University of Southampton
School of Chemistry

Dr John Langley's Group

Mass Spectrometry and Supercritical Fluid Chromatography at the University of Southampton


Group Members
John Langley - Julie Herniman
Waraporn Ratsameepakai - Krina Patel - Ammar Nasif - Efstathios Elia - Stephanie Powley - Edward Wilmot

Past Members
Jo-Anne Riley - Christianne Wicking - Angelika Galezowska - Mohini Thite - Stephen Holman - Louisa Wronska - Amaury Cazenave Gassiot - Rachel Ball - Katerina Klagkou

G. John Langley

John Langley is a graduate of Swansea University where he first encountered MS as his final year project, he then studied for his PhD in Mass Spectrometry at the School of Pharmacy, University of London under the supervision of Mike Baldwin. His PhD included fundamental studies of ion fragmentation pathways using labelled molecules and tandem MS techniques (B/E, MIKES), development of a thermospray based HPLC-MS method for Patent protection of trimethoprim for Wellcome and application of thermospray HPLC-MS for the study of estrogenic isoflavones in conjunction with the Department of Pharmacognosy.

John has been responsible for the School of Chemistry’s MS Facility since 1988. This has grown from one under-used sector system to a vibrant section with 10 spectrometers and a peak sample throughput of over 22 000 for 2003. The School housed the first open access MS system in Academia and also has the first such system for undergraduate students.

John heads the Characterisation and Analytics section in Chemistry at Southampton, leads SCAS (Southampton Chemistry Analytical Solutions (, is Chair of the Separation Science Group of the Royal Society of Chemistry (, Secretary of the International Mass Spectrometry Foundation ( Formerly Chair, Vice-Chair, General Secretary and Meetings Secretary of the British Mass Spectrometry Society, was a member of the Organisation Committee for the International Mass Spectrometry Conference for Edinburgh 2003 and BMSS Annual Conferences 1999, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005 and 2007. John is a Chartered Chemist and became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry in 1999 and a Chartered Scientist in 2004. He is the European Member of IUPAC Task Group for Standard Definitions of Terms Relating to Mass Spectrometry, an External Examiner for Post-Graduate Degrees and a freelance Team Development trainer. John has also been an expert witness.

John's research interests are the application of mass spectrometry as a routine tool for chemistry/chemical biology as well as probing new areas for research using mass spectrometry. Specific interests are around understanding fundamental MS/MS fragmentation processes and mechanism, including use of computational methods, hyphenated approaches to analysis of petrochemicals, particularly biofuels and research into analysis and detection of oligonucleotides.

The previous are the focus for current  research projects together with the continued development of a web-based open access mass spectrometry interface [with SpectralWorks]. Previous PhD projects have involved Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance MS [with LGC], pharmaceutical applications of SFC and SFC/MS [with Berger (Mettler–Toledo), GSK, Pfizer, Evotec, Eli Lilly and Princeton Chromatography], rapid metabolite identification using MSn techniques [BBSRC CASE award with Pfizer] direct and indirect MS approaches to DNA/PNA analysis, use of the improved high throughput use of the Chemiluminescent Nitrogen Detector and the use of an Artificial Intelligence software package to automatically interpret MS/MS spectra of non-peptidic systems produced by combichem methods. Improved MS/MS data interpretation projects are still ongoing.

He is also involved in organisation and implementation of the School key skills programmes.



Julie Herniman

Julie obtained a BSc from Plymouth University and then worked as a research technician at the School of Ocean and Earth Sciences, Cardiff University where she also obtained an MSc. She has worked in mass spectrometry at Southampton since 1998.
Julie is responsible for supporting and developing the open access mass spectrometry facility for all researchers, postgraduates and undergraduates in Chemistry.
Her research interests are focussed on the application of mass spectrometry techniques to the routine analysis of biomolecules, particularly oligonucleotides and developing new mass spectrometry methods to support researchers from Chemistry.


Waraporn Ratsameepakai

PhD Student, 2011-present

Waraporn graduated with a masters degree in Analytical Chemistry from the Prince of Songkla University, Thailand in 2004. She then began work as a research equipment analyst at the Scientific Equipment Centre within the Prince of Songkla University, with work focussing on chromatographic and mass spectrometric techniques. Waraporn was then awarded a scholarship from the Royal Thai government to study for a PhD in chemistry.

Waraporn's research project is centred around the analysis of fuels and lubricants using mass spectrometry and separation science techniques.


Krina Patel

PhD Student, 2012-present

Krina completed her undergraduate degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences at Kingston University in 2011 which included an industrial placement year working in the Quality Control department at St George’s Hospital. She then went on to study at King’s College London for a master’s degree in Analytical Science for Industry achieving a distinction. Her MSc degree involved a project placement with the Analytical Research and Development team at Pfizer in Sandwich.

Krina’s research is based on studying the variations in modern diesel fuel using a range of chromatographic techniques such as GC and SFC, and mass spectrometry.


Ammar Nasif

PhD Student, 2013-present

Ammar completed his undergraduate degree in Pharmacy at University of Kalamoon in 2010. He then went to study for a masters degree in Analytical Science for Industry at King’s College London. His MSc degree included a project placement at LGC in Teddington.

Ammar’s research project is focused on characterising and quantifying polar molecules in crude oils using different analytical techniques such as UPC2, FT-ICR MS and UHPLC-MS.


Efstathios Elia

PhD Student, 2013-present

In 2009 Stathis graduated from Queen Mary University of London with a BSc in Molecular Biology and Forensic Science. Stathis immediately went on to study at King’s College London gaining an MSc Analytical Toxicology with distinction. During his MSc he undertook a 3 month placement at the W.A.D.A accredited doping control laboratory in Athens, Greece. He had focused on developing a novel method for the direct detection of tibolone sulphate metabolites in human urine using HPLC-QToF-MS.

His research concerns the use of modern chromatographic and mass spectrometric methods for the detection of oilfield additives in crude oils and produced waters.


Stephanie Powley

PhD Student, 2014-present

Stephanie completed her BSc in Environmental Chemistry at Bangor University in 2000 and then studied for a masters degree in Oceanography at the University of Southampton. After graduation, Stephanie worked for British American Tobacco in Southampton for 11 years in the analytical services department. This role involved the analysis of trace analytes in complex matrices and Stephanie specialised in the analysis of organic compounds including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and volatile compounds by GC-MS using solid phase extraction sample preparation techniques and the analysis of trace heavy metals in cigarette smoke by ICP-MS.

Stephanie’s research project is concerned with the development and optimisation of LC-MS methods for determining interfering compounds in oligonucleotides.


Edward Wilmot

PhD Student, 2014-present

Edward graduated with a First Class BSc (Hons) degree in Chemistry from the Plymouth University in 2014, with his third year project focusing on the identification of isometric alkene isomers formed from the dehydration of long chain tertiary alcohols using GC-MS. During this time he became interested in mass spectrometry and pursued this to the University of Southampton beginning an MPhil/PhD in 2014.

Edward’s research project is on the analysis of gasoline by chromatography – mass spectrometry and other techniques.



Past Members

Jo-Anne Riley

PhD Student, 2009-2013

Jo-Anne graduated with an honours degree in Forensic Science from the University of Kent in 2009. Her degree included a year in industry which she spent in the Structural and Separation Sciences group at Pfizer in Sandwich, where she first used mass spectrometry. She returned to Pfizer to complete her final year research project which focussed on the prediction of MS/MS CID fragmentation using computational chemistry.

Jo-Anne’s research is focused on the use of cleavable mass tags as an indirect method of oligonucleotide analysis by MALDI-TOF MS and HPLC-ESI MS.


Christianne Wicking

PhD Student, 2008-2012

Christianne completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Plymouth, obtaining an honours degree in Analytical Chemistry. She went on to work at the National Laboratory Service of the Environment Agency, becoming interested in mass spectrometry during this time. She followed up this interest by taking a position as a trainee analyst at the EPSRC National Mass Spectrometry Service Centre, Swansea. In 2008, she came to Southampton to begin an MPhil/PhD under the supervision of Dr. Langley.

Her research is concerned with the development and application of mass spectrometry coupled with chromatographic techniques for analysing bio-derived components in fuels and lubricants.


Angelika Galezowska

PhD Student, 2008-2011

Angelika read for an MSc in Chemistry at the University of Warsaw, Poland, graduating in 2007. Her thesis project focused on enzymatic biosensing and HPLC analysis on the efficiency of radiolytic degradation of selected compounds by gamma radiation. The project was a collaboration between the Universities of Warsaw and Perpignan, France, and the National Institute of Nuclear Chemistry and Technology in Warsaw. This was the first project Angelika worked on that involved the use of mass spectrometry. Angelika's PhD project focused on dissociation pathways of pharmaceutical compounds using tandem MS approaches and accurate mass measurements.


Mohini Thite

PhD Student, 2004-2010

Mohini obtained her Master in Science (organic chemistry) from the University of Mumbai in 1996. Then she worked consecutively as a project staff in the Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai, India and as a teacher of physical chemistry for under-graduate level students in a Degree college in Thane, India. She then moved to England where she worked as an analyst at the Southern Water Hampshire laboratory in Winchester before joining the School of Chemistry in October 2004 for a MPhil/PhD degree.


Stephen Holman

PhD student, 2006-2009

Stephen was awarded a BSc in Forensic Science from Anglia Ruskin University in 2006. Previous to his undergraduate studies he worked for the Forensic Science Service as a laboratory attendant. After a successful time spent at HFL Ltd., where Stephen first worked with mass spectrometry, he started his MPhil/PhD studies within the Langley group. Stephen’s research involved determining structural dependent dissociation pathways that will enable rapid identification of the site of metabolism of pharmaceutical compounds.

Stephen is currently a PDRA at the Michael Barber Centre for Mass Spectrometry, University of Manchester, under the supervision of Professor Simon Gaskell and Doctor Paul Sims. His research, in collaboration with the groups of Professor Rob Beynon (University of Liverpool), Professor Simon Hubbard (University of Manchester) and Doctor Chris Grant (University of Manchester), is focussed on the global quantification of Saccharomyces cerevisiae using the QconCAT methodology.


Louisa Wronska

PhD student, 2005-2008

Louisa completed her undergraduate MChem at the University of East Anglia in 2005 before coming to Southampton in the same year to study for a MPhil/PhD. Her undergraduate degree consisted of chemistry with analytical science and a year in industry. For her year in industry, she was based at Novartis, West Sussex, where she worked in the analytical department and first came across mass spectrometry. Louisa's PhD investigated the factors and protocols that influence exact mass measurement by FT-ICR MS to improve the confidence of assignment of elemental composition.

Currently Louisa is an R&D analyst working with a range of instruments running routine analyses as well as some method development.


Amaury Cazenave Gassiot

PhD Student, 2004-2007

Amaury studied organic chemistry at the University of Sciences and Technologies of Lille (Master's degree 2003). After a one year specialization in Drug Design in the Faculty of Pharmacy of Lille, he joined the group as a MPhil/PhD student in October 2004. His project involved the synthesis and screening of a sulfonamides library by SFC-MS with the aim of linking retention behaviour and physico-chemical properties of the analytes.

Following his PhD, Amaury joined Professor Anthony Postle's lipidomics research group in the School of Medicine at the University of Southampton as a post-doctoral researcher. In early 2009, Amaury moved to the National University of Singapore to join Professor Markus Wenk's group in the Department of Biological Sciences.


Rachel Ball

PhD Student, 2001-2004

Rachel obtained a BSc in Chemistry at the University of Southampton in 1999 then completed a MSc in Instrumental and Analytical Methods in Biological and Environmental Chemistry at the University of Warwick. After one year in the analytical chemistry department at Syngenta in Jealott’s Hill she returned to Southampton in 2001.  Rachel’s PhD research, sponsored by Syngenta, involved the development of a mass spectrometry based hybridisation assay for single nucleotide polymorphism analysis.  On completion of her PhD she joined the metabolomics group at GlaxoSmithKline, Ware, and has now moved to Singapore to work within the Agency of Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) group.


Katerina Klagkou

PhD Student, 2000-2003

Katerina is an LC/MS expert working in the European Training Institute of ThermoFisher Scientific. She specialises in ion trap technology with emphasis on structural elucidation and accurate mass measurement. She graduated with a PhD from the University of Southampton in 2003 where the focus of her study was small molecule dissociation by ESI-MS/MS. She has been involved in mechanistic studies and in the development of software designed for automatic fragment ion prediction and spectral interpretation. Her work in the ThermoFisher Scientific Training Institute involves customer familiarisation with new instrumentation as well as application support with focus on small molecule analysis.


© GJ Langley - Website Designed & Maintained by GW Langley - Last Updated 16/08/2012