January Monthly Meeting

WHEN: Wednesday, January 9, 2019
WHERE: Duquesne University
RSVP BY: Wednesday, January 2, 2019
Dinner reservations are no longer being accepted.

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    5:30 PM Technology Forum: Power Center Ballroom
    5:30 PM Social Hour: Power Center Ballroom
    6:30 PM Dinner: Power Center Ballroom
    7:45 PM Business Meeting: Power Center Ballroom
    8:00 PM Technical Program: Power Center Ballroom
    Student Affiliate Meeting: Shepperson Suite


    Please note change in venue.
    5:30 PM Technology Forum: Room 613 (Duquesne Union)
    5:30 PM Social Hour: Africa Room (Duquesne Union)
    6:30 PM Dinner: Africa Room (Duquesne Union)
    7:45 PM Business Meeting: Africa Room (Duquesne Union)
    8:00 PM Technical Program: Africa Room (Duquesne Union)
    Student Affiliate Meeting: Shepperson Suite

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Dr. Barbara Methe, Department of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh

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“The Ecology Within – The Human Microbiome”
The human microbiome (microbial communities and their gene content) is composed of trillions of cells in multiple ecological niches that have evolved with their human host over evolutionary time. Despite their ubiquity, tremendous functional gene capacity and the array of biochemistry in which they participate, we are only now begining to truly appreciate the importance of the microbiome in human health and disease. While traditional microbiology has emphasized the ability to culture and study microorganisms independently, advances in molecular biology, genomics and computational biology have revolutionized the manner in which scientists study microorganisms and their ecology, or relationships with one another and their environment. These advances, while challenging, are opening new opportunities to study the complex relationships between the human host and microbiome. This presentation will recap some of our current understanding of the microbiome and consider new directions of study as we begin to translate our knowledge of the microbiome to the realms of disease prevention, therapeutics and diagnostics in the 21st Century.

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Rick Yost, University of Florida

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“The Triple Quadrupole: Innovation, Serendipity and Persistence”
In this presentation I will provide a personal perspective on the conceptualization, development and demonstration of the analytical capabilities of the triple quadrupole mass spectrometer. And in that perspective, I will try to illustrate the roles of innovation, serendipity and persistence that are fundamental to scientific research.

The triple quadrupole mass spectrometer has become the most common mass spectrometer in the world today, with sales of over $1 billion per year. It is the gold standard for quantitative analysis in metabolomics, clinical analysis, drug discovery and development, and environmental analysis. But when I proposed that instrument as the “ultimate computerized analytical instrument” as a new PhD student in Chris Enke’s research group at Michigan State University as in 1975, the NSF reviews were uniformly negative, with experts in the field unanimous that the proposed instrument would never work. Fortunately, ONR funded the proposal, and the instrument did work!

In the 40 years since, mass spectrometry has evolved from a niche research area, largely for fundamental chemistry studies, into a practical, widely available analytical technique. Indeed, one can hardly name a significant advancement in science that was not made possible by the inventions and development of new tools to see something or measure something, and that includes everything from litmus paper to giant telescopes on mountain tops. And common to these inventions and developments have been innovation, serendipity and persistence.