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Overview of Aston Labs


We think of mass spectrometry as the science and technology of ions. Our interests therefore involve construction of mass spectrometers, fundamental studies of ion reactions and collision processes and applications to medicine, biochemistry and organic chemistry. A central current interest is in ambient ionization and its application in imaging tumor margins, monitoring therapeutic drugs in biofluids, following embryological development, and identifying microorganisms. Each of these experiments involves minimal sample workup. Another strong interest is in preparative mass spectrometry, both by soft landing ions onto surfaces in vacuum to generate new materials and also by collecting the products of solution-phase reactions occurring in electrospray droplets. In situ analysis using miniature mass spectrometers coupled to ambient ion sources for environmental, public safety and other applications is of interest. So, too, is on-line reaction monitoring. Ion chemistry is astonishingly rich as exemplified by nitrogen atom insertion into n-alkanes, chirally selective amino acid clustering and C-C bond formation, all being studied at atmospheric pressure.

Check out the Cooks Group Research Poster for the latest research!


04/2022 Congratulations to Hannah and Lucas on their successful defenses! Hello, Dr. Brown and Dr. Szalwinski!

04/2022 Congratulations to Nicolás for being awarded 1st place in CBM Three-Minute Thesis Competition!

04/2022 Congratulations to Kai-Hung for winning the Eastman Summer Fellowship!

04/2022 A modified LTQ (Phoenix) is reborn from ash and is now keen for 2D MS/MS experiments!
               Thanks for the tremendous efforts from Eric and Lucas!

04/2022 Congratulations to Hannah for winning the Thomas Keough Award!

03/2022 Dr. Steven Pringle from Waters Co. visited Aston Labs! Nice to meet you!

03/2022 Welcome our new group member Mahdiyeh Shahi to join Aston Labs!


Latest Publications (view all)

Lingqi Qiu, Nicolás M Morato, Kai-Hung Huang, and R. Graham Cooks "Spontaneous Water Radical Cation Oxidation at Double Bonds in Microdroplets" Front. Chem. (2022)

Lingqi Qiu, Michael D. Psimos, and R. Graham Cooks "Spontaneous Oxidation of Aromatic Sulfones to Sulfonic Acids in Microdroplets" JASMS (2022)

Sangeeta Pandey, Yanyang Hu, Lane R. Bushman, Jose Castillo‑Mancilla, Peter L. Anderson, and R. Graham Cooks "Miniature mass spectrometer–based point‑of‑care assay for cabotegravir and rilpivirine in whole blood" Anal. Bioanal. Chem. (2022)


Prof. Cooks will be giving a talk in ASMS on June 9th, please join us!

ThOE am: Fundamentals: Unconventional Approaches in MS
                  (In Honor of R. Graham Cooks)

We have released our demo for the high-throughput DESI-MS system, DESI-2D MS/MS, and brain cancer diagnosis.

Please check our research page or YouTube channel!


Find the podcast on our high-throughput DESI-MS system here!

(Apple Podcast)