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As director of the Chemistry Department’s Mass Spectrometry Laboratory (a shared-instrument facility), my task is to train interested students and postdoctoral fellows how to obtain data and to generate data for everybody else. The challenge is to get molecules into the gas phase as ions. The Chemistry Department synthesizes and isolates all sorts of molecules, such as small organics, lipids, carbohydrates, organometallics, metal complexes, peptides, artificial peptides, isotopically labeled compounds, proteins and polymers. Since no single mass spectrometer can handle all types of molecules, the Laboratory has and needs a variety of ionization methods and analyzers. The main ionization methods available are EI (electron impact), ESI (electrospray ionization) and MALDI (matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization). For more information, see the Mass Spectrometry facility website.