MSRC Mass Spectrometry Research and Development

MSRC R&D Past Lab Members

Patrícia Verardi Abdelnur

Patrícia received her Bachelor's degree in Chemistry from Federal University of São Carlos, at São Carlos, São Paulo (SP), Brazil in 2004. She received her Master's Degree in Organic Chemistry, Natural Products, at the same university in 2006. From 2006 to 2010, she completed work on her PhD at State University at Campinas, in Organic Chemistry, Mass Spectrometry, at ThoMSon Mass Spectrometry Laboratory, at Campinas, SP, Brazil. She trained in Prof. Capriol's lab in 2009 for part of her PhD in Imaging Mass Spectrometry. Currently, she is a researcher at EMBRAPA (Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation) Agroenergy, at Brasilia, Brazil in the analytical and instrumental center, at the Mass Spectrometry Laboratory.

Hans Rudolf Aerni

Hans received his BS at the University of Applied Sciences in Burgdorf Switzerland where he specialized in analytical chemistry. Before coming to Vanderbilt, he did project work at the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology developing MS based methods for quantification of micropollutants in surface waters. His current projects focus on development of novel methodology for MS based in situ characterization of clinical samples including tissues.

Rita Casadonte

Rita received her Ph.D in Molecular Oncology in 2007, from the University of Catanzaro in Italy, where she did her thesis work on proteomics studies focusing on breast cancer biomarker discovery. She joined Dr. Caprioli's lab as a post-doctoral fellow after receiving her PhD. She had developed a novel approach to directly detect the spatial distribution of therapeutic oligonucleotide drug within tumor projects using imaging mass spectrometry. Currently, she is a researcher at Molekularpathologie Institute in Trier, Germany where she is applying imaging mass spectrometry to define clinically relevant molecular signatures from formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded resected diseased tissue.

Fabian Deutskens


Fabian received his degree in Veterinary Medicine from the Justus-Liebig-University Giessen, Germany in 2010. He is currently a research intern in the Caprioli lab. He is investigating viral infections, particularly the proteomic changes in infected cells using MALDI-Imaging and Profiling.

Sara Frappier

Originally from Northern Virginia, Sara (a.k.a. Frap) received her B.S. in Chemistry with a specialization in Biochemistry from St. Andrews Presbyterian College in Laurinburg, NC. She is currently a fourth year graduate student in the Chemistry department working on Quantitative Small Molecule Imaging correlated with Proteome response by MALDI IMS. When not in the lab, Frap spends her time perfecting her second passion on the soccer field.

William Hardesty

William received his bachelor's degree in chemistry from Andrews University in 2004. He is a fourth year graduate student investigating markers of positive drug response for patients with metastatic melanoma.

Joey Latham


Veronica Mainini


Veronica was born in Milan, Italy. She received her degree cum laude in Medical Biotechnologies from University of Milano-Bicocca in 2006. She is currently a third year PhD student in Biomedical Technologies at University of Milano-Bicocca and she is developing methods for MALDI Imaging and Profiling and applying those techniques to the study of proteins and peptides.

Satu Poulitaival

Satu was born in Espoo, Finland. She did her undergrad work at Catawba College in Salisbury, NC. Her thesis project is developing methods for MALDI profiling and imaging of phospholipids and applying those techniques to study the phospholipids in human clear cell renal cell carcinoma.

Whitney Ridenour

Whitney received her bachelor's degree from the University of Tennessee in Biochemistry where she also worked in Chemical and Biological Engineering Labs at ORNL. She is currently a third year graduate student of the Biochemistry department working on imaging MALDI ion mobility mass spectrometry with the McLean Lab. In her spare time she is a professional skydiver and enjoys scuba diving.

Kristina Schwamborn

Kristina received her M.D. from Heinrich-Heine-University in Dusseldorf, Germany, where she did her thesis work on human herpes virus type 8 transmission.  Starting her residency, she joined the Institute of Pathology at the RWTH Aachen University in Germany. She received her Ph.D. from RWTH Aachen University for proteomic studies focusing on prostate and bladder cancer biomarkers. Her current work involves application of imaging mass spectrometry for risk stratification in prostate cancer.

Domenico Taverna

Domenico received his degree in Pharmacy and Pharmacy Industry from University of Perugia, Italy in 2006. He started his PhD in Mass Spectrometry and Food Chemistry at University of Calabria in Sindona lab and he is actually a third year PhD student. He is investigating proteins and peptides in patients with diabetic skin ulceration by Mass Spectrometry Imaging.

Gwendoline Thiery

Gwendoline received her Ph.D. from Pierre and Marie Curie University, Paris VI, France supervised by Pr. Jean-Claude Tabet. During her Ph. D. fellowship she spent over three years at the Institute of Genomic in the Commissariat a l’Energie Atomique, Evry, France supervised by Dr Ivo Gut. She developed a method of targeted multiplex mass spectrometry imaging (TAMSIM) using a photo cleavable mass tag. Currently, she works on enhancing the sensitivity and specificity of this targeted imaging method and uses the advantages of this matrix-free technique, for the high lateral resolution imaging.

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