Chemistry and Biochemistry

Benjamin J. Bythell


Professor Bythell received his MChem. degree from the University of Bath, UK, in 2002 and Ph.D. from Oregon State University in 2007. He held postdoctoral fellowships at the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg (2008-2010) and at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory at Florida State University (2010-2013).  He joined the faculty in the fall of 2013.


Ben Bythell
Office:BH 430
Phone: (314) 516-5314
Fax: (314) 516-5342

Research Interests

Dr. Bythell works at the interface between analytical, computational and biophysical chemistry where he strives to understand the structure, reactivity and gas-phase behavior of biologically- and industrially important chemicals. Fundamentally, chemical structure determines the properties and potential functions of any given molecule. Consequently, the gas-phase structures occupied by an analyte ion have direct influence on which fragmentation pathways are populated, and thus, on the resulting mass spectrum. The ability to decipher both the elemental composition (CcHhNnOoSsPp) and structural information on unknown compounds is highly desirable. To accomplish this successfully, an understanding of the gas-phase fragmentation chemistries in play is of substantial benefit.

Ben Structure

He and his students work on how and why different analyte ions form particular conformations, and what effect this has on their gas-phase fragmentation chemistry. They utilize a wide assortment of analytical approaches based around mass spectrometry (accurate mass identification, HPLC,  isotopic labeling, tandem mass spectrometry, hydrogen/deuterium exchange, “action” IR spectroscopy), and cutting edge computational methods (molecular dynamics, density functional theory, ab initio, and RRKM calculations). In so doing, students acquire a wide variety of valuable skills, and are exposed to multiple approaches to problem-solving. 

 Selected Publications

"Structural and some medicinal characteristics of the copper(II)-hydroxychloroquine complex", T. J. Manning, Thomas T. Leggett, D. Jenkins, I. Furtado, D. Phillips, G. Wylie, B. J. Bythell and F. Zhang, Bioorg. & Med. Chem. Lett. 2013, 23, 4453. 

"Unequivocal Determination of Site-Specific Protein Disulphide Bond Reduction Potentials by Top Down FTICR MS Characterization of the N and C Terminal Redox-Active Sites in Human Thioredoxin-1", J. Scotcher, B. J. Bythell and A. G. Marshall, Anal. Chem. 2013, 85, 9164.

“Heavy Petroleum Composition. 5. Compositional and Structural Continuum of Petroleum Revealed,” D. C. Podgorski, Y. E. Corilo, L. Nyadong, V. V. Lobodin, B. J. Bythell, W. K.  Robbins, A. M. McKenna, A. G. Marshall, and R. P. Rodgers, Energy Fuels, 2013, 27, 1268. 

“To Jump, or Not to Jump? Cα Hydrogen Atom Transfer in Post-Cleavage Radical-Cation Complexes,” B. J. Bythell,  J. Phys. Chem. A., 2013, 117, 1189. 

“Vapors from Ionic Liquids: Reconciling Simulations with Mass Spectrometry Data,” B. A. D. Neto, E. C.  Meurer, R. Galav-erna, B. J. Bythell, J. Dupont, R. G. Cooks, and M. N. Eberlin,  J. Phys. Chem. Lett., 2012, 3, 3435.   

 “Tyrosine Side-chain Catalyzed Proton Transfer in the YG a2 Ion Revealed by Theory and IR Spectroscopy in the ‘Fingerprint’ and X-H (X=C, N, O) Stretching Regions,”  B. J. Bythell, O. Hernandez, V. Steinmetz, B. Paizs, and P. Maître, Int. J. Mass Spectrom., 2012, 316-318, 227. 

 “Relative Stability of Peptide Sequence Ions Generated by Tandem Mass Spectrometry,”  B. J. Bythell, C. L. Hendrickson, and A. G. Marshall, J. Am. Soc. Mass Spectrom., 2012, 23, 644. 

“Diagnosing the Protonation Site of b2 Peptide Fragment Ions using IRMPD in the X-H (X = O, N, and C) Stretching Region,”  R. K. Sinha, U. Erlekam, B. J. Bythell, B.  Paizs, P. Maître, J. Am. Soc. Mass Spectrom., 2011, 22, 1645.

 “Structure & Fragmentation of Singly Protonated Peptides with N-terminal Arginine,” B. J. Bythell, I.P. Csonka, S. Suhai, D.F. Barofsky, and B. Paizs, J. Phys. Chem. B., 2010, 114, 15092. 

“Cyclization and Rearrangement Reactions of an ions of Protonated Peptides”,B. J. Bythell, P. Maître, and B. Paizs,  J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2010, 132, 14766. 

“Effect Of The His Residue On The Cyclization Of b Ions,” B. J. Bythell, M. Knapp-Mohammady, B. Paizs, and A. G. Harrison,  J. Am. Soc. Mass Spectrom., 2010, 21, 1352.

 “The Histidine Effect. Electron Transfer and Capture Cause Different Dissociations and Rearrangements of Histidine Peptide Cation-Radicals,”  F. Tureček, T. W. Chung, J. A. Wyer, A. Ehlerding, H. Zettergen, S. B.  Nielsen, P. Hvelplund, J. Chamot -Rooke, B. Bythell, and B. Paizs, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2010, 132, 10728. 

“Proton-driven Amide Bond Cleavage Pathways of Gas-Phase Peptide Ions Lacking Mobile Protons,”  B. J. Bythell, S. Suhai, A. Somogyi, and B. Paizs, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2009, 131, 14057. 

Infrared Spectroscopy of Fragments of Protonated Peptides: Direct Evidence for Macro-cyclic Structures of b5 Ions”, U. Erlekam, B. J. Bythell, M. Van Stipdonk, B. Paizs, and P. Maître,“ J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2009, 131, 11503. 

“What is the Structure of b22 Ions Generated from Doubly Protonated Tryptic Peptides?” B. J. Bythell, S. Suhai, A. Somogyi, and B. Paizs, J. Am. Soc. Mass Spectrom., 2009, 20, 618.