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Frantisek Tureček

Frank Turecek, PhD. Klaus and Mary Ann Saegebarth Endowed Professor of Chemistry
Ph.D. Charles University, 1977

(Analytical Chemistry)

(206) 685-2041


Turecek Research Group Website


Research Interests

The Tureček group is currently involved in several lines of research using mass spectrometry as the core technique. A major area of research, supported by the National Science Foundation, concerns new methods of peptide and protein sequencing using special mass spectrometric techniques based on ion-electron recombination. Experimental studies are being carried out locally or in collaboration with other research groups in the U.S. and abroad (France, Denmark, Czech Republic, Hong Kong, Japan).


Latest focus has been on three research areas:

(1) UV-Vis photodissociation action spectroscopy of transient intermediates of ion-radical reactions.  This topic addresses reactive intermediates of ion-electron recombination of proteins and nucleic acids of relevance to radical and radiation damage.

(2) Development of new photochemical tags for gas-phase cross-linking of peptide non-covalent complexes. We use diazirine-tagged peptides to generate reactive carbene intermediates by selective photodissociation at 355 nm.  Covalent bond formation is detected by gas-phase sequencing and used to tease out ion conformations and contact points in thermal complexes. We investigate non-covalent interactions in peptide complexes relevant to brain damage and neurodegenerative diseases.

(3) Development of solid-state methods for peptide tagging and de novo sequencing by mass spectrometry. We have developed a new methodology for introducing custom-made guanidine tags into tryptic peptides that allow us to glean a complete peptide sequence by tandem mass spectrometry. Experimental studies are complemented by extensive high-level quantum chemistry computations of ion structures, transition states, and excitation energies to aid data interpretation.


Graduate students in the Tureček group are exposed to a variety of ideas, techniques, and projects, which all contribute to a quality education. The group members attend national and international conferences to present their results to the community. Ph.D. graduates enjoy excellent job opportunities in the booming mass spectrometry community in research, academia, drug development, and instrument development.

Representative Publications

Korn, J. A.; Urban, J.; Dang, A.; Nguyen, H. T. H.; Tureček, F.: "UV-Vis Action Spectroscopy Reveals a Conformational Collapse in Hydrogen-Rich Dinucleotide Cation Radicals." J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 2017, 8, 4100-4107.


Pepin, R.; Shaffer, C. J.; Korn, J. A.; Tureček, F.: "Position-Tunable Diazirine Tags for Peptide-Peptide Ion Cross-linking in the Gas Phase." J. Mass Spectrom. 2017, 52, 557-560.


Nguyen, H. T. H.; Andrikopoulos, P. C.; Bím, D.; Rulíšek, L.; Dang, A.; Tureček, F.: "Radical Reactions Affecting Polar Groups in Threonine Peptide Ions." J. Phys. Chem. B, 2017, 121, 6557-6569.


Liu, Y.; Yi, F.; Kumar, A. B.; Chennamaneni, N, K.; Hong, X.; Scott, C. R.; Gelb, M. H.; Tureček, F.: "Multiplex Tandem Mass Spectrometry Enzymatic Activity Assay for Newborn Screening of the Mucopolysaccharidoses and Type 2 Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis." Clin. Chem. 2017, 63, 1118-1126.


Pepin, R.; Layton, E. D.; Liu, Y.; Afonso, C.; Tureček, F.: "Where Does the Electron Go? Stable and Metastable Peptide Cation Radicals Formed by Electron Transfer." J. Am. Soc. Mass Spectrom. 2017, 28, 164-181.


Pepin, R.;  Petrone, A.;  Laszlo, K. J.; Bush, M. F.; Li, X.; Tureček, F.: "Does Thermal Breathing Affect Collision Cross Sections of Gas Phase Peptide Ions? An Ab initio Molecular Dynamics Study." J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 2016, 7, 2765-2771.


Viglino. E.; Shaffer, C. J.; Tureček, F.: "UV/VIS Action Spectroscopy and Structures of Tyrosine Peptide Cation Radicals in the Gas Phase." Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2016, 55, 7469-7473.


Shaffer, C. J.; Andrikopoulos, P. C.; Řezáč, J.; Rulíšek, L.; Tureček, F.: "Efficient Covalent Bond Formation in Gas-Phase Peptide-Peptide Ion Complexes with the Photoleucine Stapler."  J. Am. Soc. Mass Spectrom. 2016, 27, 633-645.


Marek, A.; Pepin, R.; Peng, B.; Laszlo, K. J.; Bush, M. F.; Tureček, F.: “Electron Transfer Dissociation of Photolabeled Peptides. Backbone Cleavages Compete with Diazirine Ring Rearrangements.” J. Am. Soc. Mass Spectrom. 2013, 24, 1641-1653.


Tureček, F.; Julian, R. R.: "Peptide Radicals and Cation-Radicals in the Gas Phase." Chem. Rev. 2013, 113, 6691-6733.



More Publications ...

Awards & Activities

  • Royal Society Kan Tong Po Visiting Professorship, University of Hong Kong (2014)
  • Wolfgang-Paul-Vortrag Lecturer, German Mass Spectrometry Group (2014)
  • Gustavus John Esselen Award for Chemistry in the Public Interest, Northeastern Section of the American Chemical Society (2013)
  • Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2013)
  • Thomson Medal of the International Mass Spectrometry Foundation (2012)
  • Editorial Advisory Board of the Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry (2012)
  • Patria Science Award (2010)
  • J. J. Marci of Kronstad Medal of the Czech Spectroscopic Society (2010)


More Awards and Activities

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