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Archived Internal Updates


The McLean Research Group Members Presenting at the 2020 Virtual ASMS “Reboot” Conference


The McLean Research Group members will be presenting their research at the 2020 American Society for Mass Spectrometry (ASMS) Virtual Conference:

Poster Presentations:

Shawn T. Phillips, “Probing the Structural Diversity of Vasopressin, Oxytocin, and Other Neuropeptide Analogues with Cyclic Multi-Pass Ion Mobility Spectrometry”
Jody C. May “A Prototype SLIM-based Ion Mobility Instrument for High Resolving Power Separations Integrated with MS”,
Katrina L. Leaptrot “Lipid Isomer Separations via a High Resolution Prototype SLIM-based Ion Mobility Instrument in Support of High Confidence Lipidomics”,
Jaqueline A. Picache “SIFTER: Chemical Class Prediction of Unknown Biomolecules Using Ion Mobility-Mass Spectrometry and Machine Learning”
Andrzej Balinksi “A Novel In-Source Ion Fragmentation Device for Comprehensive Small Molecule Analysis by Collision-Induced Dissociation-Ion Mobility-Mass Spectrometry”,
Berkley M. Ellis “Rapid Flux Phenotyping by DESI-Ion Mobility-Imaging Mass Spectrometry to Accelerate Metabolic Engineering of Bacteria”,
Don E. Davis, Jr. “The Identification of Intact Phase II Steroid Metabolites in Human Urine Utilizing Liquid Chromatography-Ion Mobility-Mass Spectrometry”,
Rachel A. Harris “Analysis of Synthesized Polyethylene Glycol-Based Polyurethane Oligomers Using Ion Mobility-Mass Spectrometry”,
Bailey S. Rose “Collision Cross Section Calibration Strategies for a Prototype SLIM-based Ion Mobility Instrument”
Emanuel Zlibut “Evaluation of Computational Strategies to Interpret Ion Mobility Measurements for Chemically-Diverse Analytes”

Katie Leaptrot Given 2020 Postdoc Honorable Mention Award


Dr. Leaptrot has received a Postdoc Honorable Mention Award from the Vanderbilt Postdoctoral Association and Office of Postdoctoral Affairs for her scientific work and mentoring efforts.

Read more…

McLean Research Group Featured in Chemical & Engineering News


The lab is featured in a news article that appeared today in C&EN and highlights IM-MS technologies along with the Unified Collision Cross Section Compendium initiated in the McLean lab.

Amelia Taylor Receives EAS Student Research Award


Another big congrats to undergraduate student Amelia Taylor for winning a Student Research Award for the Eastern Analytical Symposium!

McLean Research Group Retools for Hand Sanitizer Production


In collaboration with Prof. Janet Macdonald, the McLean Group (Andrzej Balinski and Prof. John McLean) are leveraging their chemical expertise to produce hand sanitizer for Vanderbilt and the greater Nashville area.

The chemical formulations utilized in these efforts yield a high-quality product that exceeds current FDA regulations and WHO recommendations for compounding gels with high antiviral efficacy.

An initial production run of 80 gallons has been completed, with additional product available upon request.

See the MyVU story …

Amelia Taylor Named Goldwater Scholar


Congratulations to undergraduate student Amelia Taylor for receiving a Goldwater Scholarship!

Read more…

McLean Group in Minimal Operation Status


In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the McLean Research Group has transitioned to remote, off-campus operational status, effective immediately. We have enacted a Continuity of Operation Plan to ensure continued maintenance and upkeep of critical research instrumentation and infrastructure. Weekly group meetings have transitioned to a virtual format, and we are continuing to work on manuscripts, grants, and data workups remotely.

Bailey Rose Receives 2020 Graduate Student Travel Award from the American Society for Mass Spectrometry (ASMS)


Bailey was selected to receive a 2020 ASMS Graduate Student Travel Award. Go meet her at the annual ASMS conference!

Jaqueline Picache Named Runner Up for Prize for Research Excellence


Congratulations to Jackie Picache for becoming the runner-up for the Richard N. Armstrong Prize for Research Excellence in Chemical Biology Research!

She will present her work this afternoon at the Student Research Symposium organized by the Vanderbilt Institute of Chemical Biology: See the Event Page

Jackie Picache presenting her work at ASMS. (Photo courtesy of Dr. Katie Leaptrot)

Jaqueline Picache Receives American Society for Mass Spectrometry (ASMS) Graduate Student Travel Award


Graduate student Jackie Picache has been presented an ASMS Graduate Student Travel Award to this year’s ASMS conference for her work on the Unified Collision Cross Section (CCS) Compendium.

A webcast of her presentation titled “Development of a Unified Collision Cross Section Compendium for Compound Annotation and Chemical Class Prediction” can be found here:

The McLean Research Group Members Presenting at the 2019 ASMS Conference


The following McLean Research Group members will be presenting at the 2019 American Society for Mass Spectrometry (ASMS) Conference:

Oral Presentations (Webcast Link):

Bailey S. Rose “Integrated Multidimensional Liquid Chromatography-Ion Mobility-Tandem Mass Spectrometry (LC-IM-MS/MS) Workflow for High Confidence Annotations in Global Untargeted Lipidomics”,
Jody C. May “Advanced Temporal Multiplexing and Peak Deconvolution for Improved Sensitivity and Resolution in Ion Mobility-Mass Spectrometry Analysis”,
Katrina L. Leaptrot “Conformational Lipid Atlas for High Confidence Lipidomics”,
Jaqueline A. Picache “Development of a Unified Collision Cross Section Compendium for Compound Annotation and Chemical Class Prediction”

Poster Presentations:

Berkley M. Ellis “Bacteria Fight Club: Mapping Microbial Interactions for Drug Discovery”,
Don E. Davis, Jr. “Biomarker Discovery and Validation for Delirium Syndrome Using Mass Spectrometry-Based Metabolomics Analysis of Serum Samples”,
Rachel A. Harris “Evaluation of Surface Induced Dissociation in Conjunction with Ion Mobility-Mass Spectrometry for Lipid Structural Characterization”,
Emanuel Zlibut “Copper Complexation Strategies for Differentiating Amino Acid Enantiomers by Ion Mobility”

Berkley Ellis and Jaqueline Picache Given International Poster Award in Vietnam


Jackie Picache and Berk Ellis were awarded 1st Place for presenting their research at the 2019 Analytica Trade Fair in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam.

Dr. Leaptrot Receives Best Poster Award at 13th Annual VPA Symposium


We are proud to announce that McLean Research Group postdoc, Katie Leaptrot, received a Best Poster Award for presenting her work on high confidence lipidomics at the 2019 Vanderbilt Postdoctoral Association’s (VPA) Symposium.

Read more about her work here:

Congratulations to Drs. Caleb Morris and Tiffany Crescentini!

Both McLean Group graduate students successfully defended their dissertation work. Dr. Morris’ dissertation is titled “Molecular Descriptor on the Basis of Structural Analysis in Ion Mobility-Mass Spectrometry”. Dr. Crescentini’s dissertation is titled “Mass Spectrometry: An Approach to Characterizing Polyurethane Polymers”.

Don E. Davis, Jr. Selected for MSACL 2019 US Young Investigator Educational Grant


McLean Research Group graduate student Don E. Davis, Jr. will receive one of this year’s U.S. Young Investigator Educational Grants for the Mass Spectrometry: Applications in the Clinical Lab (MSACL) Annual Conference.

Center for Innovative Technology Launches LinkedIn Page


The Center for Innovative Technology (CIT; Director: Prof. John A. McLean) provides full-service small molecule omics analyses at Vanderbilt University and for external collaborators and has now launched a LinkedIn page in addition to their website.

To get updates about the CIT, follow them here:

Jaqueline Picache Receives ASMS Fall Workshop Travel Award


Jackie recently received a travel award from the American Society for Mass Spectrometry to attend the Fall Workshop about “Metabolomics Informatics“.

Jackie Picache

Jaqueline Picache Awarded V-CBI Training Grant


We are pround to announce that Jackie has been awarded a Vanderbilt Chemistry-Biology Interface (V-CBI) Training Award by Vanderbilt Institute for Chemical Biology under NIH grant 5T32GM065086. Five out of 16 nominated students were selected for a one-year appointment. Her project is entitled “Development of the Biomedical Integrated Online Profiler for Real-time Omics (BIOPRO) to Probe Biochemical Unknowns”.

Read more here:

Dr. James Dodds

Congratulations to Dr. James N. Dodds!


James successfully defended his dissertation entitled “Investigation of Separation Strategies for Bioanalytical Methods: Chromatography, Ion Mobility, and Mass Spectrometry”. Good work Dr. Dodds!

McLean Research Group Releases Unified Collision Cross Section Compendium


The Compendium is an online interactive tool that utilizes empirically-measured ion mobility collision cross sections to annotate molecular signals from untargeted experiments.

Launch the interactive CCS Compendium can be accessed here:

Jaqueline A. Picache, Bailey S. Rose, Andrzej Balinski, Katrina L. Leaptrot, Jody C. May, Stacy D. Sherrod, and John A. McLean, “Collision Cross Section Compendium to Annotate and Predict Multi-omic Compound Identities”, Chemical Science 10, 983-993 (2018). DOI: 10.1039/C8SC04396E.

Nadjali A. Chung Awarded Vanderbilt Institute of Chemical Biology (VICB) Fellowship


New McLean Group member Nadjali has received a Vanderbilt Institute of Chemical Biology Fellowship from Vanderbilt University. Great work, Nadjali!

Don E. Davis, Jr.

Don E. Davis, Jr. Receives Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) Fellowship


Don has recently been awarded a Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need Fellowship by the Department of Education. Congratulations, Don!

Bailey S. Rose Awarded Vanderbilt Institute of Chemical Biology (VICB) Fellowship


Bailey just received a Vanderbilt Institute of Chemical Biology Fellowship from Vanderbilt University. Congratulations, Bailey!

Welcome Emanuel Zlibut, Bailey Rose, and Nadjali Chung to the McLean Research Group!


We are glad to welcome Mr. Emanuel Zlibut, Ms. Bailey Rose, and Ms. Nadjali Chung as new graduate students in the McLean Group.

From left to right: Isaiah Speight (Hanusa lab, VU), NOBCChE president Dr. Emanuel Waddell (University of Alabama, Huntsville), Vanderbilt Professor Dr. Renã A. S. Robinson; Don E Davis, Jr. (McLean Research Group), and Marsalas D. Whitaker (Co-Founder of SweetBio, Inc.)

Don E. Davis, Jr. Elected as Treasurer for Nashville Chapter of the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE)


We are pleased to announce that McLean Research Group graduate student Don E. Davis, Jr. was recently elected to serve on the executive board of the local NOBCChE chapter in the position of Treasurer. Congratulations, Don!

Bailey S. Rose

Bailey S. Rose Receives Mitchum E. Warren Graduate Research Fellowship


McLean Research Group graduate student Bailey Rose just received a Mitchum Warren Fellowship from Vanderbilt University. Congratulations, Bailey!

Jackie Picache

Welcome Jaqueline Picache to the McLean Research Group!


We have recently welcomed Jackie Picache as a new graduate student into the McLean Group.

Jackie’s research will focus on high content, high throughput phenotypic profiling assay for in vitro/vivo systems utilizing fluorescent microscopy and high resolution mass spectrometry.

Center for Innovative Technology Launches Website


The Center for Innovative Technology (CIT; Director: Prof. John A. McLean) is a full-service, collaborative molecular omics analytical facility specializing in a range of cutting edge mass spectrometry and confocal microscopy techniques.

For more information regarding our capabilities and services, please visit our website:


New Members Join the Lab in Spring 2016
06.31.16   We have recently welcomed new graduate students into the McLean Group: Rachel Harris, Donald Davis, and Berkley Ellis. Rachel will pursue the identification of lipids using multiple fragmentation platforms (CID, SID, ozonolysis). Don’s research will focus on clinical applications of IM-MS. Lastly, Berkley aims to characterize the circadian rhythm of cyanobacteria using a metabolomics based approach.

New Member Joins the Lab in Fall 2014
10.31.14   We have recently welcomed a new graduate student into the McLean Group: Tiffany (Onifer) Crescentini. Tiffany will pursue novel analytical approaches to characterizing synthetic polymers .

New Members Join the Lab in Spring 2014
6.12.14   We have recently welcomed a new post doc and three new graduate students into the McLean Group. Dr. Ewa Jurneczko will focus on instrument development and James Dodds, Ray Keller, and James Poland will focus on biological applications of IM-MS.

Kelly and Jay Graduate in Spring 2014
3.11.14   Kelly Hines successfully defended on March 11, 2014. Her Ph.D. dissertation was entitled ” Biomolecular Signatures of Disease Via Ion Mobility and Mass Spectrometry Techniques “.2.4.14   Jay Forsythe successfully defended on February 4, 2014. His Ph.D. dissertation was entitled ” Advanced Strategies for Imaging Mass Spectrometry and Ion Mobility-Mass Spectrometry “.

New Members Join the Lab in May 2013

5.10.13We have recently welcomed three new students into the McLean Group. Caleb’s research will focus on instrumentation while Andy and Chatney (co-advised by Dr. Cliffel) plan to incorporate IM-MS into their electrochemistry research.

Cody Graduates in February 2013

2.20.13   Cody Goodwin successfully defended on February 20, 2013. His Ph.D. dissertation was entitled ” Advanced Structural Mass Spectrometry for Metabolomics “.

Jeff Graduates in August 2012

8.30.12   Jeff Enders successfully defended on August 30, 2012. His Ph.D. dissertation was entitled “Structural Mass Spectrometry Strategies for Systems Biology “.

McLean Lab Gets Major Research Instrumentation Grant

8.1.12   The McLean group has recently received an NSF grant to construct an 8-channel IM-MS.

McLean Lab Gets $4M Grant

8.1.12   The McLean group has recently received over $4 M in the past two months for multiplex IM-MS instrumentation and exometabolome analysis for organs-on-a-chip. We are grateful for the support from the NSF, NIH, DTRA, and DAPRA.

Nichole, Katie, and Rafa Join the Lab

3.23.12   We have recently welcomed three new members into the McLean group. Nichole Lareau joined the group in December of 2011 and Katie Leaptrot and Rafael Montenegro joined in March of 2012. Nichole and Rafael plan to focus on application research, while Katie’s focus is on instrumentation.

Kellen, Josh, Michal, and Randi round out the gradutes of the McLean group in the Spring/Summer 2011

7.14.11   Kellen Harkness, Josh Kerr, Michal Kliman, and Randi Gant-Branum all successfully defended over the course of the Spring/Summer of 2011.

Sarah Stow joins the group

5.30.11   Sarah Stow joins the group, coming from the University of Georgia where she studied both Chemistry and Mathematics. She received an ACS-Certified B.S. degree in Chemistry and hopes to finish her B.S. in Mathematics while here at Vanderbilt. She is currently working on developing a computational strategy for conformational analysis of natural products.

Dr. John McLean and Michal Kliman receive “Excellence in Teaching” Award from SMACS

5.7.10   The Student Members of the American Chemical Society is pleased to recognize Dr. John McLean as the faculty recipient and Michal Kliman as the teaching assistant recipient of our “Excellence in Teaching” Award for 2009-10. Each will receive a certificate and will have their name engraved on the departmental plaque.

Larissa graduates!

4.9.10   The first member of our group, Larissa S. Fenn, completed her Ph.D. dissertation entitled “Detection and Characterization of Glycans and Glycoconjugates using Ion Mobility-Mass Spectrometry” and successfully defended on April 9th, 2010. She is currently a Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Emerging Leaders Program Finalist.

Drs. McLean and Wikswo are interviewed in The Tennessean

3.12.10   Both Dr. McLean and Dr. Wikswo provided comments on the joint microfluidics-ion mobility-mass spectrometry project the two groups are collaborating on. The Tennessean article highlights some of the research taking place at Vanderbilt that is funded by stimulus grants and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Dr. McLean receives DTRA research award at the Chemical and Biological Defense Science and Technology Conference

11.20.09   The McLean group was responsible for presenting three posters at the CBD S&T conference in Dallas, TX. The conference was held from November 16th through November 20th at the Hyatt Regency Dallas. At the closing ceremony Dr. McLean was selected to receive a Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) research award. Learn more…

Larissa and Jeff receive awards at FACSS 09 in Louisville

10.23.09   Larissa was awarded the prestigious Society for Applied Spectroscopy (SAS) Barbara Stull Graduate Student Award and Jeff was awarded SAS and FACSS Student Poster Awards at the FACSS conference in Louisville, Kentucky. Additionally, over the course of the week four members of the group gave oral presentations and four different posters were presented. The event lasted from October 18th through the 22nd. Learn more…

New McLean lab member, Jody May, joins the group as a post doc

7.10.09   Jody May comes to the McLean lab from the David Russell group at Texas A&M University, where he worked on the design of novel ion trap geometries for ion cyclotron resonance experiments and developing ion mobility instrumentation based on surface induced dissociation and time-of-flight mass analysis. His final dissertation project focused on the development and characterization of a mass selectable cryogenic ion mobility-mass spectrometer designed to improve the analytical figures-of-merit for ion mobility analysis. Learn more…

ASMS '09 Philadelphia McLean group represented at q-bio 2009 conference

7.7.09   Santa Fe, New Mexico was the location of this year’s q-bio conference. Jeff gave a lecture addressing the benefits of using ion mobility – mass spectrometry for making quantitative biological measurements to an audience of predominantly systems biology researchers and our fellow collaborators, the John Wikswo group, organized a session on controlling cellular function. Undergraduates Ayeeshik Kole and Bao Nguyen also presented a poster. Learn more…

ASMS '09 Philadelphia 6.1.09 Larissa presented on her recent work at ASMS ’09 in Philadelphia. Her presentation titled “Integrated ‘omics’ on the basis of structural separations by ion mobility-mass spectrometry” was given during the Monday morning “Developments in Ion Mobility Instrumentation and Theory” organized by Dr. McLean. Additionally, Dr. McLean was responsible for organizing the interest group workshop on “Instrumental Innovations for Ion Mobility-Mass Spectrometry”. Learn more…

News photo of Cody 3.31.09 New Group member Cody Goodwin joins the lab. Cody comes to the McLean lab from the University of Central Florida, where he graduated with his BS. in chemistry. Cody came to Vanderbilt because of its many options to research physical chemistry. He eventually settled on the McLean group after rotating through the lab. Learn more…

News photo of Larissa 10.2.08 Larissa earned the Piedmont award as well as the Best Student Poster at FACSS 2008. Her poster entitled “Simultaneous Glycoproteomic Strategies Utilizing Ion Mobility-Mass Spectrometry: New Insights from Structural Separations” was one of only 14 posters that received an award. Learn more…

C&E News cover image September 15, 2008 9.15.08 The September 15th issue of Chemical and Engineering News featured McLean group member Jeffrey Enders on the cover. The issue contains a 7 page article written by Celia Henry Arnaud covering the currently rising state of ion mobility-mass spectrometry. Learn more…