About us

IonOpticks is an innovative Australian company that develops, manufactures and distributes advanced proteomics tools. Our aim is to provide innovative solutions for the global proteomics research community that will enable scientists and clinicians to discover more from their samples, accelerating advances in biological and medical research.

 

We specialise in high-performance chromatography columns for analytical applications in liquid chromatography with mass spectrometry (LC-MS) and high-end proteomics. We manufacture our columns using a highly reproducible method that provides a unique ability to enhance the sensitivity of mass spectrometry sample analysis.

Our columns are used for a broad range of applications within the field of biological and medical research including drug discovery, phosphoproteomics and shotgun proteomics. Beyond medical research, the possibilities are endless.

IonOpticks is based in the heart of the biotechnology precinct in Melbourne and spun out of the Proteomics Research Laboratory (PRL) at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research. The PRL utilises high-throughput technologies to understand global changes in biological systems, and to inform therapeutic decisions. Our facility runs a Thermo Q-Exactive and Bruker Impact II as workhorses for shotgun proteomics, a maXis II ETD for proteoform profiling and an amazon speed ETD. We recently acquired a Bruker timsTOF Pro and a Thermo Q-Exactive HF-X which, when coupled with our columns, enables us to achieve data quality and deep proteome coverage on a whole new scale.

 

Our story

Company founders Andrew, Jarrod and Giuseppe met as colleagues within the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute's Proteomics Research Laboratory. Since 2011, they have been working hard to build a facility that provides researchers with access to advanced proteomics. Together, the team has sought to develop leading edge techniques to achieve higher quality outputs and analytics from MS instruments and associated technologies. 

Specialising in LC-MS (Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry) applications, the team initially utilised chromatography techniques and protocols adapted from the laboratories of respected pioneers in the field of proteomics. However, columns made in-house using these methods were laborious, inefficient and unreliable, with a production success rate of <20% being the acceptable “industry standard”. Additionally, these approaches continuously resulted in a high degree of variability between columns, inconsistent spray stability of usable columns and unreliable chromatography performance.  High end commercial alternatives also provided sub-optimal separation and significant post-column dead volume which resulted in band-broadening and loss of sensitivity.

Frustrated by these limitations and the lack of viable alternatives available commercially, the team set out to improve the way columns were produced in-house and began developing innovative chromatography techniques associated with LC-MS in order to optimise the performance of their new instruments. 

The team spent over 18 months developing, rigorously testing and implementing a new manufacturing technique for columns, resulting in the discovery of a technique that produced a consistently reproducible narrower column emitter design that drastically improved the electrospray ionisation efficiency and in turn, the sensitivity of MS acquisition. 

The extremely high column performance caught the attention of major international MS vendor Bruker Daltonics, who recognised the benefits early on. The co-founders sought support to spin out a new company from The Institute, and in 2017 IonOpticks was established to enable the technology and future developments to be shared with researchers around the world.

IonOpticks is heavily committed to ongoing research and development and continues to improve its core products and expand its product offerings. This has resulted in vast improvements to the original beta nano column, particularly in relation to column fittings. Our Aurora Series is now set to revolutionise proteomics with a true plug 'n' play fitting to dramatically improve the connections between LC and MS. Find out more about our products here. Please get in touch to discuss your UHPLC requirements.

 

Our People

Assoc. Prof. Andrew Webb

BSc (MSc) PhD

 

Director, Chief Scientific Officer

 

Andrew has over 15 years’ experience in the field of chromatography and mass spectrometry. He is the Lab Head of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research's Proteomics Research Laboratory, which specialises in the development of advanced applications in proteomics using mass spectrometry and related techniques.

 

Andrew leads the team that developed the technology upon which IonOpticks’ columns are built on, engineering the production technique that led to the high-performance columns. He is the lead innovator and inventor, working closely with the team to test, refine and develop leading edge techniques to support higher quality outputs and analytics from MS instruments.

Dr. Jarrod Sandow

Senior Postdoctoral Fellow, PhD AAICD

Director, Senior Scientist

Jarrod is an expert in quantitative proteomics, post-translational modification analysis, structural proteomics, therapeutic compound target identification, cell surface analysis and protein-protein interactions. He has a keen interest in moving discoveries in the lab into routine clinical therapeutics and biomarkers of disease.

 

Jarrod has a background in biotechnology and completed his PhD at the Institute of Medical and Veterinary Science in Adelaide. He has since undertaken research in a broad range of fields including cytokine signalling, programmed cell death, leukaemia and haematopoietic disorders, protein synthesis, molecular chaperones and clinical biomarkers of disease. Jarrod was instrumental in the development of the our core products and leads our sales and manufacturing functions.

Dr. Giuseppe Infusini

Senior Postdoctoral Fellow, PhD 

Senior Scientist

​​

Giuseppe has a background in analytical and biological chemistry, dedicating his career to the development of advanced techniques in mass spectrometry, including quantitative and structural proteomics. 

 

Following the completion of his PhD in Italy specialising in analytical chemistry, Giuseppe spent the early stages of his career at Cornell University and Boston University School of Medicine where he expanded his training in a variety of areas relating to analytical mass spectrometry, including top-down proteomics, gas-phase structure of proteins and glycan analysis. 

 

Giuseppe has been instrumental in developing the novel surface functionalisation of our bead chemistry, with the aim of maximising peak capacity whilst ensuring both high efficiency and low carry over.

Xavier Perronnet

MBus GradDipMusic BAppSci BTeach

Group General Manager

Xavier has an extensive background founding and operating businesses in the areas of property, finance, online/software and biotechnology. 

Xavier specialises in product development and agile innovation and has led and advised several businesses through highly successful periods of rapid growth and international expansion.

  

Selima Webb

BSc BCom

General Manager, Operations

With over 15 years’ commercial experience across consulting and blue chip industry in Australia and the UK, Selima has successfully led and delivered projects in a broad variety of operational areas. Throughout her career she has supported fast growing small to medium enterprises in business process improvement, market strategy, business planning, procurement and compliance.  

 

Selima manages the operational side of the business, working closely with a strong team of leading professional advisers to bring IonOpticks' solutions to the market.

Ian Coulson

BEc FCA GAICD

Board Member

 

Ian is an experienced finance, risk and project professional who has held senior management and executive positions in chartered accounting, financial services and not for profit organisations over the past 41 years. Until the end of 2017, Ian was WEHI’s Chief Financial Officer and a Strategic Advisor to the Institute. 

 

A Chartered Accountant and member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Ian has provided financial and strategic advice to many Boards over his career. He brings a wealth of experience in governance, risk management and strategy activities and has led a range of strategic projects in medical research and other industries.

Backed by experts.

The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research is Australia’s most distinguished research institute and occupies a world-class facility based in Melbourne Australia. The Institute currently houses 15 research divisions, with over 90 faculty members leading research groups focusing on cancer, infectious diseases and immune disorders.

Company founder and CSO, A/Prof Andrew Webb, currently leads the Proteomics Research Lab at The Insitute providing researchers with access to advanced proteomics to enable them to perform research at the forefront of discovery. 

 

Copyright 2020. Patents Pending. All Rights Reserved.  

Ion Opticks Pty Ltd  ABN 99 621 674 459

Parkville, Victoria, Australia

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