Peter Nemes

Peter Nemes

Assistant Professor
Faculty: Assistant
SEH 4880
Address: Science and Engineering Hall
800 22nd St. NW
Washington, District Of Columbia 20052
Phone: 202-994-5663

Areas of Expertise

Bioanalytical chemistry, mass spectrometry, and chemical separations for volume-limited samples; ambient mass spectrometry for food and drug regulation



Current Research

Characterization of biomolecular events is pivotal to understanding states of health and disease and developing efficient therapeutic agents.  The success of these investigations largely depends on the availability of sophisticated analytical toolsets, especially when samples are present in small amounts and high chemical complexity. Research in the Nemes Group develops analytical advances to resolve the biomolecular composition of single cells/neurons, organs, and tissues in model organisms. Microscale sampling and high-capacity separation are introduced to measure biomarkers such as metabolites, peptides, and proteins in complex biochemical milieus. Specifically, capillary electrophoresis for volume-limited investigations and ultraperformance liquid chromatography for high-throughput analyses are developed and coupled to mass spectrometry so that complementary types of compounds can be detected, identified, and quantified. These platforms are used to study mechanisms of action during development of conditions such as obesity and neurodegeneration as well as interactions with environmental factors. Our work recruits high-profile and emerging model organisms in biology, Caenorhabditis elegans (free living round worm) and Danio rerio (zebra fish), which share many features that are evolutionarily conserved in higher-order mammalian systems. The bioanalytical insights gained during these studies are in turn used to address mechanisms responsible for disease development and treatment opportunities in humans.


  • MS, Eotvos Lorand University, Budapest, Hungary, 1999–2004
  • PhD, Chemistry, The George Washington University, 2005–2009
  • Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Illinois–Urbana-Champaign, 2009–2011
  • Staff Fellow and Laboratory Leader, US Food and Drug Administration­, 2011–2013


P. Nemes, S. S. Rubakhin, J. Aerts, and J. V. Sweedler, Qualitative and quantitative metabolomic investigation of single neurons by capillary electrophoresis electrospray ionization mass spectrometry, Nat. Prot. 2013, 8, 783–799, DOI: 10.1038/nprot.2013.035

Featured Article.

A. M. Knolhoff, K. M. Nautiyal, P. Nemes, S. Kalachikov, I. Morozova, R. Silver, and J. V. Sweedler, Combining small-volume metabolomic and transcriptomic approaches for assessing brain chemistry, Anal. Chem. 2013, 85, 3136–3143, DOI:

P. Nemes, A. M. Knolhoff, S. S. Rubakhin, and J. V. Sweedler, Single-cell metabolomics: changes in the metabolome of freshly isolated and cultured neurons, ACS Chem. Neuro. 2012, 3, 782–792, DOI: 10.1021/cn300100u

Cover article.


P. Nemes* and A. Vertes, Ambient mass spectrometry for in vivo local analysis and in situ molecular tissue imaging, TrAC-Trends in Analytical Chemistry 2012, 34, 22–34, DOI: 10.1016/j.trac.2011.11.006


S. S. Rubakhin, E. V. Romanova, P. Nemes, and J. V. Sweedler, Profiling metabolites and peptides in single cells, Nat. Methods 2011, 8, S20–S29, DOI: 10.1038/nmeth.1549

Featured article.

Nemes, A. M. Knolhoff, S. S. Rubakhin, and J. V. Sweedler, Metabolic differentiation of neuronal phenotypes by single-cell capillary electrophoresis electrospray ionization mass spectrometry, Anal. Chem. 2011, 83, 6810–6817, DOI: 10.1021/ac2015855

Featured article.


A. M. Knolhoff, P. Nemes, S. S. Rubakhin, and J. V. Sweedler, MS-based methodologies for single-cell metabolite detection and identification, in Methodologies for Metabolomics 2013, pp. 119–139, Experimental Strategies and Techniques, Eds. R. Wevers, N. Lutz, and J. V. Sweedler, Cambridge University Press


A. Vertes, B. Shrestha, and P. Nemes, Direct metabolomics from tissues and cells: new approaches for small molecule and lipid characterization, in Methodologies for Metabolomics 2013, pp. 140–158, Experimental Strategies and Techniques, Eds. R. Wevers, N. Lutz, and J. V. Sweedler, Cambridge University Press


P. Nemes and A. Vertes, Laser ablation electrospray ionization for atmospheric pressure molecular imaging mass spectrometry, Methods in Molecular Biology 2010, pp. 159–171, Eds. S. S. Rubakhin and J. V. Sweedler, Humana Press

Classes Taught

Chem 4123 – Instrumental Analytical Laboratory