Nuno Bandeira to Receive Biemann Medal at ASMS Conference

Nuno Bandeira will be presented with the Biemann Medal at the 2021 American Society for Mass Spectrometry (ASMS) annual conference. The medal, honors Professor Klaus Biemann, an Austrian American professor of chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology whose work centered on structural analysis in organic and biochemistry. It is awarded to an individual early in his or her career to recognize significant achievement in basic or applied mass spectrometry. A cash award of $5000, an engraved medal, and an award lecture by the recipient will be presented at the conference, which takes place from October 31 to November 4, in Philadelphia.

Bandeira is being recognized for his significant contributions toward the development of spectral alignment to connect the world’s mass spectrometry data. His work indicated that, like the alignment of protein sequences, unidentified MS/MS spectra can be aligned for the identification of modified and unmodified variants of the same peptide. This approach can also be applied to small molecules to identify drug-related metabolites or analogs.

To improve the efficiency of searching for data repositories, Bandeira created the foundation of a Google search network by precomputing the large-scale network of all available MS/MS data in the MassIVE public mass spectrometry data repository. The result is that the master spectral network can now be searched using data rather than text. Used in hundreds of papers, these molecular networks have been key to understanding the mechanism of metabolic exchange and charting the molecular diversity in human food and habitats across kingdoms and many microbial species.

Bandeira is an Associate Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of California in San Diego.