Today's Plenary: Biemann Medal Lecture

Jun 17, 2014

Today’s plenary is the Biemann Medal Lecture, which will be given by Lingjun Li of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Li is awarded the 2014 Biemann Medal for the number and depth of her contributions in the field of mass spectrometric study of neuropeptides and functional peptidomics.

Li’s research program is focused on the development of novel and improved mass spectrometry (MS)–based tools in conjunction with microseparation techniques to study challenging neuroscience problems including functional discovery of neuropeptides and biomarker discovery in neurodegenerative diseases.

Li and her team have created several multi-faceted and integrated MS-based platforms that include high resolution in-situ peptide mapping, tissue imaging, in vivo microdialysis, high sensitivity micro-separation techniques coupled with tandem MS de novo sequencing, and new isotopic and isobaric labeling strategies, and improved bioinformatics tools to allow large-scale discovery and functional analysis of novel neuropeptides. More recently, the Li group also used novel use of ion mobility MS to address several remaining technical challenges associated with peptidomic research. They developed a novel site-specific strategy to rapidly and precisely localize peptide epimers and new strategies to probe peptide sequence scrambling and peptide misidentification, and to improve isobaric tandem mass tag quantitation in QTOF based instrumentation.

Using these integrated platforms and multifaceted approaches, Professor Li and her group discovered more than 300 novel neuropeptides in crustacean model organisms whose genomic sequences are currently unavailable. These findings significantly expanded our knowledge about neuropeptides in these important model organisms and transformed current understanding of neuropeptide family organization and functional consequences of neuropeptide multiplicity.

Li is a professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Chemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The lecture will be Research Award presentations followed by Biemann Medal presentation and lecture. Kerri Pratt of the University of Michigan will be presented with the 2014 Research Award sponsored by Thermo Scientific. Zhibo Yang of the University of Oklahoma is the recipient of the 2014 Research Award sponsored by Waters Corporation.