Mount Sinai Health System

Development of Mass Spectrometry Imaging Methods for Biomarker Detection in Human Hair-Joanna Ellis/Environmental Exposures and Kidney Injury Biomarkers in Children- Maria D. Politis

Joanna Ellis is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Chemical Mapping Group working with Dr. Christine Austin in the Lautenberg Laboratory. She focuses on development of mass spectrometry imaging methods to investigate small molecule biomarkers in hair and teeth for the study and diagnosis of various conditions. She received her PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2020 and joined EMPH in 2021. Her PhD work focused on the development of mass spectrometry imaging methods and instrumentation to analyze molecular heterogeneities and chemical communication in biological systems—such as microbial biofilms, and individual mammalian cells and tissues. 


Title of Talk: Development of Mass Spectrometry Imaging Methods for Biomarker Detection in Human Hair 


Mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) is a technique providing spatiochemical visualization of molecular species and enables rapid identification of specific compounds of interest. In combination with multivariate statistics and signal processing methods, we explore subtle changes in molecular profile and explore the diagnostic capabilities. In this presentation, will discuss two primary ionization techniques utilized, matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization and laser ablation electrospray ionization, and trapped ion mobility spectrometry for improved separation, resolution, and confidence in our findings.  






Dr. Maria D. Politis is a postdoctoral research at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. She previously completed a postdoctoral fellowship in perinatal and birth defects epidemiology at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Dr. Politis obtained her DrPH in Epidemiology from the University of Kentucky, in May 2018. She earned her MPH in Epidemiology from Georgia Southern University in May 2015.


Title of Talk: Environmental Exposures and Kidney Injury Biomarkers in Children


Renal disease, including chronic kidney disease and end stage renal disease, is becoming more prevalent in children. There is increasing evidence that suggests that environmental exposures are known to have direct nephrotoxic effects in children. The purpose of this seminar is to present two studies that examine environmental exposures and their associations with kidney injury biomarkers in children participating in a birth cohort study in Mexico City. The first study aims to assess the associations between prenatal metal exposure (arsenic, cadmium, mercury, and lead) and urinary kidney injury biomarkers in children. Prenatal urinary metals, individually and as a mixture were associated with increased urinary kidney injury biomarkers in children. The second study aims to examine the associations of temperature and particulate matter ≤2.5 µm (PM2.5) exposure with preadolescent estimated glomerular filtration rate and urinary kidney injury biomarkers. Ambient temperature and PM2.5 was associated with urinary kidney injury biomarkers in healthy children, and may lead to subclinical glomerular or tubular injury. Further research is required to assess environmental exposure and worsening subclinical kidney injury in children.

Thursday, January 26 at 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Virtual Event