Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Meng Li

PhD Student, FT-ICR Mass Spectrometry Group

Started November 2015

Department of Chemistry
The University of Warwick
Millburn Hill Road
Coventry CV4 7AL, UK
Office: +44 (0) 24 7615 1304
Lab: +44 (0) 24 7615 1305


PhD Project

Analysis of Natural Products by High Resolution FT-ICR mass spectrometry

‘Natural products’ is a catch-all term for all molecules which have biological activity in nature, and is the most common source of fundamental inspiration or discovery of new pharmaceutical compounds to treat disease.

Natural products from scorpion venoms contain a highly complex mixture of peptides which have been proven to be bioactive componets, showing a diverse variety of positive pharmaceutical properties, for the treatment of many conditions, such as cardiovascular problems, drug dependence, chronic pain, diabetes and even tumors.

The scorpion Mesobuthus Martensii, is a species widely present in China and have been part of the traditional Chinese medicines for thousands of years. However, there has been little research conducted on structural studies and the de novo sequencing of these peptides from the scorpion venoms. By utilizing the ultra-high resolution FT-ICR-MS, it is possible to obtain an in-depth study on the sequence and structural information of the peptides components present in the scorpion venoms. The unparalleled mass accuracy and resloving power of the FT-ICR-MS will provide the highest possible confidence when analysing the sequences and structures of these unique peptides.

We employ top-down MS for the de novo sequencing of these peptides. By using MALDI and Electrospray ionization sources combined with a variety of tandem mass spectrometry techniques such as Collisionally Activated Dissociation (CAD/CID), Electron Capture Dissociation (ECD), Infra-Red activated ECD (IR-ECD), and Infra-Red Multiphoton Dissociation (IRMPD), it is possible to fully sequence and structurally characterize these peptides. We will also employ the new 2-dimensional mass spectrometry (2DMS) techniques to get as much structural information as possible.


1. Guo, Y., Li, M., Chen, P., Wu, Q., Gao, C., Lu, Y., Zhang, L., Yuan, D., and Fu, H. (2017) A pair of new elemanolide sesquiterpene lactones from Elephantopus scaber L. Magn. Reson. Chem., 55: 677681. doi: 10.1002/mrc.4567.


2016: Poster Presentation at the 12th European Fourier Transform Mass Spectrometry Workshop, Matera, Italy

2016: Poster Presentation at the Bright Spark Symposium 2016, Warwick, UK

2016: Poster Presentation at the BMSS, Eastbourne, UK

2016: Poster Presentation at the EMPW, Nottingham, UK

2017: Oral Presentation at the Institute of Biophysics (CAS) , Beijing, China

2017: Poster Presentation at the ASMS, Indianapolis, USA

2017: Poster Presentation at the ARF, London, UK

2017: Poster Presentation at the BMSS, Manchester, UK