A Unidade

The Environmental and Biological Mass Spectrometry group (GEMAB) has its origin in Centro de Espectrometria de Massa, CEM, a research unit  created in 1972, being the first Center dedicated to mass spectrometry studies in Portugal and that  integrated CQB in 2003. The GEMAB Scientific Coordinator, Maria Helena Florêncio has more than 35 year experience in virtually all aspects of mass spectrometry and especially in the application of mass spectrometry to a variety of compounds in the fields of Analytical and Environmental Chemistry, Biochemistry, Biology and Medicine. The members of the group are chemists and biochemists, and the combination of their scientific expertise has been instrumental to address complex challenges. Collaborations with the majority of CQB groups, with scientists from other national institutions, e.g. the ones participating in the National Mass Spectrometry Network (RNEM), that MHF coordinates, and international institutions (e.g. Jaap Entreprises, Netherlands), also contribute to an effective know-how interchange. Besides some fundamental topics, such as the study of gas-phase reaction mechanisms, reactivity, ion structures and ion thermochemistry, the research of the Environmental and Biological Mass Spectrometry Group focuses on the application of mass spectrometry and related analytical techniques to the study of environmental and biological problems. There is a growing public awareness of the need for action in addressing environmental and health problems, two societal challenges that are frequently interrelated. Analyzing and characterizing contaminants in the air, water and soils, studying and developing economic and cost-effective degradation processes, and developing methodologies for the identification of chemical markers that are characteristic of gasoline use in the origin of criminal fires, are some of the contributions of the group in the environmental area. Work related to health challenges include, for example, the analysis of dietary and claimed therapeutic products marketed without sufficient information about their composition and effects (thus representing a potential risk to human health) and studying their underlying mechanisms of action.