Date of Award

8-2018

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Chemistry

Major Professor

Shawn R. Campagna

Committee Members

Michael D. Best, Tessa R. Calhoun, Todd B. Reynolds

Abstract

Mass Spectrometry has become a powerful tool to study biological systems. Tailoring detection strategies to specific classes of molecules improves discovery-based investigations. This thesis will investigate three classes of compounds in three distinct biological groups. The first study that will be discussed was examining the phospholipidome of Candida Albicans to investigate virulence. The second study was monitoring isotopically labeled metabolite flux of coral infected with black band disease to study how disease progression affects metabolic rates. Finally, a novel method was developed to examine the composition of toxic steroids that fireflies use for protection.These discovery-based studies demonstrate the capabilities of mass spectrometric studies to probe biologically relevant molecules. Discovery based studies can generate new drug targets, corroborate previous findings, and detect unknown molecules which drive metabolism changes.

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