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General News

LASERS [SURE Stories]

The following blog post was written by UHPer and SURE Award winner Jackie Dyer.

This summer I was able to travel to San Diego, California to present my research at the national 66th American Society for Mass Spectrometry (ASMS) Conference. With funding from the UHP Sigelman Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) Award, I presented a poster titled “Complementary Features of Laser Desorption Ionization from Silicon Nanopost Arrays and MALDI for Mass Spectrometry Imaging.” This poster represented the culmination of a year of research in the Vertes Research Group, during which Jarod Fincher, a graduate student, and I focused on assessing laser desorption ionization (LDI) from silicon nanopost arrays (NAPA) as an emerging mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) technique capable of enhanced imaging of particular lipid classes. Our work looks to improve the field of MSI, and has potential impact in clinical research and the pharmaceutical industry.

Being able to present this work at a national conference was a fantastic experience. Presenting at ASMS was an opportunity to share our impactful findings with people throughout the mass spectrometry community, and to gain valuable new perspectives and feedback on our experiments. Though ASMS is most essentially a means of communicating our findings to the scientific community, I also had the chance to establish potential future collaborations. Ultimately, the SURE Award’s contribution to my travel funding made it possible for me to spend a full week in San Diego exchanging ideas, presenting my work, and networking (and going to the beach).

If you’re interested in research, make sure to reach out to professors, or even graduate students, about potential projects. Undergraduate research is a great opportunity to bridge the gap between classroom learning and the “real world,” and there are all kinds of scholarships, like the SURE Award, to help support your research. Using the SURE Award to present research from my senior thesis, and to actually make a difference in the scientific community, was definitely a great way to finish my GW career—thanks UHP!

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