Richard obtained a BSc. in Biology, and an MSc. (Distinction) in Oncology from Nottingham University before completing his PhD in Leeds, applying proteomics to study renal cell carcinoma and developing methods for identifying tumour markers and antigens.
Subsequently, in the laboratory of Prof Tony Whetton in Manchester, he developed methods for the proteomic analysis of leukaemic and normal haematopoietic cell and stem cell (phospho)proteomes, establishing mass spectrometry for large scale relative protein quantification and phosphorylation site mapping. During this time, he also developed the MIDAS (MRM-Initiated Detection and Sequencing) workflow, initially for the sensitive detection of post-translational modifications, including phosphorylation, acetylation and proline hydroxylation. This workflow was extended to include relative and 'absolute' quantification of post-translational modification levels between samples, and is useful for the sensitive detection of any peptide, particularly in establishing MRM/SRM-type assays for biomarker validation workflows.
In 2011, he took up the post of Proteomics Lead in the newly established Centre for Advanced Discovery and Experimental Therapeutics (CADET), a joint venture between Manchester University and the Central Manchester Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. The laboratory is primarily focussed on analysis of clinical and pre-clinical material in order to discover novel targets for therapeutic intervention, to define key pathways in disease progression, and extend these studies into the development and characterisation of novel therapeutics for common human conditions, including complications of diabetes, dementia, cardiovascular disease and complications of pregnancy. We are also developing a track record of developing assays for targeted quantification of proteins and small molecules by mass pectrometry, providing data on pharmacokinaetics on both new and existing medications, or allowing the analysis of novel disease biomarkers in large sample cohorts.
Staff within the CADET Mass Spectrometry Group:
Dr Isabel Riba (Experimental Officer - Proteomics)
Dr Paul Begley (Experimental Officer - Metabolomics)
Stephanie Church (Technician - Metabolomics)
Dr Catherine Orr – PDRA
Sarah Al-Adham (Co-supervisor with Natalie Gardiner Garth Cooper)
Kirsty McIntyre (Co-supervisor with mark Dilworth, Susan Greenwood, Paul Brownbill)
Karolina Mosinska (Co-supervisor with Mark Dunne, Karen Cosgrove)
Ben Allsop (Co-supervisor with Nigel Hooper, Stuart Allen, Garth Cooper)
France, Aidan (Co-supervisor with Perdita Barran, Garth Cooper)
Aseel Sharaireh (Co-Supervisor with Chris Ward)
Prof Garth Cooper (CADET Director)
Prof Paul Bishop (Professor of Ophthalmology and Matrix Biology, CADET Co-Director)
Prof. Andrew Dowsey (University of Bristol, Honorary CADET Bioinformatics Lead)
Dr. Natalie Gardiner (Division of Neuroscience, FBMH, The University of Manchester)
Dr. Simon Clark (Division of Evolution & Genomic Sciences, FBMH, The University of Manchester)
Peptide and protein relative quantification
2-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (2D-PAGE)
Protein purification and characterisation
Post-Translational Modification analysis
Mass Spectrometry Lead, Centre for Advanced Discovery and Experimental Therapetics (CADET), Division of Cardiovascular Sciences
I am the mass spectrometry lead within CADET, and an Honorary Lecturer at UoM. The aim of our laboratory is to analyse protein and metabolite levels and modifications, including targeted analysis of small molecules and protein isoforms, in primary (clinical and pre-clinical) samples to determine key aspects of disease development or drug action, with the intention of using the knowledge gained to identify and develop novel therapeutics.
I am also actively involved in public engagement activities, and am PE champion for the faculty (profile), and represent the Institute for Human Development on the FMHS PPI/E Coordinating Centre forum.
My key research interests involve the development of novel tools for protein analysis primarily involving mass spectrometry, and their application to disease characterisation, including identification of key pathways in disease development and identification and molecular characterisation of novel therapeutic targets.
My laboratory within the Centre for Advanced Discovery and Experimental Therapeutcis (CADET) has two major themes. The first is the development and implementation of novel proteomics tools for the identification and quantification of proteins, peptides and small molecules (including metals) from biological samples. These tools involve optimised and specific sample preparation workflows, through specific fractionation/enrichment tools, mass spectrometric methods of detection and bioinformatic analysis. Tools are designed to answer specific questions, either for global profiling of proteins within samples (small sample number, many proteins) or targeted analysis (fewer and specific target proteins/peptides, many samples).
The second theme in the group is the application of these tools to disease samples, either human plasma or tissue from diseased and control patient sets, or from preclinical models of disease. The aim of this work is to dissect molecular events which are involved in disease development, even in cases where disease is subclinical, to provide information on key processes which contribute to the development of pathology. Diseases of interest are those associated with ageing such as cardiovascular disease and dementia, along with complcations of diabetes and pregnancy. Such information is then used within CADET and with clinical collaborators to develop suitable interventions, either development of diagnostic/predictive algorithms based on protein expression and clinical metadata, or the identification of target pathways for development of novel therapeutics.
I am actively involved in a wide range of public engagement activities. I am part of a CADET team delivering events to schoolchildren as part of science events. and have been awarded funding for the Royal Society to develop resources for a primary school science week. In these activities, participants are invited to diagnose diabetes by way of a demonstration urine test (dipstick) and blood test (using paper chromatography). CADET has also developed an A-level study day where students at local colleges visit the University and learn about diabeteic complication vis a 'Dragons Den'-style pitch for funding, and an activity where we look at the research CADET does identifying markers of disease processes and how these may be used clinically. To supplement these activities, we have recently developed a series of short animated videos explaining our research. these can be found here.
I also sit on the governing body of Arlies Community Primary School, Stalybridge.