Oncology & Metabolism Seminar Series Hosted by the Mellanby Centre

Friday 11 October 2019 – 1.00 – 2.00 pm
Lecture Theatre 3, F Floor, Medical School

Title: ‘Developing metabolic markers of frailty’ by Dr Nicholas J W Rattray, University of Strathclyde

Dr Nicholas J W Rattray, University of Strathclyde

Nik is currently a Chancellor’s Fellow and Lecturer (Assistant Professor) of Clinical Metabolomics at the University of Strathclyde, Scotland. He received his MChem in Medicinal Chemistry from the Manchester Metropolitan University, was awarded a Ph.D. in Biophysics from the University of Manchester and subsequently went on to technician and postdoctoral positions within the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology researching mass spectrometry based metabolomics. Before taking up his current position at UoS he was a faculty level Associate Research Scientist within the School of Public Health at Yale University and has a research focus on how metabolism dysregulates as we age. He has over 50 peer-reviewed articles, an H index of 14 and has secured over £1M of funding as PI or CoI. He has also served on the Board of Directors of the Metabolomics Society 2015-2016.

His Groups research strategy currently focuses on using bio-molecular mass spectrometry and metabolomics alongside chemometrics and molecular biology techniques to establish an extensive research portfolio of biomarker detection within the broad area of the human life-course. This work has developed three main overarching themes that cover different aspects of translational research within the clinic. The first has been the practical analysis of a series of metabolomics experiments that have focused on different stages of the human life cycle – with a main focus on human frailty. This work has developed mechanistic understanding on how different energy mechanisms within our cells change and modulate their behaviour through stress.

Secondly, and perhaps more fundamentally, at Yale Nik was the driving force behind the establishment of a flexible high-throughput targeted metabolomics and imaging mass spectrometry platforms designed to detect and quantify a range of metabolites directly involved in cancer and energy-based metabolic pathways. The rationale behind this being that not only is such an approach applicable to life-course research, but energy metabolism is present and essential in all living organisms. From cancer research to synthetic biology, energy production plays such a vital role and such a platform can contribute greatly to almost all biological based research projects.

The third aspect is the most interdisciplinary angle of his research and focuses on how statistics and chemometrics can be applied to metabolomics data to enable the development of systems level approaches. Metabolic data is only truly useful if its interactions within biological context are fully understood and the ability to link metabolic datasets to biochemical pathways alongside proteomics and transcriptomic datasets ultimately the full potential of all omics-based technologies within the clinical environment will only be realised if the transition of human life is understood and temporal changes are periodically documented. By trying to link metabolism at different stages in life this research strategy aims to have a more global understanding of how our body chemistry changes as we age.

If you would personally like to meet the speakers on the day of their seminar contact:
Gillian Griffiths – Tel: 2260716, email: g.l.griffiths@sheffield.ac.uk
Mellanby Centre Website: http://mellanbycentre.org