Centre for Cardiovascular Science

Mass Spectrometry Core Facility

An expert research and service facility for the analysis of clinical and biological samples by mass spectrometry

About Us

The Mass Spectrometry Core is located in the East Block of the Centre for Cardiovascular Science in the Queen's Medical Research Institute (QMRI) at the University of Edinburgh’s Little France Campus.

The facility was set up to encourage research and provide a service to the local and international clinical community. It is overseen by the Edinburgh Clinical Research Facility’s (Edinburgh CRF) operational management committee.

We are an active part of both The Edinburgh Assocation of Mass Spectrometrists (TEAMS) and the Scottish Metabolomics Network and can provide expert advice and put you in touch with researchers in other departments as necessary.


Core Director: Prof Ruth Andrew

Core Manager: Dr Natalie Homer

Post-doctoral research assistant: Dr Shazia Khan

Research Technician: Tricia Lee

Mass Spectrometry Analyst: Dr Jo Simpson


A range of specialist equipment is available to conduct chromatography and mass spectrometry analysis across a range of biological samples.

The Sciex QTrap 6500+ is our most sensitive tandem linear ion trap mass spectrometer available. Tandem mass spectrometry specializes in targeted quantitative analysis of compounds, including metabolites and other small molecules from complex matrices such as plasma, urine and tissue. Instruments can be configured in different ionisation modes and we also have nanospray capability with the Advion TriVersa Nanomate interface.

A range of analytical options and mass spectrometry techniques are available. Three approaches to projects are outlined below:

1. Sample Analysis Service

Researchers looking for results have the opportunity to receive a full sample analysis service, including sample preparation, instrument analysis, data interpretation and reporting performed by facility staff. Examples of this include pharmacokinetic assessments and adherence to drug regimens.

Single Reaction Monitoring (SRM) based targeted quantitative analysis of clinical and biological samples is carried out using authentic standards and isotopically labelled internal standards.

2. Supported Analytical Research

Researchers have the opportunity of a ‘hands on’ approach (undergraduates, post-graduates, prinicipal investigators) in the preparation and analysis of their own samples. This will allow them to gain valuable experience and training in the use and operation of the analytical instruments, data processing and interpretation.

3. Open Access

Researchers who are confident and experienced have the opportunity to prepare and analyse their own samples, interpret data and report results. This is for researchers who require access to specialised instrumentation but require minimal support from facility staff.

Contact us

Dr Natalie Homer

Tel: 0131 242 9331 / 242 9229

Email: n.z.m.homer@ed.ac.uk