Isotomics develops and uses cutting-edge analytical techniques to understand the patterns of abundance and distribution of isotopes in natural molecules. These measurements have application in a variety of fields, including biomedicine, chemical synthesis, forensics and petroleum exploration.
Our founding application is to measure the amount of excess 13C-2H “clumps” — two rare isotopes in the same molecule — in methane. This clumping, or nonrandom distribution, varies as a function of the temperature at which the molecule formed and equilibrated.
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John Eiler, Ph.D. is the Robert Sharp Professor of Geology and Geochemistry at Caltech. His research group first invented the concept of “clumped isotope thermometry” with application to carbonate minerals in the early 2000’s, launching a subdiscipline of geochemistry. A decade later, his collaboration with ThermoFisher Scientific developed the next-generation “MAT-253 Ultra” mass spectrometer that enables Isotomics to make clumped-isotope measurements of organic molecules. He is a recipient of the prestigious Day Medal of the Geological Society of America, and the Epstein Medal of the European Association of Geochemistry for his contributions to clumped-isotope thermometry.
Alex Sessions, Ph.D. is a Professor of Geobiology and Geochemistry at Caltech since 2003. His specialty is the development and application of stable isotope measurements of organic molecules to biogeochemical studies. His accomplishments include development of the first compound-specific δD and δ34S measurements of organic molecules, for which he was awarded the inaugural Biomarker Pioneer Award of the European Association of Organic Geochemists. At Isotomics, he has helped develop the mechanistic understanding of processes that control the distribution and clumping of isotopes in organic molecules like methane.
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