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.

email :  perdita.barran[at]manchester.ac.uk  /   Google Scholar Profile

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.

[1] 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.

email :  bruno.bellina[at]manchester.ac.uk  /  Research Gate Profile   

Reynard Spiess

Reynard Spiess is an Experimental Officer in mass spectrometry at the MIB, since it’s inception in 2006. Prior to that he worked at Waters testing and installing a variety of TOF mass spectrometers around the world. He has a degree in Chemistry (for Europe: Germany) from the University of Surrey (1997) his work includes advising and fixing mass spectrometers within the MIB and running a request service and training users for many types of mass spectrometry samples from small molecule accurate mass flow injection through MALDI to LCMS and intact protein analysis.

email : Reynard.Spiess@manchester.ac.uk

Dr. Kathleen Cain (née Carroll)

Kath studied Biology at the University of Manchester, and gained a PhD in cell biology/immunology at the University of Sheffield under the direction of Birgit Helm. She completed her doctoral thesis on the analysis of Fc-receptor bearing rodent mast cells, using proteomics to gain insight into IgE-mediated allergies (GSK-CASE award). Kath moved to Manchester in 2002, to work as an Experimental Officer in the laboratory of John McCarthy on a yeast stress response project. In 2005, Kath continued her role as an Experimental Officer in the Manchester Centre for Integrative Systems Biology, where she worked primarily on quantification of protein levels in yeast by LCMS, using the QconCAT technique. Kath took a career break in 2012, and in June 2018 returned to work at the University of Manchester as a part-time PDRA in the Barran and Flitsch groups. Her current project, a collaboration with Elanco is titled “Application of mass spectrometry tools in monitoring Polymeric N-Acetyl Glucosamine (PNAG) levels during animal feed and biopharmaceutical production”. 

Email: Kathleen.cain@manchester.ac.uk Research Gate Profile

Caitlin Walton-Doyle

Caitlin is a first year PhD student under the supervision of Prof. Barran and based in the MIB. She graduated from University College London in 2016 with BSc (Hons) in Chemistry. Subsequently she worked as a research analyst in the Organic Geochemistry Unit at the University of Bristol using GC-MS and GC-IR-MS to analyse lipids in archaeological pottery. Her research will be focussed on using techniques of infrared spectroscopy, IM-MS and LC-MS to identify sebum based biomarkers of Parkinson’s disease.

email : 

Charlotte Mooney

Charlotte is currently a first year PhD student at The University of Manchester under the supervision of Professor Perdita Barran, Professor Kostya Novoselov and Dr Nigel Pickett. Charlotte recently received a first class integrated BSc and MChem Degree from The University of Manchester and is predominantly based in the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology. Charlotte’s four-year project is an EPSRC NPIF Studentship in collaboration with Nanoco Technologies. The aim of the project is to develop new high resolution mass spectrometry methods to facilitate scale up synthesis of 2 dimensional quantum dots and to demonstrate their catalytic and electroluminescent performance.

email : caitlin.walton-doyle@postgrad.manchester.ac.uk

Rachelle Black

Rachelle is currently a first year PhD student at the University of Manchester under the supervision of Professor Perdita Barran. She graduated from the University of Manchester (2017) with a MChem degree in Chemistry with Industrial Experience, where she spent a year working at Intertek Pharmaceutical Services working within the Biological Characterisation Group, where she worked on fluorescently labelling proteins prior to analysis via liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry.  Rachelle is now undertaking a PhD in collaboration with Waters, where she will utilise ion mobility mass spectrometry coupled with photodissociation to investigate the conformational change exhibited by proteins upon cofactors binding.

email :  rachelle.black@manchester.ac.uk

Dale Stuchfield

Dale is currently a first year PhD student based at the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology, under the supervision of Prof. Perdita Barran. He graduated from the University of Manchester (2017) with a MChem degree in Chemistry. His current research involves using IMS to obtain conformational data on a series of target proteins (structured and disordered). The data he obtains will then be used to devise a sampling method which trains MD simulations from experimental data, this computational aspect of his research will be carried out over two years in Singapore at the Bioinformatics institute under the supervisor of Dr. Verma Chandra. Following this he will return to Manchester where he will test the models developed in Singapore.

email : dale.stuchfield@manchester.ac.uk

Dr. Depanjan Sarkar

Depanjan is a Royal Society-SERB Newton International Fellow at the University of Manchester at the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology. He obtained his PhD at Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM) (2017) under the supervision of Prof. T. Pradeep and Prof. R. Graham Cooks (Professor at the Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA and distinguished professor at IITM). He joined Prof. Perdita Barran’s group in 2018 as a post-doctoral researcher in the project titled as “Paper Spray Mass Spectrometry for Parkinson’s Disease Diagnostics”. His research focuses on developing ambient ionization techniques for quick analysis of sebum collected from people with Perkinson’s disease.

email: depanjan.sarkar@manchester.ac.uk
Google Scholar: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=PwB6CvsAAAAJ

Jack Roberts

Jack is currently a PhD student at the University of Manchester, under the supervision of Prof. Perdita Barran and in collaboration with Allergan. He graduated from Sheffield Hallam University (2017) with an MSci degree in Biochemistry. During his masters research he used mass spectrometry techniques to investigate ligand binding with α-synuclein protein. His PhD research involves the development of novel methods to study viral particles using mass spectrometry. To do this he will be designing and building a charge detection mass spectrometer (CDMS), a variation of mass spectrometry that lends itself well to the study of large biomolecules.

email :  jack.roberts@manchester.ac.uk

Florian Benoit

Florian is currently a third year PhD student at the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology under the supervision of Professor Perdita Barran along with Dr Tony Bristow as part of a partnership with AstraZeneca. After completing an MSc level degree in Chemistry and Separation Techniques at CPE Lyon, France, he gained further experience in analytical methods during industrial placements in laboratories specialised in the analysis of petroleum refinery wastewater and textile industry-related materials respectively. The aim of his research project is to investigate the applications of ion mobility-mass spectrometry for the analysis of polymer-drug conjugates and other biomaterials.

email : florian.benoit@postgrad.manchester.ac.uk

Emiliy Kempa

Emily completed her degree in Chemistry with Industrial Experience (MChem) at the University of Manchester in 2016. During her industrial experience year at Intertek Pharmaceutical Services Manchester, Emily worked within the GCMS team, developing methods to identify and quantify trace impurities in both industrial and consumer products. Emily is now undertaking a PhD in the group which focusses upon coupling droplet microfluidics and lab-on-a-chip methods to a range of different mass spectrometers for the high throughput analysis of synthetic biology targets.

email :  emily.kempa@manchester.ac.uk

Aidan France


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.

email : aidan.france[at]postgrad.manchester.ac.uk

Eleanor Sinclair


Eleanor is a final year PhD student at the University of Manchester within the Michael Barber Centre for Collaborative Mass Spectrometry. She graduated from the University of Manchester (2015) with an MChem degree in Chemistry. After supervision from Prof. Perdita Barran during her undergraduate master’s project she continues her work during her PhD. Her research involves using mass spectrometry to identify biomarkers for Parkinson’s disease. Alongside this she uses ion mobility mass spectrometry to aid in the identification of small molecules for metabolomics analysis.

email : eleanor.sinclair[at]postgrad.manchester.ac.uk

Dr. Christopher Gray

chrisChris 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.

email : christopher.gray[at]manchester.ac.uk

Dr Drupad Trivedi

Dr Drupad Trivedi is lead research associate in Parkinson’s Disease Diagnostics project – Nose2Diagnose, at Manchester Institute of Biotechnology, Manchester University, funded by Michael J Fox Foundation and Parkinson’s UK. Dr Drupad Trivedi graduated in Biomedical Sciences at Middlesex University in 2008 and immediately followed it up with a PhD in Metabolomics at Middlesex University, London. He completed his doctoral thesis on discovery of Down syndrome biomarkers in maternal urine for prenatal screening of the chromosomal abnormality in 2012 and then worked as a post-doctoral research fellow at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in the same year. Dr Trivedi has worked as an honorary research fellow for ELK-Foundation of health and biomedical research extending his interest in personalised medicine. Dr Trivedi, also advices and aids in experimental design and method development for metabolomics research at MAP, Diagnostics, UK – for biomarker discovery to screen and diagnose multiple prenatal chromosomal abnormalities during pregnancy. Dr Trivedi joined Professor Roy Goodacre at Manchester Institute of Biotechnology in 2013 working on CRUK funded cancer metabolomics project along with many other multidisciplinary areas involving metabolomics and chemometrics analyses. In 2017, Dr Drupad Trivedi joined Professor Perdita Barran to work on the Parkinson’s project. Dr Drupad Trivedi is the lead post-doctoral research associate in metabolomics project for Parkinson’s diseases diagnostics funded by Michael J Fox Foundation and Parkinson’s UK. In his current role at the University of Manchester, Dr Trivedi combines his personal research interests in personalised medicine and biomarker discovery from bio-fluids. Dr Trivedi leads the metabolome and volatilome exploration for understanding key differences in Parkinson’s skin surfaces.

email : drupad.trivedi@manchester.ac.uk