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  English.dicp.cas.cn    Posted:2010-09-06
Developing Multi-faceted Mass Spectrometry-based Tools to Advance Neuroscience Research

  Time:Aug. 3 2010, AM10:00

   Location:Academic Hall of Biological Building

  Lingjun Li

  School of Pharmacy & Department of Chemistry,University of Wisconsin at Madison, USA


  Professor Lingjun Li received her B.E. degree in Environmental Analytical Chemistry from Beijing University of Technology and Ph.D. degree in Analytical Chemistry/Biomolecular Chemistry from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2000 under the supervision of Prof. Jonathan Sweedler. She then did a three-way postdoctoral research at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (w/ Dr. Richard Smith), Brandeis University (w/ Prof. Eve Marder), and University of Illinois (w/ Prof. Jonathan Sweedler) before starting her tenure-track assistant professor position in December 2002.  Dr. Li was recruited to UW-Madison campus through a campus-wide “Chemical Biology Cluster Hire” position and she currently holds joint faculty appointments in School of Pharmacy and Department of Chemistry.  She was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2008.  Her research interests are in analytical neurochemistry, neuropeptidomics and biological mass spectrometry.  Dr. Li’s research program focuses on developing novel mass spectrometry tools in conjunction with microseparation techniques to study challenging neuroscience problems including the functional discovery of neuropeptides and biomarker discovery in neurodegenerative diseases.  Dr. Li has established a highly productive research program and published more than 100 peer-reviewed research papers, including 70 research papers since her independent position at UW-Madison.  She has obtained more than $3.5 M research funding and served as reviewer on more than 40 scholarly journals and numerous review panels.  She has received numerous awards including a highly prestigious National Science Foundation CAREER Award, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Research Fellowship, Vilas Associate Award, and the American Society for Mass Spectrometry Research Award.  Furthermore, she will receive the prestigious 2011 Pittsburgh Conference Achievement Award with a special Award Symposium recognizing and honoring her outstanding work in Bioanalytical Chemistry.


  Neuropeptides make up the largest and the most complex signaling molecules used in intercellular communication.  Because of critical roles that these polypeptides play in the regulation of many physiological processes, it is of great interest to characterize these diverse assortments of chemical messengers and determine their functions in the neural circuitry.  The simpler and well-characterized crustacean nervous system provides an excellent model system to facilitate analytical method development and to investigate how a rich repertoire of neuropeptides can fine tune a well-defined neural circuit that produces multiple outputs at the cellular and network levels.  Using a highly sensitive mass spectrometry (MS)-based peptide profiling and de novo sequencing strategy, a large number of novel peptides have been discovered, revealing that even a relatively simple neural network contains an unexpectedly-rich diversity of neuropeptides. Furthermore, both mass spectrometric imaging techniques and in vivo microdialysis sampling tools, as well as novel interface of capillary electrophoresis with MS have been implemented to follow neuropeptide distribution and secretion in unprecedented details.  Towards the goal of functional discovery of bioactive neuropeptides, novel quantitative schemes based on isotopic formaldehyde labeling and multiplexed isobaric labeling based on N,N-dimethylated leucine have been developed to produce differential display of neuropeptidomes under different physiological conditions.  Finally, the application of MS tools in conjunction with lectin-affinity chromatography to comparative glycoproteomics for biomarker discovery in prion diseases will be presented. 




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