Where did you first learn about mass spectrometry? Chances are high that you heard about the marvelous machines that perform mass spec in a science class and wanted to know more. Perhaps you connected with a group of student scientists or heard about a seminar on all the good work being accomplished with the mass spec (such as its fifty-year record of supporting space exploration, or its role in making a difference in areas such as food safety and medical diagnoses). Once you understood what mass spectrometry could support and achieve, you were hooked. You wanted to join the front lines and work in a lab with mass specs, HPLCs and associated instruments.
Local Area Discussion Groups for Mass Spectrometry
That “hook” is the reason behind a resource webpage and award program developed by the American Society for Mass Spectrometry (ASMS). ASMS tracks the existence and activity of various local area mass spectrometry discussion groups on a webpage on their site. They keep a list of active groups (and also inactive ones, in case there is interest in certain groups being reactivated) that are providing a forum for students and nascent mass spec professionals to learn more about and discuss the role of mass spectrometry in modern research and industry. This website makes it easier for members of the MS community to connect with a group in their area.
ASMS Discussion Group Speaker Travel Awards
In addition to keeping a list of active groups, ASMS has created an award program to support teaching professionals in providing seminars on mass spectrometry to these discussion groups. Any assistant professor who is a member of ASMS can apply for a Discussion Group Speaker Travel Award, which provides funding for these professors to travel to one of the active North American MS discussion groups (or a North American non-PhD granting college or university) to present a “vibrant seminar program” to discussion group members. (If you are interested in applying for the opportunity to present such a seminar, information on the application process may be found here.)
The objectives of the seminars funded by these awards include supporting local mass spectrometry discussion groups so they remain active, exposing student scientists at non-PhD-granting institutions to the research opportunities available with the mass spectrometer, and encouraging the professional development of young mass spec researchers.
Engaging Mass Spectrometry Professionals on Dedicated Lab Furniture
Part of the reason we know about these local area mass spectrometry discussion groups is that our own Tim Hawkins has presented to them. He has spoken with interested students and scientists about our IonBenches at the Greater Boston, North Jersey, and Delaware Valley discussion groups. Tim has volunteered his time to talk with these groups because of our commitment to supporting mass spectrometry with the very best in dedicated lab furniture. To learn more about what Tim presents to these groups, or to invite him to speak at your own gathering (or, of course, to ask him any questions about our dedicated lab furniture), please contact him via email or at 1-888-669-1233.