Science Inspires Series

  • The Kopchick College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics’ Science Inspires Series (SIS) is offered in collaboration with IUP’s Sigma Xi chapter, an honor society of scientists and engineers that rewards excellence in scientific research and encourages a sense of companionship and cooperation among scientists in all fields.

    SIS presents lectures by prominent researchers on topics interdisciplinary in nature and of interest to faculty and students from a variety of academic fields and to the general public. Every semester, the series schedules two talks by NSM researchers and one renowned speaker.

    The Spring 2019 Science Inspires Series continues with the following distinguished lecture:

    “Health Assessments and Biomarkers - Applying Digital Mass Spectrometry Quantitation of Blood Markers”

    • Thursday, March 28, at 4:30 p.m.
    • Eberly Auditorium
    • Dr. H.M. “Skip” Kingston, Duquesne University


    Health assessments have steadily advanced and improved over the past 20 years but remain incomplete and lack the quantitative accuracy to achieve maximum diagnostic effectiveness. In addition to these advancements, innovative medical fields such as exposomics have emerged to provide new types of data not previously considered in these assessments. Non-communicable diseases have been linked exposure to toxins. A recent four-year study of autistic and non-autistic children in southwestern PA examined 406 different parameters that resulted in over 300,000 measurements that were then statistically evaluated. Using quantitative mass spectrometry and isotope dilution methods, various chemicals and biomarkers were examined in subjects’ blood, plasma, serum, and hair. It was found that there is a statistically significant difference in these analyte levels in autistic children compared to non-autistic children. These findings may eventually lead to risk assessment  and early identification of children who are trending toward becoming autistic but do not yet have brain damage.