Albert J.R. Heck (1964) is professor at the Science Faculty of Utrecht University. A large emphasis of Heck’s group is on the development and applications of advanced mass spectrometry based proteomics technologies. A specific highlight in this area involves the development of new methods to enrich a complex mixture of proteins/peptides for specific post-translational modifications. Heck introduced in 2004 enrichment of phosphopeptides using TiO2 material. More recently we introduced for large-scale proteomics a cost-effective stable isotope labeling by using reductive dimethylation, and an effective combination of the peptide fragmentation methods HCD and ETD termed EThcD. Heck’s proteomics research focuses for a large part on (embryonic and adult) stem cells and immunology.
Complementary to the proteomics efforts, the group of Albert Heck is also known for its specific expertise in the mass spectrometric analysis of intact protein complexes. They developed therefore unique and dedicated instruments, with recently new modified Orbitraps that can be considered a breakthrough for top-down proteomics. Research in native mass spectrometry focuses on virus assembly, therapeutic antibodies, transcription complexes and CRISPR related protein assemblies.
Heck’s is council member of Human Proteome Organization (HUPO) and was chair of the HUPO Conference in Amsterdam in 2008. He received the Gold Medal of the Dutch Royal Chemical Society in 2001, the Descartes-Huygens Award in 2007, the Life Science Award of the German Mass Spectrometry Society in 2010, the HUPO Discovery Award in 2013 and the Pioneer in Proteomics Award of EuPA in 2014 and the Franklin & Field Award of the ACS in 2016. In 2014 he was elected member of EMBO and the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences.