Register today: short courses at HTC-15

Here at HTC-15 HQ, we have been delighted with the quality and number of abstracts we have already received for oral and poster presentations. As October proceeds apace, we are rapidly approaching our deadline for acceptance of oral abstracts (16th Oct) and are  putting the final touches to what promises to be an exciting and informative scientific programme.

One of the best-received events of the last HTC, in 2015, was a short course on SFC that took place a day prior to the start of the main conference. This year, the SSG and its conference partners are pleased to announce two short courses, one on SFC and one on biopharmaceutical analysis, which will take place on the 23rd of January 2018. The day-long courses will be hosted by world-renowned experts in these fields: Dr Caroline West (University of Orleans), Dr Davy Guillarme (University of Geneva) and Dr Claudio Brunelli (Pfizer) will be leading the SFC course, and the biopharm course will be presented by Dr Koen Sandra (Research Institute for Chromatography), Dr Szabolcs Fekete (University of Geneva) and Tony Taylor. The courses have been designed for both absolute beginners and established practitioners, with a focus on both the theoretical aspects of each subject and practical applications that are likely to be of interest to attendees. A full description of each course can be found here and here.  Special registration rates are available for students, and early-bird registration for these courses will be possible till November 1st – so register early to book your place!

London Biological MS Discussion Group Student Speaker Prize 2016

Since 2015, the SSG and the London Biological Mass Spectrometry Discussion Group (LBMSDG) have awarded an annual prize of £400 for the best student presentation at one of the LBMSDG’s quarterly meetings.  The award is to be spent on expenses related to travel and accommodation costs at a conference of the student’s choosing. The award-winner is selected at the end of each year, when the LBMSDG committee reviews the presentations from each of the meetings.

This year, the committee reviewed student talks presented at LBMSDG symposia over the course of 2016, and at the group’s spring meeting on the 23rd of March 2017, awarded the prize to Dr Heidi Gastall, who is currently a research scientist at UCB Celltech (UK). Dr Gastall’s presentation described her doctoral research on small heat shock protein 27 (HSP27), which protects the cell under stress by interacting with partially folded protein substrates, and which is implicated in a wide range of diseases from Parkinson’s to cancer. In particular, the talk focused on her use of native MS and ion-mobility MS to probe the conformational dynamics of the protein’s core domain, and the influence of disease-related mutations on structural features related to the regulation of the protein’s protective response. A more detailed description of her work can be found here.

Dr Gastall used the prize money to attend the first International Conference on Hydrogen Deuterium Exchange MS at AstraZeneca in Sweden, and says that ‘the conference gave a very helpful overview of how the technique is applied by different practitioners in the community and technical advice on how to use it to its full potential’.

Congratulations Dr Gastall for an excellent and informative talk! Here she is receiving her award from Dr Karin Barnouin, the LBMSDG chair-person, at the spring meeting.

of Karin Barnouin, LBMSDG chairperson (left) and Heidi Gastall (right)

Congratulations to our ExTech 2017 SSG poster prize winners!

The 19th International Symposium on Advances in Extraction Technologies (ExTech) took place between the 27th and 30th of June in the historic Spanish city, Santiago de Compostela. This symposium series was started in 1999 by Prof. Janusz Pawliszyn (the University of Waterloo, Canada) and since then has become a unique and vital platform for the exchange of information and ideas in the growing field of sample preparation. The 2017 Symposium featured sessions on fundamental developments and new technologies in extraction and sample preparation relating to different areas of the analytical sciences, with a particular focus on environmental applications, food quality and safety, pharmaceutical and personal care products analysis, bioanalysis and natural product chemistry.

In 2006, the SSG launched a prize for the best poster presented at an ExTech meeting.  This year, the SSG awarded three prizes (£200 each) for the best posters presented by junior scientists. An international committee judged more than 200 high-quality poster presentations, on topics including new extraction techniques, environmental sampling and sample preparation, bioanalytical extractions,and  food and flavour analysis. Three posters were selected for the 2017 SSG award on the basis of their outstanding scientific content and presentation in the poster format:

Congratulations to our prize-winners! And we hope to see many more excellent posters at next year’s ExTech meeting, which will be held in Ames, Iowa (USA) in June 2018. See you there!



Save the date – LBMSDG meeting on September 14th

The London Biological Mass Spectrometry Discussion Group (LBMSDG) will be holding their next meeting on Thursday, September 14th, at the UCL School of Pharmacy’s John Hanbury Lecture Theatre. The meeting (like all their other events) are free to attend. A full agenda for this meeting can be found here, and includes talks by:

  • Prof Shabaz Mohammed (University of Oxford), on proteomics of adult intestinal stem cells and organoids
  • Andrew Davison (Liverpool Clinical Laboratories), on metabolomic evaluation of alkaptonuria using mass spectrometry
  • Dr Faraz Mardakheh (QMUL), on proteomics profiling of interactome dynamics by colocalisation analysis
  • Dr Cyrille Botte (Universite Grenoble Alpes), on membrane biogenesis, lipid synthesis and signaling in apicomplexa parasites

There will also be a student talk by Zainab Ahdash (King’s College London), on studying the mechanism of the hera nura DNA break resection complex using native MS. Don’t miss this  great opportunity to hear about the latest advances in MS and separations science in an informal, enjoyable setting.

Registration is now open for HTC-15: join us in Cardiff in 2018

The 15th International Symposium on Hyphenated Techniques in Chromatography and Separation Technology (HTC-15) will take place in Cardiff City Hall from January 24th to the 26th, 2018. This year, the conference is being chaired by the chair of the SSG, Professor John Langley. As in the past, HTC-15 will cover the latest developments in instrumentation and methodology related to such hyphenated techniques, while also presenting sessions devoted to fundamental aspects of separation science. The scientific committee, chaired by Tom Lynch (FRSC, British Petroleum) and Professor Peter Schoenmakers (the University of Amsterdam), has put together an exciting conference programme which includes sessions on:

  • Big data, chemometrics and in-silico method development
  • Biopharma: sample preparation and automation
  • Green Separations
  • Microfluidics and flow-process technology
  • Toxicology/forensics/drugs in sport

and many more topics of interest to the practicing separation scientist. The 3-day conference will consist of three parallel sessions, one of which will be dedicated to the work of early-career researchers (ECRs). Two short courses will be held just prior to the main conference, on supercritical fluid chromatography (SFC) and on analytical techniques for biopharmaceutical applications. There will also be a large technical exhibition running alongside the symposium itself, featuring products and demonstrations from companies such as Shimadzu, Markes International, Romil and HiChrom, and social and networking events at the end of each day of the conference.

Early-bird registration and abstract submission for HTC-15 is now open, with special rates for students and members of the RSC, KVCV, ChromSoc and BMSS. Substantial support is also available for early-career researchers, and Great Western Railway has made a number of discounted tickets available to conference attendees travelling to Cardiff Central Station from all main GWR stations. More details regarding the conference programme, plenary speakers, accomodation and sponsorship opportunities can be found at the HTC-15 website, while the attached flyer provides a summary of the same for circulation via institutional email lists, list-serves etc. We look forward to seeing you in Cardiff in 2018!


Calling all petroleum scientists: abstract submissions now open for PEFTEC 2017

The 2017 conference on Petroleum, Refining and Environmental Monitoring  Technologies (PEFTEC)   is a focused international conference and exhibition for analytical chemists, scientists, process operators, laboratory personnel and environmental managers who work in around the petroleum, refining, chemical and petrochemical industries. The SSG are proud to be a PEFTEC partner this year, and look forward to the conference which will take place on 29th & 30th of November  in Antwerp, Belgium.

Abstract submission for the conference is now open!

The 2-day conference will be include 4 themed sessions on analytical techniques:

  • The morning session on Day 1 will cover Elemental Analysis and Speciation including trace metal analysis and the speciation of mercury, phosphorus, arsenic and oxygen compounds in a range of petrochemical samples.
  • The afternoon session on Day 1 is dedicated to the latest developments in Mass Spectrometry, and will bring together  leading researchers in this field from academia and industry. covering all the main MS techniques and their application.
  • The Day 2 morning session  will cover Separation Science techniques including GC, HPLC and SFC with a focus around multidimensional and hyphenated systems. GC continues to be the most commonly used chromatographic technique in the industry and the application of multidimensional GC techniques will be covered in the first 2 lectures and then followed by a talk on the application of in silico modelling of GC separations. The remainder of the session will cover the application of SFC and HPLC and their combinations to achieve improved separations.
  • The final afternoon session on Day 2 will cover spectroscopic techniques and on-line analysis. The spectroscopic session will focus on the rapid rise of vacuum ultra-violet spectroscopy (VUV) in the industry. VUV is a selective and sensitive detector for hydrocarbon analysis which in a relatively brief time has been widely accepted by the industry and in combination with GC has recently been approved as an ASTM method for the analysis of finished gasoline (ASTM D8071). The application of thermo-gravimetric analysis coupled with infra-red spectroscopy (TGA-IR) for fouling deposit analysis and the application of comprehensive two dimensional GC for on-line analysis will complete the session and the analytical technique sessions of the conference.


Meeting highlights: ‘What’s new in the analysis of complex environmental matrices?’

The 2017 RSC meeting on environmental analysis entitled ‘What’s new in the analysis of complex environmental matrices?’ was held on the 3rd of March, at the RSC’s Burlington House in London. The meeting was organised by the RSC SSG, the Environmental Chemistry Group and the Water Forum, and was sponsored by Agilent Technologies, Anatune Ltd., Hichrom Ltd., Imspex Diagnostics Ltd., Kinesis, Markes International and Thames Restek Ltd., as well as by the Environment Sustainability and Energy Division of the RSC. A full meeting report will be published in the next Environmental Chemistry Group Bulletin, but for now, here is a brief summary of the meeting (click on the links for full .pdf versions of each talk).

The meeting began with Dr Leon Barron (King’s College London, UK) discussing his recent work involving the screening of complex forensic and environmental samples using high resolution analysis and in silico data mining tools.



After Dr Barron’s presentation came a talk by Dr Andrew Sweetman (Lancaster University, UK), on the use of passive samplers as a potential compliance tool within the EU Water Framework Directive. Prof Colin Creaser (Loughborough University, UK) then spoke about the use of ion mobility spectrometry in environmental analysis. The mid-morning coffee break was followed by a thought-provoking presentation on the use of brominated flame retardants in consumer waste by Prof Stuart Harrad (University of Birmingham, UK). Then Prof Jaroslav Slobodnik (Environmental Institute, Slovak Republic) gave the morning’s keynote lecture on the NORMAN network’s assessment of environmental pollutants in European river basins.

Between the morning and afternoon sessions, attendees enjoyed their lunch in the beautiful setting of the Burlington House library, and engaged with instrument vendors, including Agilent, Waters and HiChrom.

The afternoon session began with the second keynote lecture of the day, by Prof Jacob de Boer (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands). Prof de Boer spoke about the use of direct probe time-of-flight mass spectrometry to study human exposure to indoor environmental pollution. Gavin Mills (Severn Trent Ltd., UK) then discussed recent advances in the determination of taste and odour compounds in drinking water, after which Prof Barbara Kasprzyk-Hordern (University of Bath, UK) highlighted the importance of urban water profiling to inform our understanding of the state of the environment and public health. Finally, Dr Mark Perkins (University of York, UK) presented his recent research using  Selected Ion Flow Tube Mass Spectrometry (SIFT)-MS for the measurement of volatile organic compounds in ambient air. Prof Roger Reeve (University of Sunderland, UK) then brought the meeting to a close.

We are grateful to all speakers, sponsors and participants for making this another successful meeting, and we look forward to our next environmental analysis gathering in 2019!