Cracking the Sugar Code by Mass Spectrometry: An Invited Perspective in Honor of Dr. Catherine E. Costello, Recipient of the 2017 ASMS Distinguished Contribution Award

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The structural study of glycans and glycoconjugates is essential to assign their roles in homeostasis, health, and disease. Once dominated by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, mass spectrometric methods have become the preferred toolbox for the determination of glycan structures at high sensitivity. The patterns of such structures in different cellular states now allow us to interpret the sugar codes in health and disease, based on structure-function relationships. Dr. Catherine E. Costello was the 2017 recipient of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry’s Distinguished Contribution Award. In this Perspective article, we describe her seminal work in a historical and geographical context and review the impact of her research accomplishments in the field. 8[Figure not available: see fulltext.].


  • Ekaterina Mirgorodskaya
  • Niclas G. Karlsson
  • Carina Sihlbom
  • Göran Larson
  • Carol L. Nilsson
External organisations
  • Sahlgrenska Academy
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Biochemistry and Molecular Biology


  • Glycan mass spectrometry, History of mass spectrometry, Review, Structural mass spectrometry
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1065-1074
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jun 1
Publication categoryResearch