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The 11th Annual ADVANCED IMAGING MASS SPECTROMETRY (AIMS.2024) Laboratory Course will be held Tuesday April 30 – Thursday, May 2, 2024 at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. The AIMS.2024 Laboratory Course is a unique educational opportunity designed to teach the procedures of MALDI Imaging Mass Spectrometry. The format includes both lectures and hands-on workshops with time dedicated to on-site demos from instrument vendors. The course will cover the details of sample preparation, matrix application, instrumentation, and image and data processing. In addition, a number of technology highlights will be presented, including high-speed imaging, high-sensitivity imaging, and image registration.

The course is designed for mid-level to senior investigators who are familiar with MALDI and have a working knowledge of mass spectrometry or histology. This course has a significant number of hands-on workshops scheduled; as a result, we do not have the capacity to introduce the technology to those without the prerequisite experience and training. For attendees that are new to one of these areas, we will provide optional introductory lectures on mass spectrometry and histology on Monday, April 29, from 4-6 PM.

We are also pleased to announce an Open House and Symposium on Friday, May 3, 2024 to highlight the new Mass Spectrometry Center of Excellence housed in the MSRC Core Labs.  Everyone registered for AIMS.2024 will be registered for this half-day symposium to celebrate the groundbreaking strategic partnership between Bruker and Vanderbilt University to provide world-class mass spectrometry services within Vanderbilt.

Letter to Attendees

Participant Letter


Thank you everyone for a great week of AIMS!

Registration dates:

Feb. 5 – March 29, early registration – $750

March 30 – April 15, late registration – $950

We look forward to seeing everyone on April 30th!

Everyone registered before March 30 will be entered into a drawing for a new iPad!

Limit 40 participants


Preliminary Itinerary:


Sample Preparation

Sectioning fresh frozen and formalin fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) tissues for IMS experiments; implementing washing protocols tailored for different analytes of interest; maximizing compatibility among sectioning, washing, coating, and MS platforms

Matrix Application

Choosing the best matrix/solvent combination for different analytes of interest;  manual matrix application methods, including spray-coating, sublimation, and recrystallization; and automated matrix deposition methods


Optimizing instrumental parameters for imaging; instrument comparisons for imaging different analytes (low vs high MW, MS or MS/MS, mass resolution, time); interactions with leading instrument vendors for on-site instrument demos

Data Processing

Spectral pre- and post-processing, baseline subtraction, normalization; statistical analysis of IMS datasets and image registration.

Travel & Accommodations


There are many lodging options near Vanderbilt or downtown Nashville.  Click here for a list of hotels conveniently located to Vanderbilt University.  Please contact us if you are having difficulties finding a place to stay for the conference.

Air Transportation

Vanderbilt is accessible from Nashville International Airport. From the airport take I-40 West to Exit 209-A. Turn left onto Broadway. Get in the left-hand lane, and continue left at the Broadway/West End split. Broadway turns into 21st Avenue South after about 3 blocks. The Mass Spectrometry Research Center is on 21st Avenue South, on the right. Allow approximately thirty minutes driving time from the airport to Vanderbilt University.

See PDF, or Google Map.

Driving Directions

From the north: Take I-65 to I-40 West, and then look for I-40 East to Exit 209-B. Turn right on Broadway.
From the east or south: Take I-40 West to exit 209-A. Turn left on Broadway.
From the west: Take I-40 East to exit 209-B. Turn right on Broadway (US 70S).
From Broadway, get in the left-hand lane, and continue left at the Broadway/West End split. Broadway turns into 21st Avenue South after about 3 blocks.

Vanderbilt is located a mile-and-a-half southwest of downtown Nashville and is approximately 4 hours from Atlanta by automobile, 3 hours from Birmingham, 2.5 hours from Knoxville, 3 hours from Louisville, and 3 hours from Memphis.

See Google Map.

Lecture and Workshop Location

All lectures will be held on the Vanderbilt campus. All workshops will be held in the Mass Spectrometry Research Center on the 9th floor of Medical Research Building III, on the Vanderbilt campus.


Mass Spectrometry Research Center
Vanderbilt University
465 21st Avenue South
Room 9160, MRB III
Nashville, TN  37240-7916


Driving Directions Map – Vanderbilt Vicinity