John McLean Receives 2023 EAS Award for Outstanding Achievements in Mass Spectrometry


John A. McLean, Stevenson Professor of Chemistry and Chair of the Department of Chemistry, Associate Provost for Graduate Education, and Director of the Center for Innovative Technologies at Vanderbilt University, has been named the winner of the 2023 EAS Award for Outstanding Achievements in Mass Spectrometry.

This award is presented in recognition of significant individual contributions in the advancement of mass spectrometry by superior work in developing theory, techniques, or instrumentation. McLean was with this award at a special symposium, arranged in honor of the awardee, at the 2023 Eastern Analytical Symposium on Tuesday, November 14, at 9 am.

McLean, an elected fellow of the National Academy of Inventors and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, earned his PhD at George Washington University in 2001 in the development of inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry instrumentation for ultratrace elemental analysis. He subsequently performed postdoctoral research at Forschungszentrum Jülich in Germany, and then at Texas A&M University before beginning at Vanderbilt University in 2006.

McLean and colleagues focus on the conceptualization, design, and construction of ion mobility-mass spectrometers and structural mass spectrometers, specifically targeting complex samples in systems, synthetic, and chemical biology. His group applies these strategies to forefront translational research areas in drug discovery, personalized medicine, and human-on-chip synthetic biology platforms. McLean has received a number of awards, including his laboratory serving as an Agilent Thought Leader Laboratory, a Waters Center of Innovation, the Chancellor’s Award for Research, the Thomas Jefferson Award, Excellence in Teaching Award from the student members of the American Chemical Society, a Defense Threat Reduction Agency Research Award, an American Society for Mass Spectrometry Research Award, and the Bunsen–Kirchhoff Prize from the GDCh (German Chemical Society), among others. He has served in many service roles to the profession including serving terms on the boards of professional societies, scientific companies, and major journals. He has published over 200 manuscripts and received over 30 patents in these and allied areas.

The program for the symposium is as follows:

  • “Advanced Molecular Phenomics in Systems, Synthetic, and Chemical Biology,” presented by McLean, at 9:05 am.
  • “Identifying and Quantifying Cellular and Media Metabolites Predictive of Mesenchymal Stromal Cell Potency by Metabolomics Coupled to Machine Learning,” presented by Facundo Fernández of the Georgia Institute of Technology, at 9:30 am.
  • After a break at 10 am, “Next Generation Imaging Mass Spectrometry: Molecular Microscopy for the New Age of Biology and Medicine,” presented by Richard Caprioli of Vanderbilt University at 10:30 am.
  • The symposium concludes with “Advancing Lipidomic Measurements and Informatics Tools to Enable Better Health Assessments,” presented by Erin Baker of the University of North Carolina at 11 am.
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