Division of Analytical Chemistry

Govert Somsen           Vacant chair

Prof. Dr. Govert Somsen        Vacant chair (to be filled start of 2018)

The research mission of the Division of BioAnalytical Chemistry is to design and apply novel and improved analytics in order to gain new and improved insights into biomolecular and drug characteristics, and biological and chemical processes. Our research is directed towards methodological innovation and increased information content to solve life-science queries. Focus is on advanced separation techniques in combination with state-of-the-art mass spectrometry, optical spectroscopy and bioactivity detection. Hyphenation, integration, miniaturization and automation, are important aspects to face demands on selectivity, sensitivity, speed and data handling. The Division of BioAnalytical Chemistry aims to be an essential player in interdisciplinary scientific networks ensuring transfer of analytical expertise into and between different application areas.

The Division of BioAnalytical Chemistry comprises two chairs: 

  • Biomolecular Analysis/Analytical Chemistry (Somsen group)
  • Analytics of Biomolecular Interactions (vacancy)

Chair Biomolecular Analysis/ Analytical Chemistry

The Somsen group is focused on the development of novel analytical methodologies for the characterization, discovery and trace analysis of compounds of pharmaceutical, biomedical and biological interest. The two main lines of research are:

  • Compositional and conformational characterization of intact (bio)macromolecules using highly selective separation in combination with high-resolution (tandem) mass spectrometry and optical spectroscopy;
  • Development and application of high-resolution screening technologies enabling the simultaneous probing of bio-activity and chemical characterization of (unknown) compounds in complex samples.

The following subgroups are presently associated with this chair:

Chair Analytics of Biomolecular Interactions

Currently, there is a vacancy for this position. The prospective chair will develop and apply new and improved analytical and biophysical approaches that link compound chemical structures and biological function. Focus will be on biochemical signaling or metabolic pathways in disease using mass spectrometry as a predominant analytical tool. The chair will build hubs to the molecular cell biology and clinical pathology/microbiology groups of VU and VUmc.

Former research profile of the chair ABI:
The Wuhrer group was devoted to the development of mass spectrometric techniques in glycomics and glycoproteomics. These techniques – together with other types of “omics” techniques – were applied to clinical biomarker discovery as well as to the characterization of biopharmaceuticals.

Examples of current projects at Bioanalytical Chemistry