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H. Martin Garraffo, Ph.D.

Professional Experience

  • Staff Scientist, NIDDK, NIH, 1996–Present
  • Visiting Scientist, NIDDK, NIH, 1995–1996
  • Visiting Associate, NIDDK, NIH, 1990–1995
  • Visiting Fellow, NIDDK, NIH, 1987–1990
  • Ph.D., Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, 1985
  • Post-Graduate Degree, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, 1982
  • Licenciado in Chemical Sciences, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, 1977

Research Goal

Our goal is to work in a collaborative environment with clinicians and scientists to foster biomedical research. We conduct chemical analysis of small molecules through the application of Mass Spectrometry (MS).

Current Research

Our research group uses MS, mostly after Gas- or Liquid-Chromatography, to study metabolic processes. We perform qualitative (identification of analytes) and quantitative Gas Chromatography-MS and Liquid Chromatography-MS of clinical or biological samples.

Applying our Research

Biomedical research in its many forms, areas, and disciplines advances health. Research is the main reason public health has improved since the early 1900s. As an applied core group within the NIDDK, we strive to help individual researchers who need chemical analysis based on MS.

Select Publications

Molecular mechanisms of hypoxic responses via unique roles of Ras1, Cdc24 and Ptp3 in a human fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans.
Chang YC, Khanal Lamichhane A, Garraffo HM, Walter PJ, Leerkes M, Kwon-Chung KJ.
PLoS Genet (2014 Apr) 10:e1004292. Abstract/Full Text
Histrionicotoxin alkaloids finally detected in an ant.
Jones TH, Adams RM, Spande TF, Garraffo HM, Kaneko T, Schultz TR.
J Nat Prod (2012 Nov 26) 75:1930-6. Abstract/Full Text
View More Publications

Research in Plain Language

Our work supports clinicians and scientists who need to conduct chemical analysis based mainly on Mass Spectrometry (MS). We have conducted chemical analysis of small molecules in clinical or biological samples. Chromatography is a tool used to separate individual compounds that then are sent to a detector. Our detector of choice is MS, which is very powerful in analyzing masses of molecules in a sample. MS is a technique that studies masses of molecular ions or ionic fragments, and we use them like pieces of a puzzle to identify the whole structure of the molecule. This combination of techniques, chromatography and MS, therefore, helps determine the sample’s molecular components. It reveals the chemical structures of molecules in a sample and it can provide quantitative values. Although sometimes the amounts of chemical compounds in a sample are neglected, numbers are vital in a clinical environment.