The Group

Although the mass spectrometry activities at Utrecht University date back to 1948 a major impetus was given to the group in 1998 by the appointment of a full chair in Biomolecular Mass Spectrometry; Albert J. R. Heck.

Group size

The Heck-group, which consists at present of around 60 people, is embedded in the Bijvoet Center for Biomolecular Research of the Department of Chemistry, and in the Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences of the Department of Pharmacy.


% Dutch

Of all the people working in the group about 50% is Dutch. The international flavor of the group is evident from the students and post-docs in the group that come from, Germany, the UK, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Switzerland, Russia, China and Malaysia.

In line with the research themes of these research schools the core research themes of the Heck-group is in the development of mass spectrometric methods applicable to the structural characterization of biomolecular systems, in relation to their biological function.

The group houses an excellent array of state-of-the-art mass spectrometers, combined with extensive protein and peptide separation methods (2D-gel, DiGE, HPLC, nano-HPLC, chip-based ESI, chip-based LC, Orbitrap, ETD, HCD, scanners) and is the driving force behind the Netherlands Proteomics Centre.

In addition, the group has a world-renown expertise in the analysis of protein-ligand, protein-protein and protein-DNA analysis by mass spectrometry. Therefore, dedicated mass spectrometers and LC methods have been and are developed allowing the analysis of the structure and function of protein machineries.