MaKayla Foster   MaKayla Foster, is a third-year chemistry Ph.D. student at North Carolina State University (NCSU), working under the advisement of Dr. Erin Baker. She was born and raised in Oneida, New York and completed her B.S. in chemistry and minor in forensic science at SUNY Oswego where she found her passion for environmental toxicology research. Following graduation from SUNY Oswego, she received a Master’s in chemistry at Rochester Institute of Technology where she performed research with Dr. Scott Williams developing a colorimetric assay to detect counterfeit Tuberculosis medications. MaKayla began in the Baker Lab in the Fall of 2019, where she has developed and applied various analytical chemistry techniques to environmental toxicology projects. Her current research is focused on evaluating per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and their impact on lipid metabolism and dysregulation. This work has led to two currently published journal articles and two more in preparation. MaKayla also won the CSETAC Pat McClellan Green Award for this research and has presented her work at 8 national and local conferences. When MaKayla is not in the lab, she likes to spend time outside reading or running.

Utilizing Skyline for the Evaluation and Quantitation of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are environmental contaminants characterized by extensive fluorination along extended aliphatic chains, rendering them chemically inert, thermally stable and hydrophobic. These physicochemical properties make PFAS uniquely suited for many household and industrial applications, but also cause them to bioaccumulate and become toxic as they increase in concentration in both the environment and biological systems. To characterize PFAS in various sample types, we utilized a simultaneous liquid chromatography, ion mobility spectrometry and mass spectrometry (LC-IMS-MS) platform to evaluate 100 PFAS standards and create a Skyline library containing LC retention times, IMS collision cross sections (CCSs) and m/z values. This PFAS library was then applied to water, tissue and blood samples to determine PFAS content where numerous biomolecules were also present.