Prof. Perdita Barran
Perdita Barran is an Analytical Physical Chemist with expertise in the development and application of Ion Mobility Mass spectrometry to biological systems1. She collaborates widely with biomedical researchers as well as with industrial partners in instrument development and the application of mass spectrometry for therapeutic development. In 2013, she was appointed Chair of Mass Spectrometry and Director of the Michael Barber Collaborative Centre for Mass Spectrometry (MBCCMS) at the University of Manchester. In 12 years as an independent researcher Barran has graduated 21 PhD. students and trained 8 postdoctoral researchers, many of these now have permanent jobs in in science, both in academia and industry.
The Barran group works extensively with academic and industrial collaborators, including Waters, UCB Pharma, and Covance, and hold current research funds of over £600K at pI and over £18M as a coI. Barran has published over 80 peer-reviewed publications as well as being an invited/keynote/plenary speaker at 8 international conferences in the past two years. Her success in research has led to the award of two prizes given on the basis of ‘significant developments in the fields of mass spectrometry and separation science, especially ion mobility techniques’ The Desty Memorial Prize for ‘Innovation in Separation Science in 2005, and the Joseph Black award from the Royal Society of Chemistry 2009. Barran is currently an editor of the International Journal of Mass Spectrometry and a member of the RSC Analytical Division Council.
The aim of the Barran group’s research is to develop and use ion mobility and mass spectrometry technology to provide an understanding of relationships between the structure and function of biological and chemical systems at the molecular level, and to use this information for fundamental studies to underpin biotechnological and biomedical research.
 R Beveridge, et al Anal.chem. 86 (22), 10979-10991 2014; E Jurneczko, et al. Angewandte Chemie 125 (16), 4466-4470 (2013); S.R.Harvey et al. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2012, 134 (47), pp 19384–19392; Cheplin et al. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2012, 134 (47), pp 19334–19337.
Dr. Bruno Bellina
Bruno is an experimental officer at the University of Manchester and the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology (MIB) since January 2015. He obtained his PhD at UCBL (2012) under the supervision of Dr. Isabelle Compagnon and P. Philippe Dugourd. Then, he moved for a year (2013) to the University of Southern California, Los Angeles (US) where he worked as a post-doctoral researcher in the group of P.Vitaly Kresin. Finally, he joined Perdita Barran’s group in 2014 as a post-doctoral researcher and started to lead the work “Coupling between an ion mobility mass spectrometer and laser spectroscopy techniques”. Along with his occupation for the Michael Barber Centre, his research focuses on the reactivity and properties of biomolecules in the gas phase.
Dr. Kamila Pacholarz
Kamila is currently an Experimental Officer at the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology. Kamila received her BSc in Chemistry from Wayne State University, Detroit, USA in 2007. She studied chemistry at the Université des Sciences et Technologies de Lille (France) and later on in 2010, received a double MSc in Advanced Spectroscopy in Chemistry from Universität Leipzig (Germany) and University of Helsinki (Finland). She has also worked as an intern at the BASF. In 2014, Kamila completed her PhD at the University of Edinburgh under the direction of Prof. Perdita Barran, sponsored by the MRC and UCB. Her work focuses on native MS of proteins and protein complexes and the use of HDX-MS technologies. Kamila is particularly interested in the structure and dynamics of mAbs and other biologics.
Rosie is currently a PhD student at the University of Manchester at the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology. She graduated from the University of Edinburgh (2014) with a MChem degree in Chemistry with Industrial Experience at GSK. In September 2014 she moved to Manchester to start her four-year PhD under the supervision of Prof. Perdita Barran and in collaboration with Covance Laboratories Ltd., Harrogate. Her current research uses a variety of mass spectrometry techniques including, DTIMS, TWIMS, native-MS and HDX-MS to study the characteristics and conformational dynamics of monoclonal antibody (mAb) therapeutics and other biologics.
Alina is currently a second year PhD student at the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology at the University of Manchester under the supervision of Professor Perdita Barran. She received a BSc in Biochemistry from the University of Sussex in 2013 and stayed on to complete a MSc in Genetic Manipulation and Molecular Cell Biology. She joined the Barran group in 2014 for a studentship sponsored by Waters and the BBSRC. Her PhD project involves working with a prototype ion mobility mass spectrometer coupled to a laser system, used for the investigation of optical ion interactions in the gas phase. The aim of her work is to develop methods for the analysis of the structure of biomolecules combining photo-dissociation, ion mobility and fluorescence measurements.
Aidan is currently a first year PhD student based at the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology and CADET (Centre for Advanced Discovery of Experimental Therapeutics), under the supervision of Prof. Perdita Barran, Prof.Garth Cooper and Dr Richard Unwin. He received a first class integrated BSc and MSc in Natural Sciences (majoring in Chemistry and minoring in Biochemistry) from the University of Leeds (2015). Aidan joined the Barran group to commence a four-year MRC and Presidential Doctoral Scholarship funded PhD focusing around the design of experimental therapeutics for Type II Diabetes and other amyloidogenic conditions. The aim of his work is firstly to characterise the conformations of Amylin suspected to underlie Islet β cell death in Type II Diabetes using MS, and secondly to assess the potential of small molecules and naturally occurring peptides to inhibit this pathogenic process.
Jacky joined the Barran group as a PhD student in Jan 2015. She graduated from the University of Guyana (South America) in 2005 with a B.Sc. in Chemistry. She then emigrated to Canada and has worked in analytical chemistry since, mainly with Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance (FT-ICR) mass spectrometry, Orbitrap mass spectrometry and Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) technology. Her work primarily involved biological mass spectrometry and ranges from studying non-covalent complexes using tandem MS techniques to shotgun proteomics. Generally her research interest is in using ion mobility mass spectrometry to probe the structure of gas phase proteins, their complexes and their transformations in gas phase reactions. Currently she is using electron transfer with no dissociation (ETnoD) to investigate how electrons alter the conformation of proteins.
Dr. Christopher Gray
Chris will soon be a PostDoc researcher working at the Michael Barber Centre for Collaborative Mass Spectrometry. He graduated from the University of Manchester (2012) with MChem degree in Chemistry with Forensics and Analytical Chemistry. His work during his PhD continued at the University of Manchester within the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology and has focussed on developing methodologies capable of characterising the full stereochemical and regiochemical information that carbohydrates possess, principally exploiting ion mobility (tandem) mass spectrometry. Additionally he has developed label-free high-throughput strategies, namely matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation time-of-flight MS, to unambiguously identify glycan-binding proteins and glycoproteins enriched onto arrays of carbohydrates and lectins respectively.
Eleanor Sinclair graduated from the University of Manchester in 2015 with an MChem in Chemistry. Her final year project was undertaken in the Barran Group; utilising IM-MS and HDX-MS techniques to probe the structure and conformations of the renowned protein p53. She continues her work within the Barran Group at the University of Manchester as a PhD student. However her research is now focused into the field of Metabolomics, again using the technique of IM-MS, and complemented by using the more theoretical approach of Molecular Modelling to characterise metabolite standards.
Lukasz is a second year PhD student at the Barran group at the University of Manchester. He graduated with a MChem degree in Chemistry from Manchester Metropolitan University in 2014. Since joining the Barran group, Lukasz has contributed to several collaborative projects involving small molecules, peptides and proteins that utilised his prior computational skills. His interests lie in using in silico approaches to aid the understanding of experimental results.
His PhD project focuses on using ion mobility mass spectrometry, hydrogen-deuterium exchange and native mass spectrometry to investigate the interactions of large biomolecular systems with small drug-like molecules.