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R'Equip Grant Application

A R'Equip Grant Application for the purchase of a high resolution mass spectrometer has been submitted to the Swiss National Foundation.

Find here the full application, with the letters of support of about 20 scientists.

Please, find hereafter, the summary of the grant application:

The technology platform of liquid-chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) at the University Hospital of Lausanne, called qMSF, has as its goal to assist all researchers and in particular those at CHUV and UNIL. Therefore, qMSF platform performs clinical or basic researches with its partners. This results in research articles, routine or diagnostic analyses.

Today, there exists a strong necessity to purchase the first high resolution mass spectrometer (HR-MS) for researchers who need to perform metabolomic-, peptidomics-type analyses, sensitive quantifications of endogenous peptides, compound identifications or structure elucidations. The LC setup of the HR-MS will not be used for proteomics analyses. The new equipment will allow to develop a crucial know-how in HR-MS analysis for researchers at CHUV-UNIL and possibly EPFL, UNINE and UNIGE.

At qMSF platform of the CHUV-UNIL, the absence of a high resolution MS is becoming a real problem and a bottleneck for most analyses. Many different partners’ investigations cannot be performed on available instruments (triple quadrupole or ion trap MS) or only to a minor extent. Indeed, numerous projects, actual or future, can only be performed by HR-MS analysis.

Noteworthy, today, no MS platforms can perform biomedical metabolomics-type analysis in the Romandie area, the French part of Switzerland. Eventually, this grant application will underline that the new instrument would add to the complementarities and strengths of the various platform laboratories working with LC-MS/MS instruments in the Romandie area and in particular at CHUV-UNIL on a daily basis. Support letters from the leaders of the MS platforms at UNIL, UNINE and EPFL are also enclosed.

Typical projects requiring high resolution mass spectrometry are listed below. They belong to various fields in medicine and life sciences:

• Peptidomics-type investigations.
• Ultra-sensitive quantitative analysis of native and therapeutic peptide at extremely low in vivo levels (1-50pM) in human blood, tissues or cell cultures.
• Identification of enzymatic products of drugs or peptides (fate of drugs and peptides).
• Discovery, identification and structure elucidation of various compounds such as signalling molecules, peptides and drug metabolites.
• Metabolomics-type investigations: metabolite profiling, fingerprinting etc…
• Metabonomic investigations: change in patients’ metabolomes in clinical studies.

A list of about 20 projects is presented with researchers’ support letters. Quantitative/targeted peptidomics, quantitative/targeted metabolomics and identification/structure elucidation will represent 49%, 31% and 20% of the estimated HR-MS usage, respectively. About 15 projects have grants from the Swiss National Science Foundation. Thus, the R’Equip grant application is written on behalf of these researchers and concerns the purchase of the first accurate mass analyser such as Time-of-Flight or Orbitrap instruments in a non-proteomics setup at CHUV-UNIL, UNINE, UNIGE and EPFL. The request to R’Equip grant is for about 450’000.- CHF (total price of about 900 KCHFr). Additional running costs will be negligible (<3000.- CHFr).

For this reason, we claim that the request for a LC-HR-MS and the related metabolomic know-how is urgent to carry on many up-to-date research projects.

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