Metabolomics and Proteomics Unit

The Ulster University metabolomics and proteomics core facility uses mass spectrometry techniques to support your research needs for the characterisation and quantitation of proteins and small molecules in a range biological and non-biological matrices. The proteomics applications include the identification of proteins and peptides by LC/MS and MALDI-TOF. The metabolomics applications include both targeted and untargeted qualitative / quantitative analysis of metabolites. The core facility also offers consultancy and coaching in all mass spectrometry-based analysis and also provides mass spectrometry imaging analysis services through our external academic and industrial partners.

The core facility operates on both a fee-for-service basis and an independent use basis. For fee-for-service experiments, we ask that investigators initially consult with core personnel prior to sample submission. Data analysis and interpretation is performed by core personnel. Alternatively, investigators can be trained to operate the instruments and perform data analysis. Several contract options are available for users interested in learning to perform their own experiments. Expert technical assistance can be tailored to meet the needs of investigators whether they be novices or experienced users of mass spectrometry applications. This includes advice in methods of appropriate sample storage and preparation, and assistance in LC, LC/MS and MALDI-TOF based method development

MetabolomicsProteomicsMass Spectrometry ImagingResources

The core facility is equipped with mass spectrometry systems that are dedicated to the analysis of small molecule metabolites. The facility can carry out both targeted and untargeted metabolomics experiments and also perform quantitative analysis in several matrices including biological fluids and tissue homogenate among others.Screenshot 2015-10-01 11.50.56

The core facility is equipped with LC coupled with an electrospray ionisation (ESI) ion trap (IT), quadrupole in trap (q-trap) mass spectrometry systems, a high resolution quadrupole time-of flight (q-TOF) and a MALDI-TOF. These instruments are dedicated to high sensitivity protein and peptide analysis. The core analyses isolate proteins and protein mixtures providing protein identification and characterisation. The workflow of the lab includes LC/MS and MALDI-TOF data analysis.


The core facility is also offers tissue imaging analysis by mass spectrometry (MSI) (MALDI, DESI and SIMS) through our collaborators in UK and Europe. For inquiries, please liaise with Dr. Diego Cobice at



The metabolomics and proteomics core facility concentrates on metabolomics and proteomics research and some of the specialist equipment available is outlined below:

Agilent Gas Chromatography (GC) Mass Spectrometer:

Enables the separation of compounds and identification and quantification of individual components (e.g., Fatty acid analysis).

Applied Biosystems Sciex (AB Sciex):

API 4000 Triple Quadrupole Mass Spectrometer and interfaced HPLC system: An enhanced high performance triple quadrupole mass spectrometer system with applications in protein and peptide analysis, small molecule analysis in drug metabolism and pharmacokinetic studies.

AB Sciex Voyager DE MALDI TOF Mass Spectrometer with interfaced capillary HPLC System:

Provides a range of identification and quantitation applications and enables operators to move from screening to identification to quantification in a single analysis with reduced analysis time and production of more detailed scientific data. This equipment may be configured as a proteomic mass spectrometry workstation for protein identification.

AB Sciex Voyager DE MALDI TOF Mass Spectrometer:

Designed to accurately determine molecular weights on sub-picomolar quantities of molecules. The system is specifically designed for the characterization of biomolecules, such as peptides, oligonucleotides and oligosaccharides.

Thermo LCQ Classic Ion Trap Mass Spectrometer with interfaced HPLC System:

Selected ions can be stored in the trap, where they undergo collision-induced fragmentation in order to characterize and elucidate their structure.

  • Multiple stage mass spectrometry
  • Small molecule quantification
  • Peptide separation and characterization

Waters QTOF Spectrometer Ultima API Mass Spectometer

  • Accurate mass analysis of molecules
  • De novo sequencing of peptides.

Varian 500 mHz Nuclear Resonance (NMR) with FTS  (access through our collaborators)

  • Wide selection of probes for examination of any nuclei
  • Software enables investigation of low molecular mass, macro molecular/ biomolecular compounds.

Scientific Officer: Dr. Diego Cobice
Tel: +44 (0)28 7012 4262