Research institutes

M4I Division of Imaging Mass Spectrometry

Developing and applying state-of-the-art mass spectrometry based molecular imaging approaches for nanomedicine and biomedical research, including mass spectrometry as a diagnostic and prognostic tool for personalized medicine in oncology, neurology and cardiovascular medicine.


  • vitrojet

    Technical feats at 180 degrees below zero

    Thursday, April 4, 2019

    Frank Nijpels is working on the Vitrojet, a new device that prepares samples for a form of electron microscopy that received the 2017 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

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  • Genetic modification

    Healthier crops through DNA modification

    Friday, March 29, 2019

    It’s a major step forward on the road to sustainable agriculture and healthy food.

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  • iKnife

    Helping surgeons and pathologists with the iKnife

    Thursday, March 21, 2019

    Researchers from the Maastricht M4I institute, led by Prof. Ron Heeren, are key partners in an international consortium that will validate the iKnife.

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  • vitrojet

    Vitrojet, indispensable for electron microscopes

    Friday, November 2, 2018

    Thanks to cryo-electron microscopy, scientists can see inside cells, all the way down to the molecular level. This revolution makes it possible to analyze the precise composition of the many thousands of proteins. It might also reveal the mysteries of how diseases such as Alzheimer’s or tuberculosis develop.

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  • Maastricht University and Avans University of Applied Sciences awarded €250,000 for forensic study of hair

    Friday, July 6, 2018

    Researchers at Maastricht University (UM) and Avans University of Applied Sciences are developing a method that enables person profiling on the basis of hair.

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  • Maastricht technology makes simultaneous lipid imaging and identification possible

    Thursday, May 24, 2018

    Scientists from Maastricht University (UM) and researchers from Denmark and Germany have developed a new technique to accurately determine both the location and identity of lipids in bodily tissues in a single workflow. Lipids are essential molecules in every cell of our body and intimately involved in many important biological functions. 

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  • Maastricht University is a linchpin in national microscopy research

    Thursday, April 12, 2018

    The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) is allocating more than 17 million euros in subsidies for the further development of a Dutch network for electron microscopy (NEMI). Almost 5 million of this will go to UM. From Maastricht, the M4I institute of university professors Ron Heeren (mass spectrometry) and Peter Peters (cryo-electron microscopy) is one of the initiators of NEMI.

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  • MSI symposium November 2017

    First workshop on Mass Spectrometry Imaging organised by M4i

    Friday, December 8, 2017

    From November 13-17th, 2017 M4i organised its first workshop dedicated to Mass Spectrometry Imaging (MSI). 

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  • The organising committe of OurCon V: Florian Barré (UM), Alina Astefanei (UvA), Irena Dapic (UvA), Philippe Saudemont (UdL), Brenda Bakker (UT), Lieke Lamont (UM), Pieter Kooijman (UM)

    International MSI conference OurCon organised by M4i

    Friday, November 10, 2017

    Three PhD students from Maastricht University's M4I took the lead in bringing the fifth edition of the OurCon mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) to the Netherlands.

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  • Lipiden MSI

    M4i research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS)

    Tuesday, November 7, 2017

    Research into the influence of lipids on the severity of a bacterial infection in a mammalian host published in PNAS.

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The M4I Division of Imaging Mass Spectrometry is one of the world leaders in high resolution molecular imaging of biological surfaces. The division targets the development and application of state-of-the-art mass spectrometry based molecular imaging approaches for biomedical cellular and tissue research. Main research aim for the coming years is to develop and apply mass spectrometry as a diagnostic and prognostic tool for personalized medicine.


M4I’s scientists will be involved in teaching at a bachelor's, master's and PhD level, within the University College Maastricht, the Maastricht Science Programme and various programmes within the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences and the Faculty of Science and Engineering.

The New Dawn of Cancer Surgery |
Ron Heeren | TEDxMaastricht Nov 3, 2016​

Pioneer prof. dr. Ron Heeren, University professor at Maastricht University and key player in the Top Research Institute M4I (Maastricht MultiModal Molecular Imaging Institute) is at the forefront of technological breakthroughs in oncology, neurology and cardiovascular medicine. Heeren’s team is developing biomedical applications of Mass Spectroscopy Imaging (MSI), or in other words techniques to photograph molecules.

The New Dawn of Cancer Surgery | Ron Heeren | TEDxMaastricht

New M4I office wing

A new M4I office wing with the same open and transparent look and feel will be realised now. Based on C.O.R.E. collaborative open research education. C.O.R.E. requires a transparent and open environment for both laboratories and offices.

M4I office wing

Visiting address: M4I Division of Imaging Mass Spectrometry

Prof Ron Heeren - contact Helen Schott