LSU professor receives over $1M in federal grants to expand mass spectrometry facility

August 22, 2022

Dr. Kermit MUrray and Dr. Fabrizio Donnarumma

LSU Chemistry Professor Kermit Murray and Mass Spectrometry Facility Manager Fabrizio Donnarumma 

Mass spectrometry is an analytical technique scientists use to quantify known materials, identify unknown compounds within a sample, and explain the structure and chemical properties of different molecules. 

LSU Chemistry professor and principal investigator Kermit Murray received two federal grants totaling over $1M to purchase new mass spectrometry instruments that will strengthen the research infrastructure at the University and provide analytical support in the region. 

“We were fortunate to get both proposals funded this year,” said Murray. “The new instruments will bring state of the art capabilities for chemical analysis and imaging to LSU.”

Funds from the National Institutes of Health’s Shared Instrumentation Grant Program will purchase a Waters Synapt XS mass spectrometer with hybrid quadrupole time-of-flight with ion mobility coupled to liquid chromatography. The instrument will support biomedical research aimed at analyzing metabolites in complex mixtures from cells and tissue. 

The second award is funded by the National Science Foundation’s Major Research Instrumentation Program and will purchase a matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI) time-of-flight mass spectrometer. The instrument will expand research involving synthetic polymer analysis and biological imaging of proteins and lipids in tissue. 

Both instruments will be placed in the Mass Spectrometry Facility located on LSU’s campus. The facility provides analytical support for the chemistry department and other academic departments at LSU, researchers at other universities, and customers from private industry.

"The new funding is the best possible showcase of the constant effort that the MSF and Dr. Murray are putting forth together with the leadership within the Department of Chemistry and the College of Science,” said Fabrizio Donnarumma, Mass Spectrometry Facility Manager and grant senior personnel. “The acquired instrumentation will allow LSU researchers to perform almost any mass spectrometry experiment here on campus.”

Murray has a successful record of securing federal support for the acquisition of mass spectrometers for the university. To date, Murray has helped acquire seven shared instruments from NSF, NIH, and the LSU Board of Regents.   

To learn more about the LSU Mass Spectrometry Facility and future updates on these new instruments, visit their website