Ian Webb, Ph.D., assistant professor of chemistry at the Purdue School of Science is the recipient of the 2020 American Society of Mass Spectrometry research award.
Webb is one of three recipients chosen for the award, which promotes academic research by young scientists in mass spectrometry.
“This award really does mean a lot to me,” said Webb. “Many of the previous winners of this award are now the preeminent researchers in mass spectrometry. I’m humbled to be included among these men and women.”
The awards, in the amount of $35,000, are fully supported by Thermo Fisher Scientific, Bruker and Waters Corporation. Webb’s award is sponsored by the Waters Corporation.
Webb’s research focuses on developing new methods to separate peptides and proteins in complex mixtures. They’re the working and signaling molecules of biology. Their levels in our bodies can vary due to genetics, environmental exposure, and disease.
“The complexity of proteins in the body (and even in individual cells) presents an important analytical problem when we want to measure the body’s response to various stimuli,” explained Webb. “Our method is trying to solve it by increasing the resolution (that is, the number of distinguishable molecules) attainable by mass spectrometry methods.”
Webb plans to use the award to fund a graduate student research assistant to work on the project, supplies, and to pay for the student and his travel to present the results of their research at scientific conferences.