Top takeaways from ASMS 2024

I was fortunate enough to attend, my first, and the 72nd American Society for Mass Spectrometry (ASMS) 2024 conference on mass spectrometry and allied topics earlier this month, which was held in Anaheim, CA. It’s always exciting to be immersed in the mass spectrometry (MS) industry and see the latest developments in innovation. I share my top takeaways from ASMS 2024:

  • Sustainability

It’s no surprise that this was one of the hottest themes throughout the event, with it being a major topic across the globe. Many of the applications that MS is used in create a lot of waste and use vast amounts of electricity and water. Additionally, MS instruments are costly investments that take a lot of energy to manufacture and produce.

Both Shimazdu and Thermo Fisher Scientific announced service programmes that allow researchers to extend the lifespan of their MS instruments: Shimazdu’s MALDI EasyCare package that helps users maintain the performance of matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation (MALDI) systems and Thermo Fisher’s onboarding of over 100 service engineers to perform preventative maintenance will increase the life of MS instruments. Also, both revealed new instruments that use dry pumps to eliminate oil disposal and lower power consumption to adhere to environmental compliance.

  • Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)

The latest Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards that now regulate PFAS contamination in drinking water nationally across the United States meant that PFAS was the word on everyone’s lips. A customer presented data on PFAS polluted water from the North Carolina Testing Network on behalf of Thermo Fisher and Waters launched a specific workflow for quantitative PFAS detection.

There were numerous breakfast workshops, including Bruker and MOBILion Systems, that presented the latest workflows and instruments dedicated to the screening, analysis and detection of PFAS in food and water.

  • The need for speed (and quantitation)

With the cost of drug development ever increasing, it’s no surprise that pharmaceutical companies want to expedite the process without comprising on results. This was another recurring theme in the launch of new products at ASMS 2024; speeding up analysis times to meet deadlines more quickly with the ability to quantify ever-increasing sample complexity. SCIEX launched the 7500+ system, with claims that it’s the fastest triple quadrupole (TQ) yet, and Thermo Fisher unveiled its Stellar MS system to improve productivity and throughput.

  • Artificial intelligence / machine learning (AI/ML)

Another global trend that has made its way into the world of MS is the use of AI/ML and there was plenty of buzz about it at the show with many exhibitors and speakers highlighting AI-driven innovations in MS workflows. As part of the ASMS 2024 poster sessions, there was a dedicated slot for ‘AI in MS instrumentation and applications’ in which over 50 posters were presented using AI models. SCIEX also showcased its collaboration with MassAnalytica on the AI quant software that harnesses the capabilities of AI and ML to process data, freeing up researcher’s time.

  • The rise of the compact instrument

Historically, MS instruments have mainly been reserved for cutting-edge discoveries and pushing the boundaries of sensitivity to perform ground-breaking research. While that still has its place, the technology has made its way into the applied and industrial markets. These applications call for easier to use, smaller footprint and higher throughput instruments which is what we saw at ASMS 2024.

Bruker, Waters and Shimazdu announced the launch of benchtop mass spectrometers, neofleX MALDI-TOF, Xevo MRT MS and GCMS-QP2050, respectively, that don’t compromise sensitivity or accuracy.

  • The customer is always right

Scientists trust other scientists. In the scientific community, a case study is one of the strongest tools to promote how a product or service solved a customer’s needs as it shows a real-life example from someone outside of the company. I saw instances of this in poster presentations, breakfast workshops and in press conferences from Waters, Bruker and Agilent. The backing of a customer always has more authority than self-promotion, read our tips for customer testimonial success.

  • The coming together of a community

The MS community is one that spans many different applications, geographies and generations but at ASMS they all come together to share ideas and support one another. It was great to experience such a sense of togetherness at the industry’s biggest event of the year with so many vendors and attendees under one roof. I know I definitely built some important new relationships and invested in current ones.

  • Of course, the swag!

I might be biased, but this year’s swag seemed to be some of the best. With Anaheim being the home of Disneyland, it was no surprise that mouse ears and princess castles made their way onto the merch. Thermo Fisher gave out light-up lightsabers on night one, with the glow of red a sight to behold, and Evosep had appropriate theme park branded mugs and t-shirts.

I played my hand at many games in order to win exclusive swag including VICI’s ring toss to claim a t-shirt with the company’s dog mascot, Teddy, and MOBILion System’s claw machine to secure a lucrative MOBIE plushie.


As a first-time attendee to ASMS, I was in awe of the many great innovations, brilliant minds and amazing people involved in the MS industry that help shape so much of the world around us. I’m already excited to see what’s in store for next year’s ASMS conference in Baltimore, MD!

I’d love to hear about your own exciting experiences at ASMS 2024 so share your highlights and memorable moments that made the week so insightful.


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About the Author: Lucy Shaw