (University of Birmingham, UK) before achieving a PhD in natural products chemistry (Leibniz Institute HKI Jena, Germany). In 2010, Robert Winkler founded the Laboratory of Biochemical and Instrumental Analysis (LabABI) at the CINVESTAV Irapuato, Mexico. In 2018/2019, he took a sabbatical stay at the Max Planck Institute of Ecological Chemistry. Since 2022, Robert Winkler has been affiliated with the National Laboratory for Biodiversity (UGA-Langebio), where his group develops novel analytical platforms and software for studying biological systems using mass spectrometry. In the field of mass spectrometry imaging, the Robert Winkler’s group developed an ambient ionization platform with laser desorption and low-temperature plasma ionization that permits the direct analysis of biological tissues without prior sample manipulation. Further, his laboratory creates DIY analytical platforms and source software for mass imaging data processing and mining. Robert Winkler published over 100 articles and book chapters and patents. He is a Mexican Academy of Sciences (AMC) member and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (UK).

Angela Kruse

Session 5, Single Cells to Microenvironment

Dr. Angela Kruse is a research faculty member in the department of Cell and Developmental Biology and the Mass Spectrometry Research Center at Vanderbilt University. Her research integrates imaging mass spectrometry, proteomics, spatial transcriptomics, biochemistry, and microscopy to understand how diabetes affects the molecular environment in the pancreas, kidney, and eye. She received her Ph.D. in Plant Pathology with a focus in Biochemistry from Cornell University prior to conducting her postdoctoral studies under the guidance of Dr. Richard Caprioli at Vanderbilt University. She plans to spend her career applying and integrating cutting edge technologies to address important challenges in human health and the environment.

Junior Chairs

Joseph H. Holbrook

Junior Chair with Bingming Chen; Drugs: Detection to Quantitation

Joseph H. Holbrook is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Ohio State Biochemistry Program under the supervision of Dr. Amanda B. Hummon. He received his BS in chemistry and minor of mathematics at Eastern Kentucky University in 2020. His current research interests include method development and drug efficacy studies utilizing different model systems with mass spectrometry imaging. Joseph has accepted a summer 2024 internship position at Merck as part of the DMPK group within the pharmacokinetic, dynamics, metabolism, and bioanalytics department.

Cameron J. Shedlock

Junior Chair with Ramon C. Sun; Data Visualization: Interpretation & Discovery

Cameron is a graduate student in the Sun Lab at the University of Florida studying metabolomics in cancer and neurodegenerative disease. He wants to leverage stable isotope resolved metabolomics to better evaluate and understand the impact of different treatment modalities on the mechanisms that drive disease physiology.

Abigail Moreno Pedraza, PhD

Junior Chair with Robert Winkler; Emerging Instrumentation & Novel Methods

Abigail Moreno-Pedraza completed her Master’s and PhD studies at the Biochemical and Instrumental Analysis Laboratory of CINVESTAV Irapuato, Mexico, where she contributed to the development of ambient ionization sources. During her PhD, she developed an ambient imaging system for analyzing biological samples, mapping small molecules such as alkaloids and other small masses using laser desorption and low-temperature plasma sources.

In October 2019, she defended her PhD thesis, and in March 2020, she began a short postdoctoral position at Wayne State University, USA. After a year, she relocated to Germany to work at the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) on an Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship to conduct her own research project studying metabolites related to ecological processes in Brassica plants. She redesigned and miniaturized the modular ambient imaging system to generate images of plant-insect interactions. In April 2023, she began a new project at the Leibniz Institute of Vegetables and Ornamental Plants and Friedrich Schiller University Jena. The project involves studying metabolic fingerprints in the pollen of model plants Petunia hybrida and Solanum dulcamara.

Melanie "MJ"Campbell

Junior Chair with erin seeley; markers to treatment

Melanie “MJ” Campbell is a graduate student at the University of Texas at Austin under the mentorship of Dr. Jennifer Brodbelt. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from The Ohio State University in 2021, under the guidance of Dr. Amanda Hummon. Her current research focuses on applying liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry with ultraviolet photodissociation and imaging techniques to unravel the role that ether lipids play in peroxisomal disorder tissue.

Pei Su

Junior chair; Single Cells to Microenvironment

Pei Su is a postdoctoral fellow in Prof. Neil Kelleher’s research group in the Department of Chemistry at Northwestern University, Evanston, USA. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry at Fudan University in 2015. He received his Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry in 2020 from Purdue University under the supervision of Prof. Julia Laskin. He joined the Kelleher Research Group at Northwestern University in 2021.

His graduate research has been focused on instrumentation development for mass spectrometry and ion chemistry in the gas phase and at interfaces. During his postdoctoral training, his joined Neil’s instrumentation team to tackle challenges in spatial and single cell top-down proteomics and developed single molecule-based mass spectrometry technologies for proteoform detection directly from biological tissues and single cells with applications in biomarker discovery and disease diagnostics.