PhD CASE studentship with Syngenta

Applications are invited for a BBSRC DTP CASE studentship in collaboration with Syngenta entitled: Mass Spectrometry Imaging of xenobiotics in foliar systems

This project will explore the novel application of  mass spectrometry imaging technologies to measure improved uptake, distribution and metabolism of crop protection products in leaves and plants, addressing globals challenges in food security.

Details of the project, application process and eligibility requirements can be found here. Eligible applicants should contact before making a formal application (deadline 22 Jan 2021)

BBSRC DTP PhD studentship

Applications are invited for a cross-faculty BBSRC DTP studentship entitled: Imaging inflammatory changes in tissues by mass spectrometry

This project will focus on the use of mass spectrometry imaging of biological tissues to explore and further develop their capabilities in the context of inflammation research. Inflammation is central to progression and outcome of a wide range of important conditions including stroke, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease.

Details of the project, application process and eligibility requirements can be found here. Eligible applicants should contact the primary supervisor before making a formal application (deadline 22 Jan 2021)

Applications for PhD studentships

We are looking for PhD students to join the group and work in the following areas:

  • Fundamentals of keV ion beam interactions with surfaces or laser photons with sputter neutrals.
  • Applications of Mass Spectrometry Imaging (SIMS, MALDI, DESI, LAESI) in materials and biological sciences.
  • Development of methodologies for analysis and data processing in Mass Spectrometry Imaging.

If you are seeking support for funding applications or have funding already secured please contact

Collaboration with the Rosalind Franklin Institute

We have started a collaboration with the Biological Mass Spectrometry theme of the Rosalind Franklin Institute, led by Profs. Josephine Bunch and Zoltan Takats.  This aims to develop new capabilities for mass specrometry imaging using SIMS and laser post-ionisation.  We welcome back Dr Sadia Sheraz to the group to lead the experiments at the Photon Science Institute.

The Rosalind Franklin Institute is a new national institute, funded by the UK government through UK Research and Innovation, dedicated to bringing about transformative changes in life science through interdisciplinary research and technology development.

New MALDI-ToF instrumentation

EPSRC have funded a new MALDI imaging instrument through their strategic equipment call.  The grant, worth £810 k will allow investment in the latest MALDI-ToF technology, enabling us to establish a facility serving internal and external users.  The instrument complements the University’s world-leading mass spctrometry imaging capabilities including ToF-SIMS, Nano-SIMS, DESI-MS and LAESI-MS.  The Facility will be managed through the Michael Barber Centre for Collaborative Mass Spectrometry.

New Funding for Battery Characterisation

UKRI/The Faraday Institution have funded a project led by Dr Robert Weatherup (Diamond Manchester Research Fellow)
“What lies beneath? – new multimodal platforms for operando characterisation of buried interfaces in working batteries.”
The principal goal of this proposal is to develop new in-situ and operando platforms including ToF-SIMS, NAPXPS and HAXPES that will enable characterisation of buried interfaces in working batteries.

New funding for plant cell SIMS

A BBSRC Flexible Talent Mobility Award to Dr Jolanda van Munster (School of Chemistry & MIB) and Dr Sadia Sheraz (School of Materials) will allow us to extend our SIMS research into plant matter. The project entitled “Correlative mass-spectrometry imaging for nanoscale structural insight into plant biomass for food and biotechnology” is in collaboration with Dr Katie Moore (School of Materials), Prof Richard Ward (University of São Paulo-Ribeirão Preto, Brazil) and Rothamsted Research Ltd.


Congratulations Professor Lockyer!

Dr Nick LockyerThe School of Chemistry at the University of Manchester have awarded Nick Lockyer a Chair in Physical Chemistry.

Nick came to the University (then UMIST) to read Chemistry in the late 1980s and continued to study for a PhD in Laser Ionisation Mass Spectrometry of Biomolecules, awarded in 1996. His postdoctoral research involved the development of the Biotof, an imaging ToF-SIMS instrument, with a focus on laser post-ionisation, sputtered neutral mass spectrometry (SNMS).

He was awarded a Leverhulme Special Research Fellowship to further develop the Biotof as a Chemical Microscope, following which he was appointed lecturer in Chemistry. Nick briefly moved to the School of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science (CEAS), during the merger of UoM and UMIST in 2004, before moving back to Chemistry in 2011. With his research group in the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology (MIB), and also the Photon Science Institute (PSI), he has explored a range of imaging mass spectral modalities in the area of biology and biomaterials, together with technique and instrument development.

As the result of successful bids to EPSRC and the Royce Institute he was awarded a major grant to replace the Ionoptika J105 3D Chemical Imager with a new instrument. This will involve consolidating the research group in the PSI providing opportunities to further explore advanced materials and photonic approaches to mass spectrometry.


New project funded

New Developments in Quantitative 3D Chemical Imaging

A major new EPSRC grant of £844k will allow us to explore further the 3D imaging SIMS capabilities of reactive cluster projectile using a new high-energy ion beam.  Project partners include Prof Ian Gilmore at the National Physical Laboratory and Prof Arnaud Delcorte at the Universite catholique de Louvain.

The funding, togther with investment from the Henry Royce Institute allows us to replace our prototype Ionoptika J105 SIMS with the latest model, including a 70 keV water cluster beam.  This comes 10 y after the installation of the first J105 instrument in Manchester.