High Pressure Liquid Chromatography Instrument

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Submitted by Emily Miraldi of the White Laboratory at the Koch Institute

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Emily Miraldi
White Laboratory, Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT
Oil on Canvas

"Cells interpret and respond to information from the outside world (light, hormones, gradients) through a signaling network that involves the placement and removal of chemical groups onto and off proteins.  Our lab uses high-pressure liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry to discover how these chemical groups on proteins are changed between healthy and disease conditions.  The focus of the picture is the high pressure liquid chromatography instrument.  This instrument is crucial to separating pieces of the modified proteins so that they can be analyzed a few at a time by our mass-spectrometer, which accurately measures the protein pieces’ masses, leading to identification and quantification of the protein modifications across different sample conditions.  The painting conveys the excitement for the first step of the process.  Liquid waits in the HPLC bottles to be pumped through the maze of tubes and to our samples, where it will wash protein pieces into the mass spectrometer for analysis."