Nicola Ternette and Kyle Fort to strengthen the research in UIPS and Bijvoet

New members of the Biomolecular Mass Spectrometry and Proteomics division

The Biomolecular Mass Spectrometry and Proteomics Division, part of UIPS and the Bijvoet Centre, was able to attract two new scientists.

It is with great pleasure that we announce that Nicola Ternette has joined the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, as of 1-9-2023, as an Associate Professor appointed within the Biomolecular Mass Spectrometry and Proteomics group. The first half year, she will be in Utrecht for ~30% of the time as she still needs to end some of her current projects at Oxford University, but from Spring 2024 she will take on a 100% appointment. Before coming to Utrecht Nicola was an Associate Professor of Antigen Discovery at the University of Oxford where her research focused on the interrogation of T cell antigen landscapes, and their dynamic changes during disease pathogenesis. She and her group have been developing and utilizing primarily LC-MS based approaches to pursue this research. This immunopeptidomics technology is a powerful tool to enable the molecular discovery of T cell antigens in immune-related diseases and allows researchers to understand not only mechanistic aspects of disease formation, progression and immune-escape, but also to discover novel targets for the development of immunotherapeutic approaches to cancer, and improvement to prophylactic vaccines in infectious diseases. Nicola is currently also president of the HUMAN Immuno-Peptidome project. The goal of this initiative is to map the entire repertoire of peptides presented by HLA molecules using mass spectrometry technologies, and make its robust analysis accessible to any immunologist, clinical-investigator and other researchers.

We are also pleased to announce that the Faculty of Science and Thermo Fisher have agreed on offering dr. Kyle Fort an Affiliated Assistant Professorship at Utrecht University for five years. Dr. Kyle Fort obtained his Ph.D. in Chemistry at Texas A&M University in 2014 under the supervision of Dr. David H. Russell.  His doctoral thesis focused on high-resolution ion mobility mass spectrometry instrument development. In 2014, Dr. Fort moved to Utrecht as a post-doctoral researcher at Utrecht University and worked under the supervision of Dr. Albert J.R. Heck and Dr. Alexander A. Makarov, whereby he focused on developing novel, hybrid technologies for the analysis of large protein assemblies by mass spectrometry.  Since 2017, he has worked in Dr. Makarov’s research group at Thermo Fisher Scientific Bremen. There he has continued working in the field of high-resolution mass spectrometry, and was technical lead during the development of the Q Exactive UHMR platform. He has led numerous collaborations with a variety of research groups to advance the utilization of mass spectrometry in proteomic and native applications.