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The Centre for Biological Applications of Mass Spectrometry (CBAMS) was established at Concordia in June 2003 in recognition of the increasing importance of mass spectrometry in research in the molecular and life sciences. Housed in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, CBAMS takes a leading role in promoting research collaborations and in providing students with hands-on training in the applications of mass spectrometry to diverse problems in bioanalytical and biological chemistry, biogeochemistry, and the "omics" sciences. CBAMS additionally supports the development of new analytical tools, sample preparation methods and chromatographic separation procedures to enable state-of-the-art metabolomics, lipidomics and proteomics investigations.

The mandate of CBAMS is fourfold:

  • Advancement of mass spectrometry in collaborative research in all areas of biological chemistry including the omics sciences.
  • Enhancement of the research infrastructure at Concordia University by maintaining a suite of advanced high-performance mass spectrometers including the Orbitrap.
  • Rigorous hands-on instruction at the postdoctoral, PhD, MSc, diploma and BSc levels to provide trainees with in-demand expertise in mass spectrometry.
  • Provision of mass spectrometry support for small biotechnology companies and research institutes in the Montreal area.

Acknowledging its critical role at Concordia, CBAMS was granted University Centre status in June 2011. Furthermore, the University provides an operating grant to the Centre to promote its mandate and to enhance student access to the instrumentation.

The instrumentation in CBAMS was funded by CFI-Québec, NSERC, CIHR, donations from the private sector and Concordia University. With the installation in March 2011 of the LTQ-Orbitrap Velos ETD, CBAMS has state-of-the-art instrumentation valued at over $6 M. CBAMS is not only the most comprehensive academic mass spectrometry platform in Canada, it is notable for its dedication to the hands-on training of students and researchers.

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