Analytical Chemistry

The mission of the University of Arizona Cancer Center Analytical Chemistry Shared Resource (ACSR) is to provide Cancer Center investigators with centralized resources and expertise in performing analytical chemistry assays and pharmacokinetic (PK) and pharmacodynamic (PD) data analysis and interpretation. The Analytical Chemistry Shared Resource has accumulated considerable experience in quantitative analysis of small molecules (<1,000 daltons) in biological specimens. ACSR is capable of providing integrated PK service from the study design stage through quantification of drugs levels to PK/PD data analysis.  In addition, ACSR has developed capabilities to support targeted metabolomics analysis and untargeted metabolomics profiling. 

Specifically, the ACSR has the following aims:

  • To develop and implement chromatography-mass spectrometry-based analytical chemistry methods for quantification of cancer therapeutic and preventive agents, nutrients, carcinogens, endogenous biochemicals, and imaging agents;
  • To perform quantitative and qualitative analysis of cancer therapeutic and preventive agents, nutrients, carcinogens, endogenous biochemicals, and imaging agents;
  • To provide consultation in pharmacokinetic study design and pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic data analysis.

ACSR has continued to build its repository of analytical assay protocols, many of which can be readily applied to new projects, and thus the ACSR is able to support a broad spectrum of research projects in a cost-effective manner and with a rapid turnaround time. By continuing to provide state-of-the-art analytical chemistry and pharmacokinetic services, the ACSR laboratory should greatly augment pre-clinical drug discovery efforts, stimulate the incorporation of pharmacokinetic endpoints in clinical trials, and facilitate biomarker analysis in cancer prevention and control research.

Build a project, get a quote, or order a service here.

Please remember to acknowledge the Cancer Center Support Grant (P30 CA023074) when publishing manuscripts or abstracts that utilized the services of the University of Arizona Cancer Center’s Shared Resources and/or were derived from CCSG pilot funds. Suggested language: "Research reported in this [publication/press release] was supported by the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health under award number P30 CA023074.

  • Consultation on study design including selection of established, validated assays from the analytical assay protocol repository and/or development of new assays
  • Development/implementation of analytical chemistry assays for quantification of small molecules (<1,000 daltons) in biological specimens
  • Quantitative analysis of small molecules in clinical and preclinical samples using chromatography and mass spectrometry-based systems or atomic absorption spectrophotometry
  • Performance of targeted metabolomics analysis and untargeted metabolomics profiling
  • Pharmacokinetic study design, quantitative analysis of drug levels, and pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamics data analysis

Services provided by the ACSR are essential for the assessment of drug/nutrient/carcinogen exposure and disposition, and for the measurement of endogenous biochemicals as surrogate cancer-risk biomarkers and endpoint biomarkers in intervention studies. These measurements are indispensable in many established lines of research in the UACC, including preclinical and clinical evaluation of cancer therapeutic drugs and preventive interventions, assessment of biological, environmental, and lifestyle factors associated with cancer risk and disease progression, and identification of potential targets for intervention. The services provided by the ACSR are playing an increasingly important role in the emerging field of metabolomics that is reshaping the research directions of cancer research in general.

State-of-the-art equipment and sophisticated analytical chemistry techniques are provided by the ACSR to cover a broad variety of needs. Personnel are trained experts in the operation and maintenance of the equipment. They have the expertise to develop and optimize the appropriate methods. Major equipment includes:

  • ThermoFinnigan TSQ Quantum Ultra Mass Spectrometer with High Performance Liquid Chromatography System
  • Waters Xevo G2-S QToF Mass Spectrometer with Ultra Performance Liquid Chromatography System
  • ThermoFinnigan Trace DSQ Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometer System
  • Perkin Elmer Aanalyst 600 Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer System


UA Cancer Center, Room 4965

H-H. Sherry Chow, PhD
(520) 626-3358

Wade Chew
(520) 626-2331


Potential users, especially first-time users, are encouraged to personally contact ACSR service personnel for instructions on how to access all the services of the Analytical Chemistry Shared Resource. Please contact Dr. Chow by phone or email. After a short discussion about your project, the service request form can be submitted to the ACSR and a realistic time line can be projected.

All UACC members have access to the Analytical Chemistry Shared Resource. The service is provided according to the following UACC priority guidelines

  1. UACC members with peer-reviewed extramural funding;
  2. New UACC investigators with UACC pilot project or developmental funding;
  3. UACC members with other funding sources;
  4. Peer-reviewed, funded non-members at UA if sufficient time/resources are available to accommodate requested service.


Hsiao-Hui (Sherry) Chow, PhD
Cancer Prevention and Control Program co-Leader
Shared Resource Director, Analytical Chemistry