S.R. Ellis

I completed both my Undergraduate studies (B.Nanotechnology) and PhD in the field of ambient ionisation mass spectrometry and lipidomics the University of Wollongong, Australia. In 2012 I began a post-doctoral positional at the FOM-Institute AMOLF where I worked on the development of innovative active-pixel detectors for charged particle detection with applications in imaging mass spectrometry and ion mobility spectrometry. In 2014 started at Maastricht University as an Assistant Professor within the M4I institute where I currently lead the Instrument and Application Development group within the Division of Imaging Mass Spectrometry.

Combining the fields of chemistry, physics and biology, the central theme of my research is the development and application of state-of-the-art mass spectrometry technologies to understand the molecular complexity observed in biology. To achieve this we push the envelope in MSI technology to break existing barriers in speed, sensitivity and resolution in order to gain greater biochemical insight into complex chemical systems. Ultimately we use the unique molecular signatures revealed by MSI to not only study the underlying biochemical processes of health and disease, but to also enable more accurate disease diagnosis for molecular-based precision medicine.


Ongoing projects include:

  1. Combining modern shotgun lipidomics methods with high resolution MSI with the goal to understand how very subtle changes in lipid structure can have dramatic effects on lipid activity.
  2. Applications of next-generation high speed time-of-flight technology to molecular pathology.
  3. New approaches to dramatically improve the sensitivity and resolution of ambient ionisation mass spectrometry methods.
  4. Developing high speed workflows and interactive visualisation tools for 3D-MSI. This is a step towards developing an ecosystem for 3D digital pathology that includes MSI data to guide the pathologists (as part of an international ITEA 3 consortium).
  5. Development of a new ion-funnel-based MALDI-MSI system for high mass resolution resolving power imaging.
  6. Overcoming current bottlenecks in MSI via development of active pixel detectors for ultra-high speed stigmatic ion imaging