Moyle wins Next Generation Investigator Award

Chemistry graduate student Austin Moyle recently received an award supporting early career scientists from the California Separation Science Society.


Austin Moyle, a graduate student working with Michael Gross in the Department of Chemistry, won a Next Generation Investigator Award from the California Separation Science Society (CASSS). CASSS is a non-profit scientific organization that aims to bring together professionals from industry, academia, and regulatory agencies to solve scientific and technical problems to advance the development of biopharmaceuticals. The award supported Moyle’s participation in the 2021 CASSS conference, Practical Applications of Mass Spectrometry in the Biotechnology Industry, where Moyle presented a poster titled “A Workflow for Validating Amino Acid-Specific Covalent Labeling Reagents for Protein Higher Order Structure Elucidation.”

Moyle’s work demonstrates the efficacy of using a small molecule chemical probe, benzoyl fluoride, to modify nucleophilic amino acids to monitor protein structure and dynamics. The probe’s unique properties make it of interest for studies of antibodies for pharmaceutical applications. Moyle recently published a first-author paper on this work, “Benzoyl Transfer for Footprinting Alcohol-Containing Residues in Higher Order Structural Applications of Mass-Spectrometry-Based Proteomics,” in the journal Analytical Chemistry.

In addition to covering the costs of this year’s virtual conference, the Next Generation Investigator Award will also cover Moyle’s registration costs for the in-person 2022 conference, where Moyle plans to present research from a collaboration with a team at Pfizer.