Analytical Seminar – Prof. Laura Sanchez (University of California – Santa Cruz)

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1315 Seminar Hall
@ 12:05 pm

Title: Mass Spectrometry Applications for Studying Ovarian Cancer


In nature, small molecules are often produced by macro- and microorganisms in order to facilitate communication and drive biological processes to the benefit (or detriment) of the community as a whole. Chemical gradients and chemical cues via the production of small molecules are ubiquitous across biological systems and my lab has previously applied imaging mass spectrometry (IMS) to study these cues and gradients in microbial systems. IMS can detect molecular signatures of interest in a sample as well as their spatial distributions across the entire sample. Taking advantage of known strengths of imaging on agar for bacteria, we have adapted IMS to be compatible with mammalian tissues and cells grown in a 3D agarose matrix, specifically focused on high grade serous ovarian cancer metastasis. We have used IMS to uncover the chemical exchange in cancer and have applied other mass spectrometry approaches to begin to explore the potential of microproteins for early screening approaches.

Keywords: Mass Spectrometry, Ovarian Cancer, Screening, Imaging, Metabolomics

Full bio:

Dr. Sanchez was born and raised in Northern California. She attended Whitman College in
Walla Walla, WA where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Chemistry and became an IM dodgeball champion. Laura decided to pursue a Ph.D. in Chemistry at the University of
California, Santa Cruz after a NSF Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship in Prof. Phil
Crews lab. She returned to UCSC to work for Prof. Roger Linington where her graduate studies encompassed medicinal chemistry and natural products drug discovery. She then joined join Prof. Pieter Dorrestein’s lab at UC San Diego as an NIH IRACDA Fellow.

Host: Prof. Ying Ge