Sarah Trimpin, Ph.D.

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Contact Information
Mailing address:
Wayne State University
Department of Chemistry     
5101 Cass Ave         
Detroit, MI 48202
Fax:         (313) 577-8822
Phone:    (313) 577-9823



Research interests

The goal of Dr. Trimpin’s research is to develop new methods and instrumentation for the structural characterization of materials ranging from obstinate small to fragile large molecules and to apply these new methods to important structural problems in such areas as cell biology and material sciences.  She has pioneered the development and use of solvent-free matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) method for the analysis of, for example, solubility-restricted bacteriorhodopsin, an α-integral membrane protein intrinsically important for cell function, and β-amyloid peptides involved with plaque formation in Alzheimer Disease as well as an insoluble polyfluorene, a synthetic polymer with possible electronic device applications. The same principle led to the development of a matrix ionization method that allows the production of charge remote fragmentation on modern high energy TOF/TOF mass spectrometers and permits re-visiting ion chemistry for the structural analysis of fatty acids, important structural components of lipids and thus cell architecture. Currently, the solvent-free methodology is the most sensitive approach for insoluble and/or ionization retarded small and large molecules but also provides valuable advantages for soluble, segregating systems.  Dr. Trimpin is presently extending the methodology by developing ways of hyphenating solvent-free ionization methods to solvent-free gas phase ion separation based on ion mobility spectrometry (IMS).  Total Solvent-free Analysis (TSA) is an effective way to reduce complexity leading to broad-scale analysis independent of solubility. More recently she developed laserspray ionization (LSI) producing, at will, singly and highly charged ions similar to those obtained by MALDI or ESI, respectively.  

Dr. Sarah Trimpin holds an Organic Chemistry Degree from the Max-Planck-Institute of Polymer Research (Mainz, Germany) under the supervision of Prof. Müllen in which she established solvent-free MALDI method for the analysis of large synthetic molecules.  Her postdoctoral position at OSU/OHSU (Corvallis/Portland, Oregon) under the supervision of Prof.s Deinzer and Spencer was primarily in the area of new ionization methods for protein analysis, whereas, her research associate at Indiana University (Bloomington, IN) under the supervision of Prof. Clemmer focused on gas phase separation methods. She has received several national and international awards, for example, best PhD thesis award (2003) from the German Society for Mass Spectrometry for her contributions in polymer science and Young Investigator awardee from the Human Proteome Organisation (2006) for her life science contributions. She was also highlighted by Genome Technology Magazine in Tomorrow's PIs rising young investigators sarahtrimpin A Whole New MALDI (2007). In December 2009 Prof. Trimpin received the NSF CAREER Award, in February 2010 the ASMS Research Award, in April 2010 the DuPont Company Young Professor Award, in October 2011 the Waters Center of Innovation Award, and in April 2012 the Eli Lilly Young Investigator Award.

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