Biomarkers are increasingly important in (i) the diagnosis and prognosis of disease, (ii) the evaluation of new therapies and (iii) the understanding of complex molecular mechanisms by which diseases such as cancer initiate and progress.
My research is concerned with methods involved with the discovery of biomarkers. This includes:
- Novel sample preparation methods,
- Implementation of novel MS techniques e.g. ion mobility mass spectrometry into current LC-MS workflows,
- Combining powerful bioinformatic and statistical tools (e.g. pattern recognition algorithms) to confidently assign biomarkers.
Once putative biomarkers have been identified, quantitative assays which can sensitively verify the utility of the individual biomarkers will be used.
I have established, in collaboration with colleagues from Cardiovascular Science (Professor Ng) and CSMM (Professor Farmer), a biomarkers discovery facility at the Robert Kilpatrick Clinical Sciences Building, which houses three state of the art mass spectrometers. Two of these instruments are Waters Synapt G2's, which are high resolution instruments used for the sensitive and accurate determination of proteins and metabolites in human samples. The third instrument is a Waters Xevo TQ which is used for LC-MS/MS-SRM assays for the verification of peptides uniquely assigned to proteins of interest. These protocols involve the combination of high resolution chromatography with high definition mass spectrometers.
Key area of research:
- Chemoprevention particularly in regards to colorectal and prostate cancer (ECMC, Professors Steward and Gescher, Drs Brown, Sale and Howells).
- The diagnosis and prognosis of bladder cancer (HOPE Foundation, Dr G D Jones and Dr Keun (Imperial)).
- Novel agent drug metabolism (Dr Sale).