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Prize awarded to Professor Dame Carol Robinson for mass spectrometry breakthroughs


Professor Robinson from Instruct-UK has been awarded the 2019 Novozymes Prize for her outstanding contribution to the field of mass spectrometry. By enabling the use of mass spectrometry for proteins within cell membranes, Professor Robinson’s work has transformed biomedical research. 


One of her many ground-breaking ideas was to add detergent to samples where the molecule of interest was contained within a lipid bilayer, for example proteins in the cell membrane. These proteins usually unravel from their folded structure within the mass spectrometer. The soap bubble protects the sample, meaning it can be properly characterised. The Novozymes award particularly celebrates this breakthrough as part of Professor Robinson’s development of mass spectrometry proteomics as a subfield.


Membrane proteins play a role in an enormous variety of cell functions, and when damaged they can contribute to a number of diseases such as cystic fibrosis and cancer. Accurate modelling of the shapes and interactions of these proteins is an important basis for drug development.


Click here to read more about mass spectrometry at Instruct-ERIC.


To read Professor Robinson’s review article on the development of mass spectrometry click here