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European Biopharmaceutical Review

Making the Remarkable Routine

Mass spectrometry (MS) has become one of the most ubiquitous analytical techniques in use today. It represents a powerful tool in the study of all substances because it provides more information about the composition and structure of a substance from a smaller amount of sample than any other analytical technique.

Of all the MS techniques currently available, fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (FT-ICR MS) is arguably the most powerful. It offers 10-100 times higher mass resolution, mass resolving power and mass accuracy than any other mass analysis technique. Alternatively, viewed only as a separation device, ultrahigh-resolution FT-ICR MS offers more than 100 times higher peak capacity than the most effective wet chemical separation methods. This makes it possible to analyse complex mixtures with no prior chromatography.


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By Professor Alan Marshall, National High Magnetic Field Laboratory at Florida State University, USA and Dr Alan Street, Oxford Instruments Superconductivity, at Oxford Instruments, UK

Professor Alan G Marshall received his BA in Chemistry from Northwestern University and PhD in Physical Chemistry from Stanford University. Following faculty positions at University of British Columbia and Ohio State University, he moved to Florida State University in 1993, where he is Kasha Professor of Chemistry and Director of the Ion Cyclotron Resonance Program at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory. He is best known for his co-invention and continuing leading development of fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance (FT-ICR) mass spectrometry.

His recognitions include Fellow in the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science; three national awards from the American Chemical Society; and awards from the Spectroscopy Society of Pittsburgh, the American Society for Mass Spectrometry and the International Society for Mass Spectrometry. In addition Professor Marshall is widely published.


Dr Alan Street gained a degree in Physics from the University of Wales and a DPhil from the University of York. His working life has focused on the development and exploitation of technology, having started in 1975 with GEC at their Hirst Research Centre in Wembley.

He moved to Marconi Elliot Avionics at Boreham Wood and then on to Sperry Gyroscope in Bracknell to join a team developing a new navigational technology based on laser gyroscopes. Joining Oxford Instruments Superconductivity in 1982, Alan is now Technical Director and Deputy Managing Director.


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Professor Alan G Marshall
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Dr Alan Street
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