Student Highlight: Miyuki Hayashi

Miyuki Hayashi

I am a fourth-year Ph.D. student in the Biochemistry and Biophysics program. My research focuses on RNA-protein interactions in Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV), a hemorrhagic fever virus originating in Africa. I have been working as a core fellow in the Mass Spectrometry Core Facility. In the core, I have been developing workflows mainly for protein sample preparation, identification, and quantitation. We have been successful in analyzing accurate mass for purified proteins both in-solution and in-gel, as well as identification of N-glycosylation sites. Currently, the goal of my core project is to quantify a viral nucleocapsid protein (N) from RVFV infected cells by using a method called multiple reaction monitoring mass spectrometry (MRM-MS). In this targeted proteomics approach, a trypsin-digested cell lysate that is spiked with a known amount of 15N-labeled recombinant N, is analyzed on our triple quadrupole mass spectrometer. By comparing signals from endogenous N and 15N-labeled N, the total amount of endogenous N in the sample can be estimated. Applying MRM to a protein is new to the core, and I am excited that in the future, a similar approach can be used to analyze different proteins!