From the 9th to the 13th of September MSACL EU 2018 Annual Congress took place in the cosy city of Salzburg, Austria. This conference was designed to mass spectrometry audience mainly focusing on clinical applications. I had the opportunity to participate in this inspiring conference. Moreover, I had the possibility to give a talk. I introduced our studies on standard substance free quantitation in LC/ESI/MS analysis.
Lightning talks to encourage young scientists
Prof. Jerzy Adamski kicked off the conference with the plenary lecture on the topic “Metabolomics Messages on Human Health and Diseases”. As one of the main goals of this conference is to inspire and encourage the young scientists the next session was lightning talks. Poster presenters had 90 seconds and one slide to present their research and cultivate interest in their topic. Additional possibility to get to know mature scientist was the program “meet the experts”. There were short meetings as well as booth and poster tours with experts. I had the possibility to analyze some posters together with Dr. Oleg Mayboroda from Leiden University Medical Centre. It was nice to see how the experts look at the posters and how and which questions they ask. Dr. Mayboroda gave a checklist of how to assess the goodness of the PCA plot presented on posters.
Scientific highlights of the conference
There were 5 parallel sessions every day. For me, the three highlights were as follows. First of all, Dr. Mario Thevis gave a talk about mass spectrometry in sports drug testing. Also, Prof. David Millington gave an interesting talk about the role of tandem mass spectrometry in newborn screening. It was encouraging to see how the methods developed by his team save around 2500 newborns on yearly basis. Furthermore, Dr. Lyudmilla Yanshole gave a talk about using postmortem tissues for biomarker identification. It is an interesting study as for lots of diseases it is very difficult to get tissue of healthy species.
Standard substance free quantification LC/ESI/MS
I had the possibility to present for the first time a talk at an international conference. For that, I am most grateful for the MSACL organization and the scientific committee. I introduced the recent results on the feasibility of standard substance free (semi)quantitation in LC/ESI/MS using ionization efficiency prediction models. We have measured more than 2000 ionization efficiency values. We have incorporated 21 solvent compositions. The models are developed based on descriptors calculated from the 2D structure of compounds and the predictions perform well even in complex matrices, namely, bodily fluids. Our average misprediction of ionization efficiencies is less than 3.5 times mismatch. I thank the audience for fruitful discussions on the topic.
Salzburg is a lovely city with stunning views of the Alps. Furthermore, the organizer made our stay at the conference very enjoyable with the nice coffee breaks and warm buffet for lunch and dinner which were offered every day.