2010 IR Workshop

Kathy Gough

[Click here for the talk abstract]


http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~kmgough/graphics/home_Kathy_pic.JPGKathy Gough obtained her BSc in Chemistry (Honours) at Loyola College (now Concordia University) in Montreal, and her PhD in intra-cavity laser photoacoustic overtone spectroscopy under Prof. Bryan Henry, Department of Chemistry, University of Manitoba, in 1984. She was a Research Associate for two years at the National Research Council in Ottawa, in the group led by Dr. Henry Mantsch, though working primarily with Dr. William Murphy on measurement of absolute trace scattering intensities in gas phase Raman spectra. She was awarded an NSERC post-doctoral fellowship to work with Professor Richard Bader at McMaster University, Ontario, on the theoretical modeling and interpretation of Raman scattering intensities. She was appointed Assistant Professor at Brock University, St. Catherines, ON, in 1990, and moved to the Department of Chemistry at the University of Manitoba as an Associate Professor in 1995. She was made full Professor in 2002, and served as Associate Department Head and Chair of the Graduate program in Chemistry from 2004-2009.

As Principal Investigator or co-Investigator, Prof. Gough has received grants from NSERC, CIHR and MHRC, as well as external contracts, to develop infrared and Raman spectroscopic applications for the study of many targets including brain tissue in Alzheimer’s disease and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, comparisons of saprotrophic and endophytic fungi, the role of nutritional fatty acids in retinal health, development of scar tissue in wound healing, spectroscopic imaging of plant roots in phytoremediation and analysis of weathering in minerals. She has been PI or co-PI on equipment grants for IR and Raman microscopes at the University of Manitoba. Prof. Gough currently holds an NSERC grant to develop protocols for analysis of IR and Raman vibrational spectra and the practical investigation of many targets. She is an advisor to the Editorial board for Applied Spectroscopy, and serves on review panels for NSERC grants, and for synchrotron proposals at SRC, ALS, and CLS. Prof. Gough has been an active user of synchrotron FTIR since the late 1990’s, and has conducted experiments at SRC, NSLS, ALS, CLS and ESRF. She served as chair of the Users’ Advisory committee at CLS, and has been a member of the Users’ Advisory Committee at SRC for the last 6 years. While continuing to use the conventional IR microscope on the 031 beam line at SRC, she is presently working with Prof. Carol Hirschmugl to collect images with the recently commissioned IRENI system.


High Definition Imaging with IRENI – Discoveries enabled by the new technology

We are engaged in mapping of molecular changes in biomaterials, with sFTIR spectromicroscopy, a unique tool for biomolecular imaging in situ. For many years we have used the more conventional single pixel, raster scan infrared beamline (031) at SRC, and are now using IRENI (InfraRed ENvironmental Imaging). IRENI data from brain tissue and fungi will be presented and contrasted with data from other imaging tools, including a Varian thermal source IR with Focal Plane Array, a Raman microscope, and the 031 Continuum microscope. While similar to other configurations, i.e., infrared interferometer connected to a microscope, IRENI combines 12 brilliant synchrotron source beams with multi-element detection for a revolutionary advance in mid-infrared imaging capability. Chemical images are obtained with excellent S/N at 0.54x0.54 mm2 pixel resolution, in minutes.

Alzheimer Disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterized by memory loss and dementia. The pathological hallmarks of AD include deposits of β-amyloid peptides (plaques) and neurofibrillary tangles. Our work is based on two mouse lines that express two familial AD mutations: one is the TgCRND8, with K670N/M671L and V717F mutant form of human APP695, and 3xTg, a triply mutant  mouse model that carries the KM670/671NL mutation in APP, the presenilin mutation PS1 (M146V) and the human four-repeat Tau harbouring the P301L mutation. With synchrotron FTIR imaging at 031, we discovered microcrystalline creatine deposits in snap-frozen, unfixed sections of brain tissue from the TgCRND8 mouse. Among many other events, both energy metabolism and the function of creatine kinase are known to be affected in AD brain. The 3xTg mouse develops plaques more slowly, and may be more similar to the late-onset sporadic AD in human brain. With IRENI, we can obtain never-before-seen sub-cellular definition of tissues, and spectral differences that have been impossible to discern from images acquired with lower spatial resolution.

Fungi have pervasive and essential roles in plant survival that include helpful symbiotic relationships wherein fungi trade services for food, while other species are plant pathogens that destroy crops and threaten food supplies. Some fungi are important resources for biotechnology; others present an emerging threat for human health, especially for immune compromised and HIV patients. A better understanding of these roles, gained from greater knowledge of cell composition, is essential to control their activities. Our research on IR beamline 031 has demonstrated the power of infrared (IR) microspectroscopy for imaging components to reveal subcellular biochemistry. The IRENI beamline shows tremendous promise for the examination of growth and stress responses in filamentous fungi. Fungal hyphae are long and tubular; their composition can change dramatically over just a few microns. IRENI has opened the door for studies on fungal interactions with their surroundings.