UMBC’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry has been awarded a $200,000 grant from the Maryland Biotechnology Center to purchase a new mass spectrometer that will enable researchers to rapidly find the composition of chemical samples.
The new instrument is part of the department’s effort to upgrade its core research facilities for use by faculty and students at UMBC, and also by partners in the community. Among other uses, department chair William LaCourse says it will play a role in his research refining a test to detect blood biomarkers that can indicate alcohol consumption and abuse.
While the same tests can be performed with existing instruments at UMBC, LaCourse says, the new instrument will dramatically cut the time it takes to prepare samples, making it useful for blood testing and other uses where many samples must be run in sequence.
The Washington Post reported on the Maryland Biotechnology Center grants, which totaled $1.3 million and went to seven private companies and University System of Maryland departments.