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Claudia Martinez-Lopez, FDA

Student run seminar series; Host: Emily Heller

Tips for Career Transition After Graduate School and Research Focused on LA-ICP-MS Method Development for the Analysis of Multivitamins

Claudia Martinez-Lopez, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Food and Drug Administration

Image of Claudia Martinez-Lopez
Abstract: This presentation will be divided in two parts. The first part will include a description of my experience after graduate school, with a focus on tips and tricks targeted to pursuing a post-doctorate position in academia and/or government. The second portion of the presentation will be focused on the development of a method for the analysis of multivitamins as part of my post-doctorate research at the FDA.Job “hunting” after graduate school can be confusing and stressful. In this presentation, I describe my personal experience, as well as tips and tricks that have been beneficial to me over the years. I include suggestions for creating a CV and cover letter; and for creating an online profile for the desired job, based on the job description. One of my research projects as a post-doctorate fellow at the FDA included the development of a method based on Laser Ablation – Inductively Coupled Plasma–Mass Spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) for the analysis of multivitamins. Monitoring nutritional and toxic elements present in food and cosmetics is part of the United States Food and Drug Administration’s mission to protect and promote public health. The analysis of toxic elements in multivitamins typically involves nitric acid digestion followed by Inductively Coupled Plasma – Mass Spectrometry analysis. Hydrofluoric acid (HF) is also often required for the complete decomposition of samples. Acid digestion is not only time consuming, but also leads to known health and safety concerns for the person conducting the test. LA-ICP-MS offers quick and automated sample analysis without the need for corrosive acids and extensive sample preparation. The method developed is especially useful for products that are resistant to nitric acid digestion but also require the use of hydrofluoric and/or perchloric acids. Matrix-matched and cellulose calibration approaches were studied for the analysis of multivitamins. Cellulose multielement powder standards and multivitamin tablets were digested using nitric acid and hydrofluoric acid, analyzed by solution ICP-MS, and compared to the laser ablation results. All samples were ablated using a UV laser followed by ICP-MS analysis. Instrumental parameters were optimized to obtain the best signal while reducing fractionation and the variability between replicate measurements.

Zoom Seminar:; Meeting ID | 999 1849 3931; Password | WVUSRSS22
Contact Emily Heller ( for more information