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Certificate Program

LC-MS/MS Troubleshooting for the Clinical Laboratory

  • Credit: 11.0 ACCENT
  • Level: Intermediate

Price: $565.00

Member Price: $290.00

Rating: Member Average


This program was developed for clinical laboratory professionals with experience using tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) and liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC-MS) for laboratory analyses. It would benefit technologists who wish to improve their technical skillset, as well as directors or supervisors who would like a course on issues that affect mass spectrometry testing operations. The content of this program is at the intermediate level and covers the resolution of technical issues with HPLC and mass spectrometry hardware and related mass spec assay troubleshooting and assay maintenance, quality control as well as common post-analytical problems. This program is appropriate for learners who have first-hand exposure to the technology through prior use.


The program is composed of nine courses, listed below. Each course can be completed online in approximately 1-3 hours and contains a lecture, readings, resources, and a quiz.

  1. System Suitability Testing and Preventive Maintenance

    Y. Victoria Zhang, PhD, University of Rochester Medical Center
    Reviews the goal and criteria of system suitability testing and preventative maintenance.

  2. Sample Preparation

    Brian Rappold, Collinsvile, IL
    Describes the sample preparation steps to maintain sample integrity, and explains approach batch building, extraction precision, and documentation.

  3. Liquid Chromatography for Mass Spectrometry: Operations and Troubleshooting

    Brian Rappold
    Reviews liquid chromatography fundamentals, system suitability tests, LC maintenance and troubleshooting.

  4. Mass Spectrometry Troubleshooting

    Alan Rockwood, PhD, ARUP Laboratories
    Explains how to identify and use QA tools to develop troubleshooting and maintenance plans for mass spectrometry technology.

  5. Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry

    Uttam Garg, PhD, Mercy Children's Hospital
    Discusses the components of gas chromatography mass spectrometry, its advantages and limitations, as well as troubleshooting techniques.

  6. Data Review: Going from Peaks to Numbers

    Joshua Hayden, PhD, Weill Cornell Medical Center
    Describes best practices for integrating peaks and how to implement protocols for manual peak integration. Explains how to calculate and assess relevant quality assurance metrics, and how much data to review.

  7. Quality Control and Quality Assurance for LC-MS/MS; Hydrolysis and Derivatization

    Julia Drees, PhD, and Sarah Shugarts, PhD, Kaiser Permanente
    Identifies sources and types of QC matrix best suited to LC-MS/MS assays, and lists quality indicators for data analysis. Identifies the inherent QA/QC challenges of deconjugation and derivatization reactions and specifies appropriate strategies to work around these.

  8. Troubleshooting Calibration for Clinical Mass Spectrometry

    Stephen Master, MD, PhD, Weill Cornell Medical Center
    Explains the range of analytical components that affect calibration of assays, describes the implications of nonlinear calibration curves, and identifies steps in calibrator preparation and storage that affect accuracy.

  9. Dealing with Change

    Autumn Breaud, PhD, Johns Hopkins University
    Describes how clinical LC-MS/MS labs handle lot changes, explains instrument service and decommission, longitudinal and source material changes, analytical changes in testing methodology, and changes to software and personnel.

Program Launch Year: 2016
Course Number: 12749

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