Protein & Chemistry at the Research Technologies Branch (RTB)

The Research Technologies Branch (RTB) Protein & Chemistry Section (PCS) enables intramural NIAID investigators to use state-of-the-art applications in mass spectrometry, assay development and protein characterization.

Computer generated image of a small molecule

Computer generated image of a small molecule

Credit: NIAID

Major Areas of Support

  • Analytical mass spectrometry (MS)
  • Protein identification
  • Protein separation
  • Assay development
  • Proteomics
  • Edman (N-terminal) protein sequencing
  • Biotyping microbial identification
  • Protein kinetics
  • Biomolecular assembly characterization
  • Bioinformatics


Mass Spectrometry

  • Thermo Scientific Orbitrap UVPD Fusion Lumos Mass Spectrometer equipped with Nano-LC Nano-Electrospray source
  • Thermo Scientific Orbitrap Fusion Lumos Mass Spectrometer equipped with Nano-LC Nano-Electrospray source and a FAIMS Pro interface
  • Thermo Scientific Orbitrap Fusion Tribrid Mass Spectrometer equipped with Nano-LC Nano-Electrospray source and CESI
  • Thermo Scientific Q Exactive+ Biopharma platform
  • Bruker Microflex LRF matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI) - time of flight (TOF) MS
  • Applied Biosystems Sciex 4000 Q Trap mass spectrometer

Protein Sequencing

  • Applied Biosystems 494clc Procise protein sequencer with four cartridge capability
  • Applied Biosystems 494 Procise protein sequencer with four cartridge capability

Other Applications

  • Refeyn Mass Photometer
  • Octet R8
  • AKTA Protein Purification
  • Spectromax Plate Reader

Collaborative Technological Resources

  • Proteomic experiment design
  • Sample preparation for mass spectrometry-based analysis
  • Mass spectrometry acquisition
  • Bioinformatics
  • Assay development
  • Protein identification by N-terminal sequencing
  • Protein purification

Selected Publications

Broadly neutralizing antibodies target the coronavirus fusion peptide.
Dacon C, Tucker C, Peng L, Lee CD, Lin TH, Yuan M, Cong Y, Wang L, Purser L, Williams JK, Pyo CW, Kosik I, Hu Z, Zhao M, Mohan D, Cooper AJR, Peterson M, Skinner J, Dixit S, Kollins E, Huzella L, Perry D, Byrum R, Lembirik S, Drawbaugh D, Eaton B, Zhang Y, Yang ES, Chen M, Leung K, Weinberg RS, Pegu A, Geraghty DE, Davidson E, Douagi I, Moir S, Yewdell JW, Schmaljohn C, Crompton PD, Holbrook MR, Nemazee D, Mascola JR, Wilson IA, Tan J. Science. 2022 Aug 12;377(6607):728-735. doi: 10.1126/science.abq3773. Epub 2022 Jul 12. PMID: 35857439; PMCID: PMC9348754.

Functional human IgA targets a conserved site on malaria sporozoites.
Tan J, Cho H, Pholcharee T, Pereira LS, Doumbo S, Doumtabe D, Flynn BJ, Schön A, Kanatani S, Aylor SO, Oyen D, Vistein R, Wang L, Dillon M, Skinner J, Peterson M, Li S, Idris AH, Molina-Cruz A, Zhao M, Olano LR, Lee PJ, Roth A, Sinnis P, Barillas-Mury C, Kayentao K, Ongoiba A, Francica JR, Traore B, Wilson IA, Seder RA, Crompton PD. Sci Transl Med. 2021 Jun 23;13(599):eabg2344. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.abg2344. PMID: 34162751; PMCID: PMC7611206.

Short stature and combined immunodeficiency associated with mutations in RGS10.  
Sci Signal. 2021 Jul 27;14(693):eabc1940. doi: 10.1126/scisignal.abc1940. PMID: 34315806; PMCID: PMC8522579.

Regioisomerization of Antimalarial Drug WR99210 Explains the Inactivity of a Commercial Stock.
Remcho TP, Guggilapu SD, Cruz P, Nardone GA, Heffernan G, O'Connor RD, Bewley CA, Wellems TE, Lane KD. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2020 Dec 16;65(1):e01385-20. doi: 10.1128/AAC.01385-20. PMID: 33077647; PMCID: PMC7927815.

Alboserpin, the Main Salivary Anticoagulant from the Disease Vector Aedes albopictus, Displays Anti-FXa-PAR Signaling In Vitro and In Vivo.
Shrivastava G, Valenzuela-Leon PC, Chagas AC, Kern O, Botello K, Zhang Y, Martin-Martin I, Oliveira MB, Tirloni L, Calvo E. Immunohorizons. 2022 Jun 23;6(6):373-383. doi: 10.4049/immunohorizons.2200045. PMID: 35738824.

Magnesium transporter 1 (MAGT1) deficiency causes selective defects in N-linked glycosylation and expression of immune-response genes.
Matsuda-Lennikov M, Biancalana M, Zou J, Ravell JC, Zheng L, Kanellopoulou C, Jiang P, Notarangelo G, Jing H, Masutani E, Oler AJ, Olano LR, Schulz BL, Lenardo MJ. J Biol Chem. 2019 Sep 13;294(37):13638-13656. doi: 10.1074/jbc.RA119.008903. Epub 2019 Jul 23. PMID: 31337704; PMCID: PMC6746436.


Currently, collaborating with RTB is only available to federally funded institutions. Researchers may access all RTB support services by visiting RTB on Inside NIAID (this link is only available to NIAID lab scientists).


L. Renee Olano, Ph.D.
Chief, Protein & Chemistry Section 

Portrait fo L. Renee Olano, Ph.D.

L. Renee Olano, Ph.D.

Credit: NIAID
Content last reviewed on