Development of a Single-neuron Protein Mass Analyzer: New Frontiers for Neuroscience
We will determine cortical neuron heterogeneity by developing a "proeomic single-neuron mass analyzer," a new type of mass spectrometer that will enable the identification and quantitation of proteins expressed by single neurons in the mammalian brain while operating in vitro and in situ without having to dissociate neuronal tissues or having to know their proteomic composition ahead of time. We will integrate recent advances in technology where they exist and introduce new technologies where they do not to transform modern MS from a population-averaging tool to individual neurons. The instrument will combine specific subcomponents to microscopically identify neurons in situ, use microcapillary sampling to collect their content, and MS to determine their proetome. Our aims are strategically designed to progressively develop the new technology while providing innovations in bioanalytical chemistry and neuroscience at each stage of this research program.
Arnold O. Beckman exemplifies the meaning of the word humanitarian. Combined with his unwavering enthusiasm for life, his keen sense of humor and his strong moral and ethical principles, he is a national icon.