Running alongside an in-depth theoretical training program, we have already gained extensive hands-on experience across a wide range of cutting-edge analytical techniques. This included using MALDI-MS and LC/ES-MS to perform MS-based techniques such as intact mass analysis and peptide mapping, as well as specific carbohydrate analytical procedures using GC-MS. Several of these key biopharmaceutical characterization techniques, such as peptide mapping, were pioneered by BioPharmaSpec scientists and it has been a huge privilege to learn from the originators of these methods. In particular, the Q-TOF mass spectrometer, a major advance in modern biopolymer mass spectrometry, was conceptualised by Professor Howard Morris, the Chairman and CSO of BioPharmaSpec.
Peptide mapping, a technique whereby the amino acid structure and post-translational modifications of proteins and glycoproteins are examined through investigation of peptides released via specific proteolytic procedures, is one example of a key area of structural analysis we have been involved in. We have experienced the practical side of sample preparation, including reduction, alkylation and enzymatic digestion procedures, as well as setting up liquid chromatography systems and calibrating mass spectrometers. We have also started training on peptide fragmentation pathways, data interpretation and the biochemistry of post translational modifications to get a full picture of this important technique and its applications in structural analysis.