Professor Jane Thomas-Oates

01904 324459

Analytical Science: Biological Mass Spectrometry

My group's research is focused on the structural analysis of biologically-active molecules in order to understand better their mechanism of action at the molecular level. Our primary technique is mass spectrometry, which we use in conjunction with a wide variety of other analytical techniques, including chemical, enzymatic and separations strategies, principally for application in proteomic and metabolomic studies. The group's research has an emphasis on pursuing long-term, integrated studies of biological systems, which means that multidisciplinary collaborations are of prime importance; we are very fortunate in having a range of ongoing projects with a set of long-term and expert collaborators.

Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometer (FT-ICR)
Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometer (FT-ICR) - one of the Centre of Excellence in Mass Spectrometry research instruments in use by the JTO group

Using these approaches, we are currently working on characterising:

  • plant metabolites
  • metabolism of arsenic-containing compounds
  • cell surface glycoconjugates
  • biomolecules from archaeological samples
  • the signal molecules involved in mediating the symbiosis between leguminous plants and their nitrogen-fixing rhizobial symbionts, and the mechanism of action of these signals