Spotlight on Student Research: Jess Henry

One of the LC-MS/MS instruments that has been used for the project is pictured. It is an Ultimate 3000 LC with a Velos Pro linear ion trap (Thermo Scientific). 

My research is focused on developing an instrumental method for the analysis of paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) toxins in harvested shellfish. PSP is a serious form of food poisoning that is caused by consuming shellfish that are contaminated with toxins. The toxins are produced during harmful algal blooms, commonly referred to as “red tides.” The toxins accumulate in shellfish during the filter feeding process, and humans are exposed to the toxins upon consumption. The traditional method of analysis is a bioassay that faces both analytical and ethical challenges. For these reasons, my research focuses on using liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry to analyze shellfish for the toxins. One unique feature of my research is that it is being conducted in collaboration with scientists at the New Hampshire Public Health Laboratories (NHPHL), with Dr. Madhumita Chatterjee co-directing the research. The analytical component of the work is conducted at the NHPHL located in Concord, NH.

Jessica Henry is in her fifth year of graduate studies with Dr. Tomellini’s research group.