Proteomics Group Leader
Laboratory of Proteomics and Metabolomics
Liam McDonnell’s research resides in the interface of fundamental mass spectrometry with biomedical imaging, in order to record the molecular profiles of specific cells within their correct histological context. Through focusing the analysis on specific groups of cells, the molecular variation associated with different cell types (morphology and relational) is reduced.
In oncology he uses this enhanced specificity to identify diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers, investigate molecular changes accompanying tumor progression and to characterize the molecularly-distinct tumor subpopulations that define patient outcome. In neuroscience these capabilities are used to investigate molecular changes in episodic disorders that may lack clear histological hallmarks but which exhibit profound spatio-temporal molecular changes.
The research is highly multidisciplinary, incorporating mass spectrometry method development, image registration and analysis, bioinformatics and statistical analysis. The research group is highly international and multidisciplinary. The group participates in several European projects, for example the ERANET Transcan 2 project ARREST, for which FPS acts as coordinator.
Liam McDonnell obtained an MCHEM in Chemistry from the University of Oxford, UK, and a PhD in Chemistry from the University of Warwick, UK. Following a post-doctoral researcher position at the FOM institute for Atomic and Molecular Physics in Amsterdam, he started his own research group at Leiden University Medical Center, where he is Associate Professor. Liam McDonnell is President of the Mass Spectrometry Imaging Society and Vice-Chair of the Mass Spectrometry Imaging Initiative of the European Proteomics Association.