Early research involved the development and application of the ion cyclotron resonance technique including the first measurement of accurate intrinsic basicities of organic molecules. Theory was also an interest and my group developed the first accurate methods for obtaining collisional rate constants of ions with polar molecules and the general phase space statistical theory for both unimolecular and bimolecular ionic reactions. On two sabbatical visits to the UK (with Keith Jennings and John Beynon) I was introduced to sector mass spectrometry. Using this experience our group developed high resolution translational energy spectroscopy and crossed ion cluster beam-laser beam methods to study photo-induced reaction dynamics, both on reverse geometry sector machines. These efforts eventually led us to develop ion mobility based mass spectrometry (IMS-MS) with an initial focus on understanding the structural evolution of carbon clusters formed in carbon arcs. From these data the mechanism for fullerene formation was deduced. At present we are applying IMS-MS to amyloid forming biological systems including the Abeta42 peptide responsible for Alzheimer’s disease, where we have recently published the composition and structure of the proximate toxic agent, and the amylin peptide responsible for the molecular basis of Type 2 Diabetes. While our earlier efforts were usually self-contained in the research group, virtually all of our work now is collaborative with biologists, theorists and other chemists.
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