Interview of the Month

Aug 14, 2017
By Spectroscopy Editors
In forensic science, the detection of blood on fabric is a very useful tool. Therefore, it is important that the methods used for detecting blood be as accurate as possible. Michael L. Myrick and Stephen L. Morgan, both professors in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of South Carolina, have been investigating the use of infrared (IR) spectroscopy for this purpose, including comparing the effectiveness of infrared diffuse reflectance versus attenuated total reflectance Fourier-transform IR (ATR FT-IR). They recently spoke to Spectroscopy about their recent studies and the critical questions they have been addressing in how IR spectroscopy is used in forensic science.
Aug 02, 2017
By Spectroscopy Editors
Although laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) potentially can be used for practically any kind of sample, most applications have focused on solid sample analysis. Montserrat Hidalgo, a professor in the Department of Analytical Chemistry and Food Sciences and the University Institute of Materials at the University of Alicante in Alicante, Spain, has been working with various approaches to extend the applicability of LIBS to trace-elemental analysis of liquid samples. She recently spoke to us about this research.
Jul 12, 2017
By Spectroscopy Editors
Naoto Nagai, of the Industrial Research Institute of Niigata Prefecture in Japan, has been studying the potential of IR spectroscopy for investigating higher-order structures of polymers. He and his colleagues recently looked at the IR spectra of polyoxymethylene (POM) mold plates and the cause of occasional resin cracks.
Jun 06, 2017
By Spectroscopy Editors
In drug development, quantitative determination of a candidate drug and its metabolites in biofluids is an important step. The standard technique for quantitative metabolite profiling is radiolabeling followed by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with radiodetection, but there are disadvantages to this approach, including cost and time, as well as safety and ethical concerns related to administering radiolabeled compounds to humans. Frank Vanhaecke and his research group at Ghent University have been developing an alternative technique, and he recently spoke to Spectroscopy about this work. Vanhaecke is the 2017 recipient of the Lester W. Strock award, which will be presented to him at the 2017 SciX conference. This interview is part of a series of interviews with the winners of awards presented at SciX.
May 30, 2017
By Spectroscopy Editors
Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) with silver nanorod-array substrates has been used in various biological applications, such as detection of proteins in body fluids. Duncan C. Krause, who is a professor in the Department of Microbiology at the University of Georgia, worked with his group to establish a SERS method with those substrates for detecting the pathenogenic mycoplasma that causes bronchitis and pneumonia. We recently spoke with him about this research.
May 10, 2017
By Spectroscopy Editors
Coherent two-dimensional infrared spectroscopy (2D IR) uses a series of IR femtosecond laser pulses to pump and then probe the response of a system, making it possible to learn much more about the structure and dynamics of molecules than can be seen with one-dimensional IR spectroscopy. The technique’s inventor, Martin T. Zanni of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, discussed 2D IR in a 2013 interview in Spectroscopy (1). Since 2013, Zanni has applied 2D IR spectroscopy to new systems and has started a company, PhaseTech Spectroscopy, Inc., to commercialize the technique.
Mar 22, 2017
By Spectroscopy Editors
Proteomics and structural biology require specialized mass spectrometry methods for characterizing protein structures and conformations. Jennifer S. Brodbelt, a professor of chemistry at the University of Texas at Austin, focuses on the development and application of photodissociation mass spectrometry for studying biological molecules such as peptides, proteins, nucleic acids, oligosaccharides, and lipids. She recently spoke with Spectroscopy about her work with this technique. She is the winner of the 2017 ANACHEM Award, which will be presented at the SciX meeting in October 2017. The award is presented annually to an outstanding analytical chemist based on activities in teaching, research, administration, or other activities that have advanced the art and science of the field.
Mar 16, 2017
By Spectroscopy Editors
Using Raman and FT-IR spectroscopy for on-line monitoring of manufacturing processes offers advantages such as improved quality control, nondestructive analysis, and reduced costs. Jim Rydzak has more than 20 years of experience leading teams in applying on-line process control, in both the pharmaceutical and consumer goods industries. He recently talked to Spectroscopy about that work, including what they achieved and how they overcame challenges.
Mar 03, 2017
By Spectroscopy Editors
Multiple-collector inductively coupled plasma–mass spectrometry (MC-ICP-MS) is a powerful technique for measuring isotopic ratios in various areas of research. Michael Wieser, who is an associate professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Calgary, uses MC-ICP-MS to measure isotopic compositions at trace levels in applications ranging from geological studies to protein research. He recently spoke to Spectroscopy about this work.
Feb 14, 2017
By Spectroscopy Editors
In biomedical applications of surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS), nanoparticles can enhance the Raman signal and provide additional functionality. Duncan Graham of the University of Strathclyde has been pushing the limits of what can be achieved using functionalized nanoparticles and SERS, in applications such as cholera detection, lipid profiling in cancer cells, and assessing the efficacy of anti-cancer drugs, For this and other work he has won the 2017 Charles Mann Award, presented by the Federation of Analytical Chemistry and Spectroscopy Societies (FACSS). He recently spoke to Spectroscopy about this work. This interview is part of a series of interviews with the winners of awards that will be presented at the SciX 2017 conference in October.
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