Organic Chemicals Service

The Organic Chemicals Service fosters research collaboration among Center members in the area of exposure biology by providing analytical tools and expertise needed to investigate organic compounds in environmental and occupational epidemiological research.

Our aims are to:

  • Explore and innovate exposure biomarkers for environmental chemicals
  • Establish analytical methods using state-of-the-art mass spectrometry equipment to support the biomarker development
  • Develop capabilities for environmental metabolomic analysis


◊  Consultation: Dr. Alex Lu and the Organic Service team advise Center investigators on feasibility, experimental design and best technologies for their analytical needs, and provide consultation and assistance with analytical method development and application.

◊  Instrumentation: Advanced instrumentation to meet organic analytical needs at all levels of analysis for various biological specimens or environmental media – view instrumentation list

◊  Sample Analysis: Analysis of specimen samples for pilot and feasibility studies of Center members.

◊  Liaison: The Service acts as liaison between the Center investigators and outside laboratory services.

◊  Training: The Service provides training opportunities for post-doctoral fellows or visiting fellows/faculty.

◊  Communications: The Organics Service team will prepare media, slides or other informational material for presentations by NIEHS Center investigators to community groups or policymakers.

How to Access Services

To obtain services from the Organic Chemicals Service or external facilities, contact Alex Lu, the Service Director.

Center investigators who require funding for internal or external services, may apply for Facility Access Funds by completing a simple, single page application form that details the service, cost, and relevance to the NIEHS Center research mission.


Organic Chemicals Service Director:  Alex Lu

Organics Service Instrumentation List (2013)

Analytical equipment within the Exposure Biology Lab at HSPH:

API 4000 LC/MS/MS system (AB Sciex).This is an enhanced high performance triple quadrupole mass spectrometer system with a mass range of 5 to 3000 m/z.  The system includes Turbo V IonSpray and atmos pressure chemical ionization (APCI) probes, a Shimazu LC SCL-10AVP pump system with an online solvent degasser and a gradient mixer, and CTC HTS PAL autosampler with cooler stack.  This API 4000 system is a popular analytical instrument used in many federal laboratories.

API 3000 LC/MS/MS system (AB Sciex). API3000 is a triple quadrupole mass spectrometer system with TurboIonSpray and APCI probes which offers high sensitivity and performance. The Agilent 1000 series HPLC system includes a binary pump, an online solvent degasser, a column oven, a thermostated auto-sampler and an UV detector. The system is widely used for small molecule analysis and protein and peptide analysis.

Thermo Finnigan LCQ Deca XP LCMS system.  This is an advanced analytical instrument which includes micro Electrospray Ionization (ESI) Probe, a divert/inject valve, an Atmospheric Pressure Ionization (API) Interface, a mass spectrometer (MS) detector, mechanical pump, and Xcalibur Software. The mass separation is provided by a quadrupole ion trap and the system can perform MSn CID experiments. It features a mass range of 50 to 2,000 amu. The Thermo Surveyor HPLC System includes Surveyor MS Pump, Surveyor Autosampler, and Surveyor UV Detector.

Agilent 5973N GC/MS system. This 220V system includes Agilent 5973N MSD and Agilent 6890 GC with a splitless injector. The MS has a heated EI source, a heated transferline, a heated hyperbolic quadrupole mass filter, a High-Energy Dynode (HED) dlectron multiplier detector, a Turbo pump (70L/sec), a roughing pump, an Agilent 7683 autosample and ChemStation data system.  The Agilent 5973N MSD is also Chemical Ionization (CI) capable.

RapidTrace SPE workstation. This is an automated high throughput solid phase extraction (SPE) workstation. The modular design allows analysts to add capacity with additional module. There are 5 modular in the lab, and they provide rapid development of rugged and reliable SPE methods and fast sample analysis. The RapidTrace systems are used in a variety of industries including environmental and food laboratories. We currently have 5 workstations linking in sequence to improve the flow of sample extraction.

Geno/Grinder (ShaQer). This SPEX SamplePrep is designed for the analytical methods (QuEChERS) that require homogenization of sample matrices. It provides higher throughput and increased recovery by processing multiple samples simultaneously and mixing samples vigorously (at 1,500 rpm) and thoroughly. The ShaQer holds 6x 50mL vials or 12x15mL vials.

TurboVap LV system. The TurboVap LV evaporation system is a high speed, small volume sample concentrator. It can simultaneously concentrate up to 50 samples for sample volume ranging 1ml to 30ml. The system includes a concentrator, tube racks for 16×100 mm and 20×150 mm tubes.

Visiprep Solid Phase Extraction Vaccum Manifolds. Used with a vaccum pump, This Visiprep manifold can extract up to 12 or 24 samples simultaneously. The Visiprep vaccum manifold includes a vacuum bleed valve, stand-along cover, flow control valves, Teflon solvent guide needles, and a manifold rack.