Monthly Meeting

Next meeting:

Wednesday, January 18

Host Your Own Virtual Meeting

Grants are available for institutions that broadcast our Technical Program.

Technology Forum

Dr. Alexis Franks

UPMC Children’s Hospital

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“Effect of Lead on Children”

Chronic lead exposure in children, while typically avoiding many of the symptoms of acute toxicity, is associated with the slow buildup of the heavy metal throughout tissues and bones in the human body, and has been linked to detrimental cognitive effects, including a decreased cognitive ability. Recent and historical events have shown the need to better anticipate and prevent environmental contaminants & pollutants leading to detrimental outcomes. Leveraging her specialty of neurodevelopment in children, Dr. Alexis Franks from UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh (CHP) provides insight on lead contamination in the local area from a current and historical perspective.

Technical Program

Dr. Amanda Hummon

Ohio State University

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“Spatial SILAC—Exploring Spatially-Defined Changes to the Proteome”

Three-dimensional cell cultures are attractive models for biological research. They combine the flexibility of cell culture with some of the spatial and molecular complexity of tissue. For example, colon cancer cell lines form spheroids, in vitro mimics of poorly vascularized tumors. The spheroids are composed of a central necrotic core, a middle quiescent layer and an outer proliferative layer of cells, similar to a rapidly growing colon tumor. Our laboratory has characterized the distribution of endogenous proteins via MALDI imaging mass spectrometry in colon spheroids and determined that the molecular gradients correlate with the pathophysiological changes in the structure. We have developed Spatial SILAC, a method to selectively label the cells in the distinct chemical microenvironments in the spheroids and assess the proteomic changes in response to drug treatment. We have also developed an approach to employ 3D cell cultures to evaluate the penetration of compounds into cellular masses. Most novel drugs are initially evaluated with 2D cultures before moving directly to costly animal studies. Working with the chemotherapeutics oxaliplatin and irinotecan, our data supports differential penetration of these clinically relevant drugs. We are employing microfluidic devices to enable dynamic dosing, thus investigating the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of chemotherapy regimes in these attractive model systems. We have also extended our imaging mass spectrometry platforms to the study of patient and mouse-derived organoids, examining the distribution and metabolism of drugs compounds in these clinically relevant specimens.

Attend In-Person

The monthly meeting will be held in the Power Center Ballroom, Duquesne University. Registration for dinner is required.


5:00 PM – Social Hour
5:30 PM – Technology Forum
6:30 PM – Dinner
7:15 PM – Business Meeting
8:00 PM – Technical Program

Attend Virtually

The monthly meeting. Technology Forum, and Technical Program are accessible via the Zoom platform.

Pre-registration required. Link will be emailed.
7:15 PM – Business Meeting
8:00 PM – Technical Program

PARKING: Duquesne University Parking Garage entrance is on Forbes Avenue. The Power Center can be accessed from the 8th Floor of the Forbes Garage. Bring your parking ticket to the dinner or meeting for a validation sticker.If there is a special event, please note that you are there for the SACP/SSP meeting.

About the Program Speaker

Amanda Hummon earned her AB in chemistry at Cornell University and her PhD in analytical chemistry at the University of Illinois, in the laboratory of Prof. Jonathan Sweedler. She completed her postdoctoral work at the National Cancer Institute. She is currently a Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the Comprehensive Cancer Center at The Ohio State University. Her laboratory develops mass spectrometric methods to explore cancer tissues, cell cultures, and organoids.

About the Forum Speaker

Dr. Alexis Franks specializes in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities, and her area of clinical focus is the care of children with neurogenetic conditions, neurologic congenital anomalies, developmental delays, autism, and neurologic management for children with multiple disabilities. Her research is focused on investigating neurodevelopmental outcomes after pre- and perinatal exposures to exogenous compounds.