G John Langley


Primary position:
Associate Professor in Mass Spectrometry
Other positions:
Head of Characterisation and Analytics


The University of Southampton
Dr G John Langley's photo



John Langley has nearly 30 years’ experience in mass spectrometry and chromatography-mass spectrometry. He received a mass spectrometry PhD from the University of London where he started his working career.  He is a Chartered Chemist (1999), a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (1999) and a Chartered Scientist (2004); he leads the Characterisation and Analytics section in Chemistry at Southampton, heads SCAS (Southampton Chemistry Analytical Solutions (, is Chair of the Separation Science Group of the Royal Society of Chemistry ( and Vice President of the International Mass Spectrometry Foundation 2009-14, Secretary of IMSF ( He was previously Chair, Vice-Chair, General Secretary and Meetings Secretary of the British Mass Spectrometry Society, a member of the Organisation Committee for the International Mass Spectrometry Conference for Edinburgh 2003 and Kyoto 2012, and BMSS Annual Conferences (1999-2010)    

John has been a member of the Organisation Committees for a number of National and International meetings and conferences including the International Mass Spectrometry Conference Edinburgh 2003, Kyoto 2012 and Geneva 2014,and BMSS Annual Conferences 1999, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005 and 2007 and a number of RSC Separation Science Group meetings. He is currently a member of the BMSS Advisory Board, the Scientific Advisory Group for Microsaic, mass spectrometry consultant for LGC (Teddington) and has previously been an expert witness.

He is a member of the EPSRC Peer Review College, a referee for Research Council and Charity research grant proposals, a member of the Editorial Board for Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry and a reviewer for all other leading mass spectrometry, chromatography and chemistry journals; was the European Member of IUPAC Task Group for Standard Definitions of Terms Relating to Mass Spectrometry.

The Langley research group ( are interested in the application of separation science and mass spectrometry as a routine tool for chemistry/chemical biology/oilfield chemistry as well as probing new areas for research using these tools. Specific interests are the application of hyphenated approaches (GC-MS, HPLC-MS & SFC-MS) to analysis of petrochemicals, oilfield, fuels and biofuels, research into analysis and detection of oligonucleotides and understanding fundamental MS/MS fragmentation processes and mechanism, the latter including the use of computational methods. John has been working with SFC-MS since 2004 and has an ongoing collaboration with Waters in this area, applying and developing Ultra Performance Convergence Chromatography-MS.

His innovative and unique research has led to 90+ publications in over 30 leading scientific journals which reflect the multidisciplinary nature of the applications of this research, including Nature, Analytical Chemistry, Analyst, Chem. Sci., Journal of the American Chemical Society, Journal of American Society for Mass Spectrometry, Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry and Journal of Chromatography A. Since 2012 John has been invited to speak at ~30 national and international meetings, including 10 invited international and national presentations.

The majority of the Langley group research activity has recently been aligned to the petrochemical industry, upstream, downstream areas and fuels (Energy and renewable fuels, BP and Innospec) though I also maintain innovative research in the active in oligonucleotide analysis (AstraZeneca) and lipid analysis with the Lipidomics Group in Southampton, Medicine. Applying new technologies and research approaches to a range of applications, e.g. impurity determination in therapeutic oligonucleotides. In the early nineties John worked with the Sussex group providing mass spectrometry expertise, analysis and data interpretation in the discovery of and a multitude of developments in the field of Fullerene chemistry.

Web links


The University of Southampton's electronic library (e-prints)

Key Publications

Riley, Jo-Anne, Brown, Tom, Gale, Nittaya, Herniman, Julie and Langley, G. John (2012) Self reporting RNA probes as an alternative to cleavable small molecule mass tags. The Analyst, 137, (24), 5817-5822. (doi:10.1039/C2AN36086A ). (PMID:23096125).
Gale, Philip A, Felix, Vitor, Pérez Tomás, Ricardo, Soto Cerrato, Vanessa, Haynes, Cally, Moore, Stephen, González, Jorge, Light, Mark E., Sutton, Jennifer, Marques, Igor, Herniman, Julie and Langley, John (2013) Chloride, carboxylate and carbonate transport by ortho-phenylenediamine-based bisureas. Chemical Science, 4, (1), 103-117. (doi:10.1039/C2SC21112B).
Cazenave-Gassiot, Amaury, Boughtflower, Robert, Caldwell, Jeffrey, Hitzel, Laure, Holyoak, Claire, Lane, Stephen, Oakley, Paul, Pullen, Frank, Richardson, Stefan and Langley, G. John (2009) Effect of increasing concentration of ammonium acetate as an additive in supercritical fluid chromatography using CO2–methanol mobile phase. Journal of Chromatography A, 1216, (36), 6441-6450. (doi:10.1016/j.chroma.2009.07.022).
Hopley, Chris, Bristow, Tony, Lubben, Anneke, Simpson, Alec, Bull, Elaine, Klagkou, Katerina, Herniman, Julie and Langley, John (2008) Towards a universal product ion mass spectral library – reproducibility of product ion spectra across eleven different mass spectrometers. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, 22, (12), 1779-1786. (doi:10.1002/rcm.3545).


Hiscock, Jennifer R., Kirby, Isabelle L., Herniman, Julie, John Langley, G., Clark, Alistair J. and Gale, Philip A. (2014) Supramolecular gels for the remediation of reactive organophosphorus compounds. RSC Advances, 4, (85), 45517-45521. (doi:10.1039/c4ra07712a).
Riley, Jo-Anne, Brown, Tom, Gale, Nittaya, Herniman, Julie and Langley, G. John (2014) Self-reporting hybridisation assay for miRNA analysis. The Analyst, 139, (5), 1088-1092. (doi:10.1039/C3AN01825C). (PMID:24404560).
Busschaert, Nathalie, Jaramillo-Garcia, Javier, Light, Mark E., Herniman, Julie, Langley, G. John and Gale, Philip A. (2014) An anion-binding fluorinated alcohol isophthalamide isostere. RSC Advances , 4, (11), 5389-5393. (doi:10.1039/C3RA45956J).
Al-Harrasi, Ahmed, Ali, Liaqat, Rehman, Najeeb Ur, Hussain, Hidayat, Hussain, Javid, Al-Rawahi, Ahmed, Langley, G. John, Wells, Neil J. and Abbas, Ghulam (2013) Nine triterpenes from Boswellia sacra Flückiger and their chemotaxonomic importance. Biochemical Systematics and Ecology, 51, 113-116. (doi:10.1016/j.bse.2013.08.026).
Murray, Kermit K., Boyd, Robert K., Eberlin, Marcos N., Langley, G. John, Li, Liang and Naito, Yasuhide (2013) Definitions of terms relating to mass spectrometry (IUPAC Recommendations 2013). Pure and Applied Chemistry (doi:10.1351/PAC-REC-06-04-06).
Galezowska, Angelika, Harrison, Mark W., Herniman, Julie M., Skylaris, Chris-Kriton and Langley, G. John (2013) A predictive science approach to aid understanding of electrospray ionisation tandem mass spectrometric fragmentation pathways of small molecules using density functional calculations. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, 27, (9), 964-970. (doi:10.1002/rcm.6536).
Gale, Philip A., Busschaert, Nathalie, Bradberry, Samuel J., Wenzel, Marco, Haynes, Cally, Hiscock, Jennifer R., Kirby, Isabelle, Karagiannidis, Louise E., Moore, Stephen J., Wells, Neil, Herniman, Julie, Langley, John, Horton, Peter, Light, Mark E., Marques, Igor, Costa, Paulo Jorge, Felix, Vitor and Frey, J.G. (2013) Towards predictable transmembrane transport: QSAR analysis of anion binding and anion transport. Chemical Science, 4, (8), 3036-3045. (doi:10.1039/C3SC51023A).
Moore, Stephen J., Haynes, Cally J. E., González, Jorge, Sutton, Jennifer L., Brooks, Simon J., Light, Mark E., Herniman, Julie, Langley, G. John, Soto-Cerrato, Vanessa, Pérez-Tomás, Ricardo, Marques, Igor, Costa, Paulo J., Félix, Vítor and Gale, Philip A. (2013) Chloride, carboxylate and carbonate transport by ortho-phenylenediamine-based bisureas. Chemical Science, 4, (1), 103-117. (doi:10.1039/c2sc21112b).
Tovey, Frank I., Capanoglu, Doga, Langley, G. John, Herniman, Julie M., Bor, Serhat, Ozutemiz, Omer, Hobsley, Michael, Bardhan, Karna Dev and Linclau, Bruno (2011) Dietary phytosterols protective against peptic ulceration. Gastroenterology Research, 4, (4), 149-156. (doi:10.4021/gr328w).
Barker, J., Langley, G. and Richards, P. (2010) Insights into deposit formation in high pressure diesel fuel injection equipment. SAE Technical Papers, 2010-01-2243 (doi:10.4271/2010-01-2243).
Pinto, R.M., Olariu, R.I., Lameiras, J., Martins, F.T., Dias, A.A., Langley, G.J., Rodrigues, P., Maycock, C.D., Santos, J.P., Duarte, M.F., Fernandez, M.T. and Costa, M.L. (2010) Study of selected benzyl azides by UV photoelectron spectroscopy and mass spectrometry. Journal of Molecular Structure, 980, (1-3), 163-171. (doi:10.1016/j.molstruc.2010.07.009).
Ball, Rachel J., Green, Philip S., Gale, Nittaya, Langley, G. John and Brown, Tom (2010) Peptide nucleic acid probes with charged photocleavable mass markers: towards PNA-based MALDI-TOF MS genetic analysis. Artificial DNA: PNA & XNA, 1, (1), 27-35. (doi:10.4161/adna.1.1.12199).
Abdel Ghani, Sherif B., Chapman, James M., Figadère, Bruno, Herniman, Julie M., Langley, G. John, Niemann, Scott and Brown, Richard C.D. (2009) Total synthesis and stereochemical assignment of cis-uvariamicin I and cis-reticulatacin. The Journal of Organic Chemistry, 74, (18), 6924-6928. (doi:10.1021/jo9012578).
Thite, Mohini A., Boughtflower, Robert, Caldwell, Jeff, Hitzel, Laure, Holyoak, Clare, Lane, Stephen J., Oakley, Paul, Pullen, Frank S., Richardson, Stefan and Langley, G. John (2008) Ionisation in the absence of high voltage using supercritical fluid chromatography: a possible route to increased signal. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, 22, (22), 3673-3682. (doi:10.1002/rcm.3784).
Cazenave-Gassiot, Amaury, Boughtflower, Robert, Caldwell, Jeffrey, Coxhead, Richard, Hitzel, Laure, Lane, Stephen, Oakley, Paul, Holyoak, Clare, Pullen, Frank and Langley, G. John (2008) Prediction of retention for sulfonamides in supercritical fluid chromatography. [in special issue: 31st International Symposium on High Performance Liquid Phase Separations and Related Techniques] Journal of Chromatography A, 1189, (1-2), 254-267. (doi:10.1016/j.chroma.2007.10.020).
Shepherd, Jon, Langley, G. John, Herniman, Julie M. and Kilburn, Jeremy D. (2007) Rapid sequencing of split-and-mix peptide receptor libraries: Identification of binding partners for Val-Val-Ile-Ala in aqueous solution. European Journal of Organic Chemistry, 2007, (8), 1345-1356. (doi:10.1002/ejoc.200601004).
Langley, G.J., Herniman, J.M. and Townell, M.S. (2007) 2B or not 2B, that is the question: further investigations into the use of pencil as a matrix for matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, 21, (2), 180-190. (doi:10.1002/rcm.2827).
Valappil, S.P., Peiris, D., Langley, G.J., Hemiman, J.M., Boccaccini, A.R., Bucke, C. and Roy, I. (2007) Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) biosynthesis from structurally unrelated carbon sources by a newly characterized Bacillus spp. Journal of Biotechnology, 127, (3), 475-487. (doi:10.1016/j.jbiotec.2006.07.015).
Brondz, I., Ekeberg, D., Bell, D.S., Annino, A.R., Hustad, J.A., Svendsen, R., Vlachos, V., Oakley, P., Langley, G.J., Thite, M., Cazenave-Gassiot, A. and Mikhalitsyn, F. (2007) Nature of the main contaminant in the drug primaquine diphosphate: SFC and SFC-MS methods of analysis. Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis, 43, (3), 937-944. (doi:10.1016/j.jpba.2006.09.017).
Hammond, N., Koumi, P., Langley, G.J., Lowe, A. and Brown, T. (2007) Rapid mass spectrometric identification of human genomic polymorphisms using multiplexed photocleavable mass-tagged probes and solid phase capture. Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry, 5, (12), 1878-1885. (doi:10.1039/b704587e).
Black, Claudie, Poile, Chris, Langley, John and Herniman, Julie (2006) The use of pencil lead as a matrix and calibrant for matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, 20, (7), 1053-1060. (doi:10.1002/rcm.2408).
Herniman, Julie M., Langley, G. John, Bristow, Tony W.T and O'Connor, Gavin (2005) The validation of exact mass measurements for small molecules using FT-ICRMS for improved confidence in the selection of elemental formulas. Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry, 16, (7), 1100-1108. (doi: 10.1016/j.jasms.2005.02.027).
Darwish, Adam D., Birkett, Paul R., Langley, Graham and Taylor, Roger (2005) Fragmentation of the 60 fullerene cage during bromination. Chemical Physics Letters, 408, (4-6), 279-283. (doi:10.1016/j.cplett.2005.04.065).
Martins, Filipa, Duarte, M. Filomena, Fernandez, M. Tereza, Langley, G. John, Rodrigues, Paula, Barros, M. Teresa and Costa, M. Lourdes (2004) Electron ionization mass spectrometry in the characterization of azidonitriles. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, 18, (3), 363-366. (doi: 10.1002/rcm.1331).
Walker, Valerie, Mills, Graham A., Mellor, John M., Langley, G. John and Farrant, R. Duncan (2003) A novel pyrroline-5-carboxylic acid and acetoacetic acid adduct in hyperprolinaemia type II. Clinica Chimica Acta, 331, (1-2), 7-17. (doi:10.1016/S0009-8981(03)00077-9).
Klagkou, Katerina, Pullen, Frank, Harrison, Mark, Organ, Andy, Firth, Alistair and Langley, G. John (2003) Approaches towards the automated interpretation and prediction of electrospray tandem mass spectra of non-peptidic combinatorial compounds. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, 17, (11), 1163-1168. (doi: 10.1002/rcm.987).
Klagkou, Katerina, Pullen, Frank, Harrison, Mark, Organ, Andy, Firth, Alistair and Langley, G. John (2003) Fragmentation pathways of sulphonamides under electrospray tandem mass spectrometric conditions. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, 17, (21), 2373-2379. (doi:10.1002/rcm.1201).
Duarte, M. Filomena, Martins, Filipa, Fernandez, M. Tereza, Langley, G. John, Rodrigues, Paula, Barros, M. Teresa and Costa, M. Lourdes (2003) Mass spectrometric study of aliphatic α-carbonyl azides. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, 17, (9), 957-962. (doi: 10.1002/rcm.1005).
Bugg, Timothy D.H., Fleming, Sarah M., Robertson, Thomas A. and Langley, G. John (2002) 2-hydroxy-6-keto-nona-2,4-diene 1,9-dioic acid 5,6-hydrolase: evidence from O-18 isotope exchange for gem-diol intermediate. Methods in Enzymology, 354, 106-118. (doi:10.1016/S0076-6879(02)54008-8).
Farrant, R.D., Walker, V., Mills, G.A., Mellor, J.M. and Langley, G.J. (2001) Pyridoxal phosphate de-activation by pyrroline-5-carboxylic acid: increased risk of vitamin B6 deficiency and seizures in hyperprolinemia type II. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 276, (18), 15107-15116. (doi:10.1074/jbc.M010860200).
Swali, Vinay, Wells, Neil J., Langley, G. John and Bradley, Mark (1997) Solid-phase dendrimer synthesis and the generation of super-high-loading resin beads for combinatorial chemistry. The Journal of Organic Chemistry, 62, (15), 4902-4903. (doi:10.1021/jo9708654).


Research Interests

Dr. G. John Langley Research Group

Research keywords

Accurate mass, biofuels, electrospray, FT-MS, FT-ICR MS, GC-MS, high throughput, HPLC-MS, MALDI, mass spectrometry, MS/MS, oligonucleotides, open access, petrochemicals, SFC-MS.

Research funding

12 - 16 Innospec, A Study of Fuels by Separation Science & High Resolution Mass Spectrometry. G. J. Langley, £40,000.

11 - 16 Wellcome Trust, Characterisation of lipid oxidation by high accuracy mass spectrometry. A. Postle, H. Clark, G. J. Langley, V. H. Perry, G. Clough, A. Pringle, R. Djukanovic, A. Smith, £398,152.

09 – 12 BBSRC/Pfizer CASE, Development and implementation of Mass-Tagged Oligonucelotides as Bioanalytical Probes. G. J. Langley, £73,368.

08 - 11 EPSRC/BP CASE, Development and Application of MS and Chromatography Techniques for the Analysis of Bio Derived Components in Fuels and Lubricants. G.J.Langley, £63,789.

08 - 11 AstraZeneca, Mass spectrometry applications in pharmaceutical chemistry. G. J. Langley, £54,000.

06 - 09 BBSRC/Pfizer CASE. Facilitating rapid metabolite identification by using MS to determine fragmentation patterns that may be characteristic of the site of metabolism. G. J. Langley, £47,558


Primary research group:  Characterisation and Analytics

Research project



PhD supervision

S. Powley (Y1), E. Wilmot (y1), A. Nasif (Y2), E. Elia (Y2), K. Patel (Y3) W. Ratsameepakai (Y4)

Teaching Responsibilities

John is involved in organisation and implementation of the Chemistry's key skills programmes.



Dr G John Langley
University of Southampton
SO17 1BJ

Room Number: 30/1067

Telephone: (023) 8059 2182