12th Mass Spectrometry School
in Biotechnology and Medicine (MSBM)

Dubrovnik, Croatia
8-14 July 2018


The 12th Mass Spectrometry in Biotechnology and Medicine (MSBM) will be held again in Dubrovnik, Croatia at the Centre for Advanced Academic Studies

Dubrovnik has a formidable geographic location on the Adriatic coast in Croatia, and connections to major cities in West- and East Europe. Also the favorable academic conditions for lecturing and lodging facilities for participants and lecturers at the Centre itself make for a special event. In particular, we hope to attract young life science researchers from countries of Eastern- and Southeastern Europe, but also Asia and the Americas, to attend and to meet their colleagues from other parts of the world, and to discuss new concepts of current and future life science technologies.

For a copy of the IMSS III 2017 group photo please click here to download


The summer school starts on the Sunday and finishes on the following Saturday.

Didactic lectures

The following didactic lectures will be presented during this years summer school:

  • Introduction to biological molecules – structure/function review of: lipids, glycol-lipids, carbohydrates, peptides/proteins, DNA/RNA
  • Fundamentals of mass spectra: base peak, resolution calculations, ppm calculations etc.
  • Ionisation fundamentals (MALDI and ESI)
  • Mass analysers: quads, traps, TOFs, ICRs, Orbitraps, combos
  • Recent developments in Orbitraps
  • Separation strategies: LC, CE, HILIC, fractionation (e.g. SDS-PAGE and TLC)
  • Fragmentation mechanisms: high and low energy CID, ECD/ETD, IRMPD
  • Interpretation of peptide tandem mass spectra including basics of database search
  • Quantitative analysis – relative and absolute

This didactic program will commence on the Monday. Please note that a written examination is distributed on Monday that is collected at week’s end. For those students who pass the examination, credits may be available at their EU home institutions. In some cases the same may be true for Russian institutions, but in these cases the students will have to explore this on their own as we have an agreement only within the EU.

With regard to credits that may be earned in total, the Program will be about 40-45 working hours. Certificates of participation will be provided that will list the actual number of the working hours, with the Exam outcome (pass/fail) which should allow participants to obtain credit in their MSc and PhD programs equal to a given number of credits, including ECTS credits. For instance, if 1 ECTS credit = 25 working hours in a given university, then a participant will be eligible for about 1.6-1.8 ECTS credits.

The following experts have been invited to tutor at this year’s MSBM:

Organizing Committee

Jasna Peter-Katalinić, Rijeka, Croatia (Chair)
  • A Focus on Complex Carbohydrates
Laura Bindila, Mainz, Germany
  • Didactic – Lipidomics
Garry Corthals, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • MS Centred Phosphorylation Analysis
David Goodlett, Baltimore, USA
  • The Diagnostic and Therapeutic Potential of Lipid A
Ron Heeren, Maastricht, The Netherlands
  • Didactic – The Basics of Imaging Mass Spectrometry
  • The Applications of Imaging Mass Spectrometry
David Kilgour, Nottingham, UK
  • Didactic – Determination of Peptide Sequence
  • Didactic – Fundamentals, Isotopes
Ljiljana Paša-Tolić, Richland, USA

Invited Faculty

Nathalie Agar, Boston, USA
    Jeff Agar, Boston, USA
      Jon Amster, Athens, USA
        Michelle Camenzuli, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
          Ronan Daly, Glasgow, UK
            Aleksandra Nita-Lazar, USA
              Gavin Reid, Melbourne, Australia
                Marten Snel, Adelaide, Australia
                  Paul Trevorrow, Portsmouth, UK
                    Renato Zenobi, Zurich, Switzerland

                      CAAS residence

                      CAAS courtyard

                      Lecture room

                      Jasna Peter-Katalinić (left) introducing speaker

                      Practical info

                      The official language of the 12th Summer School on Mass Spectrometry in Biotechnology and Medicine is English.


                      Croatian Kuna (HRK) is a stable currency. Approximate exchange rate is 5.9HRK for 1USD and 7.4HRK for 1EUR (exchange rate from Croatian National Bank). As exchange rates in hotels are usually poor where ever one travels, we advise to use banks, exchange offices & cash dispensers (ATM) which are available at the airport, bus terminal, at the ports to the Old City and many other locations in the city.

                      Kuna currency


                      Classical Mediterranean; summers are hot and dry; July temperatures average around 28°C but can go up to 35°C. See Dubrovnik weather forecast.


                      In 1950 the first Dubrovnik Summer Festival was held. Today, this open air festival is a premier international cultural event of theatre, dance and music. It opens 10 July and lasts through 25 August.

                      Please visit the Dubrovnik Tourist Board web site where you can find cultural events updated on the daily basis.


                      Dubrovnik boasts over 60 restaurants blending a variety of culinary influences. Seafood is a top item offered with excellent local vines. Major credit cards are accepted.


                      By air

                      Dubrovnik Airport is located 13 km south of city centre. There are many other companies (low costs companies, special seasonal connections, charter flights, etc.) that connect Dubrovnik with European and other international destinations. In addition the daily flights from Zagreb Croatia Airlines offers flights to Dubrovnik from several European cities.

                      By road

                      Dubrovnik is the most southern Croatian city and can be reached by bus from Split and Zagreb in reasonable travel times. Bus lines from many European cities are available, including Frankfurt (27 hrs), Trieste (15 hrs), Ljubljana (15 hrs), Sarajevo (6 hrs).

                      By boat

                      Ferry trips to Dubrovnik from Bari (Italy) or Rijeka and Split are provided by Jadrolinija.

                      Passports & Visas

                      European Union citizens don't need a passport to enter Croatia, an ID is enough. All other travelers to Croatia must have valid passports. Visa is not required for most of the European and Pan-American countries for up to 3 months of stay. Citizens of the countries for which entry visa is required must apply at the Embassy or Consular Office of Croatia. Detailed info on passport and visa regulations and the list of countries for which visa is required is available on the web site of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Croatia. If you need visa for Croatian visit, we encourage you to apply as soon as possible!

                      Should you need a visa then please send the following information to Ms. Vlasta Brunsko:

                      • Name and surname
                      • Birth date and place
                      • Citizenship
                      • Passport number, where & when the passport was issued, valid until
                      • Permanent address
                      • Profession
                      • Dates of entering and leaving Croatia

                      NOTE: Registration closes 1 June for attendees not in need of a Croatian VISA, but those from countries where a VISA is required registration closes 15 April. Further details on applying for a Croatian visa are provided in the following document.

                      The CAAS manager – Ms. Vlasta Brunsko - will provide Guarantee Letter upon receiving the information on the applicant provided in the visa requirements above.

                      Info package

                      We hope you will find the following information helpful in planning your visit to Dubrovnik.
                      Info Package 12th MSBM 2018


                      Registration is open.

                      Deadline for registration is 1 June 2018.
                      Lodging option will remain available while supplies last. Deadline may be extended if space is available. Don't be disappointed. Register early!

                      Registration is required for all participants.
                      In addition to school registration, lodging is also available for purchase.

                      Registration costs

                      Academic Registration-only €472.98
                      Industry* Registration-only €682.66
                      Accompanying Person Registration-only €158.46
                      Lodging for 7-night stay €368.14

                      *Industry = employed by for-profit organization

                      Registration includes daily lectures and instruction, participant poster session, tutorial homework sessions. The registration also includes daily breakfast and lunch, several informal evening receptions, final banquet dinner, and organized half-day excursion. For registration questions please write to msbm.register@gmail.com.

                      Lodging for 7 nights includes a bed in a double occupancy room (shared room with two beds and private bath) for seven nights (check-in/arrival Saturday, 07 July 2018 with check-out/departure Saturday, 14 July 2018). Fee for lodging is fixed. Even if you arrive a day late or check-out early, the price is the same.
                      Prices are listed as a total for one person. Most people will have a roommate. For lodging questions please write to msbm.lodging@gmail.com.

                      Roommates: Participants registered for lodging will be assigned roommates (same sex) unless a pre-arranged roommate name is indicated in the online registration form.

                      Companion (guest, spouse) registration and lodging. Participants are welcome to bring a companion (guest, spouse) to MSBM XII. To make arrangements please contact msbm.dubrovnik@gmail.com. A special registration link/code will be provided to you. A reduced fee (see table) will be charged for guests to cover meals, banquet, and excursion.

                      Registration Subsidy Support. A limited number of subsidies to cover the cost of registration are available for those who can prove financial need. Each student requesting a subsidy, equal to the cost of registration, must submit a one page summary of their research and a letter of recommendation from their research advisor with an explanation of how the school will further their education and the need for financial support. These documents should be submitted to msbm.dubrovnik@gmail.com. The deadline is 25 May and on 1 June applicants will be notified of our decisions.

                      Group in 2017

                      Abstracts and posters


                      All registrants of the MSBM XII should submit an abstract for poster presentation. There will be a participant poster session during the school program.

                      Abstract deadline is 1 June 2018.

                      Poster presentation


                      For printing your poster size, please use the standard portrait A0 format.

                      Poster presentation

                      Questions? Need more information?

                      Send us an email at msbm.dubrovnik@gmail.com

                      MSBM location and dormitories



                      Dubrovnik is the historic city and the tourist destination on the southern tip of Republic of Croatia. Dubrovnik is rich in cultural and historical monuments and is included in UNESCO World Heritage List. Over the centuries it has become popular for its idyllic positioning on the coast in temperate waters and stunning views. More recently it is starting to build a name for its fusion of culture, food, climate, and mass spectrometry!

                      CAAS location

                      Location of the Summer School

                      All classes will be held at the Centre for Advanced Academic Studies (CAAS), just outside the old city walls, and a hop, skip and jump to the sea.
                      The street address is: Don Frana Bulica 4, Dubrovnik.

                      CAAS courtyard


                      Should you require that MSBM organises your accommodation then please indicate this on the registration form. Most of the students stay in either the dormitory in the CAAS building pictured above or a catholic hostel located 5-10 minutes walk away. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee in which of these dormitories you will be placed.

                      For those wishing to find their own accommodation, the CAAS recommends the following websites.

                      Support for the summer school

                      As with most scientific endeavors, they start and finish with the great collaboration offered by colleagues in industry. Our summer schools are no different. Companies provide support for the continuation of the actual summer school. In addition they also contribute to the discussions about early access to emerging ideas and applications. We gratefully acknowledge their support again this year.

                      To support the MSBM summer schools please email us at msbm.dubrovnik@gmail.com

                      Europe logo

                      Corporate sponsorship





                      Thermo Fisher



                      Protein Metrics


                      University sponsorship

                      ICCVS at the University of Gdansk


                      University of Amsterdam

                      University of Amsterdam

                      University of Rijeka

                      University of Rijeka

                      University of Maryland

                      University of Maryland

                      Maastricht University

                      Maastricht University

                      CRUK at the University of Edinburgh

                      University of Edinburgh

                      MSBM history

                      The genesis of the MSBM Summer School came from Prof. Jasna Peter-Katalinić who at that time was a Prof. at the University of Münster. Under her guidance the first School took place in September of 2001 at the now famous UNESCO CAAS. While extremely successful, the mood of the event was dampened due to the attack in New York City the prior week. In fact, most of the American invited speakers like Alan Marshall and Ljiljana Paša-Tolić could not leave the country. Given the effort required to put on such an event with over 50 attendees and a couple dozen faculty, and the relative size of the field in Biological MS back then, the next school did not take place until July of 2007. Between the first and second Schools an organizing committee formed that has subsequently been fairly stable with regard to members who have planned and held Schools every year since 2009.

                      As the school is held in Dubrovnik attendees come mostly from Europe, but frequently we have attendees from as far away as China and South America. Their backgrounds vary from biology to clinical chemistry, bioinformatics and physics, with levels of training varying as well from beginning graduate students to faculty with no prior knowledge of mass spectrometry. Of course the summer school is all about learning, but it also provides a great opportunity to network and discuss new ideas in a relaxing UNESCO world heritage environment.

                      The focus of the school is on technology, methods and applications of mass spectrometry. The week begins with a Sunday evening plenary lecture that is followed by a reception in the CAAS courtyard. Monday’s agenda consists entirely of didactic lectures with a set of practical questions being handed out at day’s end. During the week attendees work on these questions with the aid of faculty who gauge progress and help with explanations. This all happens in the lovely CAAS courtyard fueled by drinks and pizza to spur them on. At week’s end the questions are reviewed and for those who submit their answers prior to the revision and pass the threshold studying credits (equivalent of 2-4 ECTS credits) may be given in many EU based Universities.

                      Tuesday, Thursday and Friday consist of further topical didactic lectures and more detailed research reviews by the faculty who change from year to year. Wednesday begins with another plenary style lecture after which all adjourn to Lokrum island by boat for a day at the beach. The day on Lokrum culminates in an annual faculty versus attendee volley ball game that usually ends badly for the attendees! Wednesday ends with a banquet at the beautifully run Sesame Tavern.

                      All lectures and the poster session take place at the CAAS Conference center and Dormitory. Saturday morning sees the School end with a few lectures and review of the exam questions. Over the years the School has built up quite a following and an alumni group that manage a Facebook page. There’s also a LinkedIn group with over 850 members. We hope that you’ll consider joining us to learn the latest in MS and to network with old and new friends in Dubrovnik.

                      Participants MSBM in 2001

                      CAAS residence

                      CAAS courtyard