Mass Spectrometry

 Request mass spectrometry services through iLab,  see Instructions


The Biomolecular Analysis Facility Core has been awarded funding from the Virginia Equipment Trust Fund ($911,000) to purchase a new mass spectrometer. The instrument is a Q Exactive HF-X with high and low flow UHPLCs as well as CE for the interfaces. Experiments in proteomics and metabolomics can be performed and intact protein work will now be possible.  More details and seminars will follow this Summer and Fall. The instrument will replace the older Velos Pro Orbitrap and TSQ Quantum.

We had intended to have the new instrument up and running in early April. However, during final testing and real test samples, we discovered issues that did not meet expectations. After working with the company, they have decided that something is wrong with the instrument and it cannot be repaired in the field. This instrument will have to be shipped back to Germany and a new one ordered, shipped, and installed – starting over. At this point I have no idea of a timeframe. We are sorry for the delays – they are beyond our control.



Services run on the MALDI-TOF instrument are not effected.

Protein Analysis and Identification

The W.M. Keck Biomedical Mass Spectrometry Laboratory within the Biomolecular Analysis Facility identifies and analyzes proteins and other molecules of biological interest from gels and solution using current mass spectrometry techniques. The laboratory also performs quantitative analyses. This laboratory is supported through the University of Virginia Cancer Center National Cancer Institute P30 Center Grant.UVA-Cancer-Center-image_mini

To discuss projects, contact Dr. Nicholas Sherman 434.924.0070.


Analyses available

  • Protein identification and sequencing from gel or solution by either peptide mass fingerprinting or ESI-LC/MS/MS at the low femtomole level (Simple mixture  MS/MS service).
  • Analysis of protein mixtures such as tissue and media (Complex mixture MS/MS service)
  • protein analysis of FFPE samples prepared by Laser Capture Microdissection using  BTRF facilities
  • Proteomics, comparison of proteins in tissue samples using chemical/isotopic labels or label free analysis
  • Absolute quantitation of proteins using labeled peptides and selective reaction monitoring (MRM service)
  • Identification of phosphorylation sites using titanium dioxide enrichment
  • Identification of post-translational modifications (e.g.  ubiquitination) (de novo sequencing service/PTM service)
  • De Novo (manual) sequence analysis of novel proteins to obtain sufficient sequence data for cloning
  • High resolution, high mass accuracy measurements of peptides and small proteins by ESI
  • Mass determination by MALDI mass measurements for confirming identity of peptides and proteins, either by staff or open access self service
  • Identification of interaction partners
  • Quantitative analysis of metabolites, peptides, biomarkers, small molecules by SRM

Sample submission

Good sample preparation is vital in getting good data. When starting a new project, read our guidelines and discuss the project with Dr. Sherman. Request services through iLab


All investigators are asked to acknowledge the director, Dr. Nicholas E. Sherman and support by the School of Medicine. e.g. “This work used (service and/or instrument name) in the Biomedical Mass Spectrometry Laboratory which is supported by the University of Virginia School of Medicine.”