Funding for Imaging MS in Germany

 

Due to the importance of imaging mass spectrometry in the life sciences, the Joint Committee of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) has decided, as part of the “Imaging Mass Spectrometry in the Life Sciences” initiative, to equip nine universities with major instrumentation systems. The approved funds, amounting to a total of 5.8 million euros will go to the Humboldt University in Berlin, the Technical University of Munich, the Aachen University of Technology and the universities of Bielefeld, Giessen, Jena, Kiel, Cologne and Münster, which succeeded in obtaining the support from among the 35 funding proposals submitted.

Imaging mass spectrometry promises to deliver important advances, for example in the identification of biomarkers in molecular pathology, in the characterisation and functional analysis of natural materials and signalling substances in plants and insects, or in the search for diagnostic and prognostic marker molecules in the personalised medicine of the future. It is therefore of most interest to the life sciences, because the method allows the direct, spatially resolved measurement of a variety of analytically relevant substances in a tissue sample, and so achieves a spatial resolution in the micron range. In contrast to the classical methods for visualising proteins in tissue, imaging mass spectrometry also requires no prior knowledge of the target protein. Thus, the detection of thousands of components is possible at the same time.

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