Welcome to the Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry (IRMS) Laboratory, a premier research facility dedicated to the precise measurement of stable isotopes in various samples. Established as a Core Lab in 2013, we have continually expanded our capabilities and expertise under the guidance of Dr. Dale Schoeller,  Dr. Michele Ravelli, and Tim Shriver, our esteemed Senior Research Specialist. Situated within the Biotechnology Center, our laboratory serves as a hub for cutting-edge research and innovation in the fields of biotechnology and nutritional sciences.

Specialization and Capabilities: The IRMS Core Laboratory specializes in the measurement of natural abundance and low enrichments of stable isotopes, focusing on the light elements of hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen. We employ advanced mass spectrometry techniques to analyze bulk gases, liquids, and solids, which are converted into water, carbon dioxide, or nitrogen gas for analysis. Through our precise measurements, we determine the relative abundances of isotopes such as 2H/1H, 13HC/12C, 15N/14N, and 18O/16O. Our instruments possess exceptional precision, allowing us to detect part-per-million differences in heavy isotope abundances. This level of precision is crucial in identifying the biological origins of trace biological pathways.

Expertise in Nutritional Applications: At the heart of our laboratory’s expertise lies our profound understanding and extensive experience in nutritional applications of stable isotopes. We have pioneered the groundbreaking methodology of doubly-labeled water that provides valuable insights into various aspects of nutrition and energy metabolism. Our notable areas of expertise include:

  1. Measurement of Energy Expenditure: We employ the technique of doubly labeled water to accurately measure energy expenditure in living organisms. By using stable isotopes, we can precisely determine the rate at which individuals consume energy, allowing for a comprehensive understanding of energy balance and metabolism.
  2. Energy Substrate Oxidation: Through stable isotope labeling, we investigate the oxidation of energy substrates in living systems. This methodology enables us to elucidate the utilization and metabolic fate of different energy sources, shedding light on the intricate processes involved in energy metabolism.
  3. Food Web Analyses: Leveraging unlabeled, natural abundance isotope ratio measurements, we conduct food web analyses to unravel complex ecological relationships. By examining stable isotopes within various organisms and their environments, we gain insights into trophic interactions, nutrient cycling, and ecosystem dynamics.

In the IRMS Laboratory, our dedicated team of scientists and researchers are at the forefront of stable isotope analysis in biotechnology and nutritional sciences. With our state-of-the-art instrumentation and profound expertise, we strive to advance scientific knowledge, unravel biological mysteries, and contribute to the development of innovative solutions in diverse fields. Join us in our pursuit of scientific excellence and exploration of the intricate world of stable isotopes.