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Brightlands Science Lecture by Prof. Ron M.A. Heeren

March 11, 2021

“Collaborative molecular imaging across boundaries”.

Modern molecular analytical technologies in the “omics” arena play a crucial role in many scientific disciplines ranging from material sciences to clinical diagnostics. Technological advances have increased methodological sensitivity allowing researchers to acquire molecular information of smaller and smaller samples. The biggest challenge is to put that concerted information in the context of the problem the samples originate from. This lecture describes how innovative molecular imaging technologies, based on mass spectrometry and “omics” innovations have crossed boundaries. Boundaries normally keep scientists apart but need to be broken down to use them to their full advantage to solve the major problem society faces. Imaging and mass spectrometry have developed over the last two decades towards accurate tissue classification with single-cell resolution.

These technologies now offer new insights into life’s complexity that can be employed for precision medicine, the understanding of new (bio)materials, and the processes that happen on the interface of living and ‘dead’ matter. Innovations in mass spectrometry-based chemical microscopes have now firmly established themselves in translational molecular research. One key aspect of translational success is the ability to obtain this molecular information on thousands of molecules on a process relevant timescale. Modern mass microscopes can now rapidly acquire images of metabolites, lipids, polymers, peptides, and proteins, depending on the spatial resolution chosen. Combined they offer a truly precision molecular imaging approach that reveals molecular complexity in the context of its biological and material environment.

High resolution MALDI-FTMS image using MALDI-2 of a kidney cryosection demonstrating morphological and molecular detail that can easily be achieved with innovative high performance MSI.

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Registration is needed for communicating (Corona) updates regarding the consequences of events on campus.

Watch the Livestream


  • 12.00-12.05h – Welcome by Prof. M.A. Ron Heeren
  • 12.05-12.15h – Kickstarter lecture by Dr. Ian G. M. Anthony 
  • 12.15-12.45h – Science Lecture by Prof. Ron M.A. Heeren
    “Collaborative molecular imaging across boundaries”
  • 12.45-13.15h – Panel Dialogue
    • Manon van Engeland I Director GROW, Maastricht University
    • Joachim Schneider, Dutch Screening Group BV
    • Maarten Honing I Professor in Analytics for system Imaging, M4I
  • 13.15 – Closure Livestream / Lunch will only be served if the Covid measures will allow it

About Kickstarter

Dr. Ian G. M. Anthony obtained a Ph.D. degree in analytical chemistry in 2019 at Baylor University on improving analytical vacuum ultraviolet spectroscopy. After a postdoctoral fellowship, he was hired as an assistant professor at the Maastricht MultiModal Molecular Imaging (M4i) institute at Maastricht University. There, he has begun working to build a group to develop mass spectrometry imaging instrumentation. His research interests are in developing mass spectrometry instrumentation that exploits advances in data processing and sample preparation, improving spatial resolution and throughput of imaging mass spectrometers, and in working to combine multiple modes of mass spectrometry imaging.

Ian Anthony
Dr. Ian G. M. Anthony
Ron heeren
Ron M.A. Heeren - The Maastricht MultiModal Molecular Imaging institute, Maastricht University, The Netherlands


Prof. Dr. Ron M.A. Heeren obtained a Ph.D. degree in technical physics in 1992 at the University of Amsterdam on plasma-surface interactions. He was the research group leader at FOM-AMOLF for macromolecular ion physics and biomolecular imaging mass spectrometry in the period 1995-2015. In 2001 he was appointed professor at the chemistry faculty of Utrecht University lecturing on the physical aspects of biomolecular mass spectrometry. In 2014 he was appointed as distinguished professor and Limburg Chair at the University of Maastricht. He is the scientific director of M4I, the Maastricht MultiModal Molecular Imaging institute and heads the division of imaging MS. He is the vice-president of the international mass spectrometry foundation and has been active in many professional societies to advance mass spectrometric research, education, and professionalization. His academic research interests are mass spectrometry-based personalized medicine, translational molecular imaging research, high-throughput bioinformatics, and the development and validation of new mass spectrometry-based “omics” imaging techniques for the life sciences.

Email: r.heeren [at] maastrichtuniversity.nl 

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