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Virtually the best ASMS – News from the 2020 Reboot

By Laura McGregor (Product Marketing Manager, SepSolve Analytical Ltd)

24 June 2020

ASMS 2020 Reboot

ASMS 2020 – an online conference

The recent ASMS 2020 Reboot brought the latest advances in mass spectrometry to a virtual setting. The organisers did a fantastic job moving such a huge event to an online format in an engaging way. There was even a social element in the form of a lunchtime trivia session every day.

There were many presentations and posters (a number of which have been made available online for three months), but the real highlights were the 'Watch Party' sessions in week 2, with live Q&A panel discussions. It was excellent to be able to interact with the other speakers online and answer questions from the audience – almost as good as being there in person.

Analysis of breath volatiles for disease diagnosis

I presented during the ‘GC–MS, GC×GC–MS, GC–MS/MS, and GC–HRMS’ session, together with other speakers using GC–MS across a wide range of applications, from hemp analysis to ‘petroleomics’. My presentation focused on the analysis of breath volatiles for disease diagnosis using thermal desorption coupled with GC×GC–TOF MS. If you were unable to attend ASMS and would like to listen to my presentation, you can watch it here: Delivering quality data in biomarker discovery

Mine was not the only biomarker presentation in the session – we also heard from Prof. Rabi Musah from the State University of New York at Albany on how earwax is being investigated as a tool to help diagnose diseases related to hearing, like Meniere’s.

Cannabis testing

Across all of the poster and oral sessions, one of the most popular applications for GC–MS was cannabis testing. The topics were wide-ranging – from pesticides analysis to terpenes profiling and potency determination – but the common theme was that new legislations are driving the need for development of standard methods and robust testing of cannabis products. I also presented a poster on this topic – using the power of GC×GC combined with Tandem Ionisation® mass spectrometry to confidently identify terpene isomers for more accurate flavour perception and improved product labelling. If you would like a copy of this poster, simply fill in the form below.

New dinosaur discoveries

The conference ended after two weeks with a captivating plenary lecture by Dr Stephen Brusatte, a vertebrate palaeontologist from the University of Edinburgh, UK, on 'New Dinosaur Discoveries' – a far cry from the usual mass spectrometry talks. It’s not surprising that over 500 people tuned in for the live event!

As always, ASMS was an excellent conference with a packed agenda, and we’re already looking forward to seeing you in person in Philadelphia for ASMS 2021.


Dr Laura McGregor has a background is in analytical forensic science, and her Ph.D. (at the University of Strathclyde, UK) focused on the chemical fingerprinting of environmental contamination using GC×GC−TOF MS. Following roles in application support and product marketing for Markes International’s TOF MS and software portfolios, she joined SepSolve in October 2017, where she oversees marketing activities across the full product range.

To download the poster 'Developing a discovery-based approach to cannabis testing using GC×GC–TOF MS' please complete and submit the form below.

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