Molecular Phenomics

The NIHR Imperial BRC aims to screen and monitor patients in the surgical and hospital medical environments using multiple spectroscopic platforms to enhance clinical decision making. Our research integrates conventional clinical diagnostic information and chemical pathology with advanced omics-based biomarker discovery technology. By applying multi-omics approaches and phenotyping the patient journey – that is, measuring an integrated set of physical, chemical, physiological, and clinical features that define individuality – we are able to provide new information to inform patient stratification, diagnostics and prognostics.

Our group’s pioneering work has contributed substantially to the emergence and subsequent global development of the fields of metabolomics, metabonomics, and metabolic phenotyping. We continue to work in these main areas:

‘Omics data fusion
By profiling tissue, cellular and biofluid samples using NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance) and MS (mass spectrometry) imaging technologies coupled with chemometric and pattern recognition methods, we can extract biomarkers, including for the diagnosis and prognosis of cancer, cardiometabolic diseases, diabetes, obesity, hepatic, renal, and neurological diseases. We have also developed new multivariate chemical imaging techniques that have the power to transform speed and efficiency of diagnosis.

Technology and informatics development
We are developing real-time metabolic diagnostics, with a focus on intraoperative real-time cancer margin detection, intraoperative inflammatory bowel disease diagnostics, and studies on tumour heterogeneity, including 3D tumour pathway mapping and localized topographical pathway analysis. One such example is the i-knife, which delivers chemical information on the surgical procedure and what is being dissected on a sub-second basis.

Phenome-augmented patient journeys
We apply phenomic modelling to multiple studies, trials and patient journeys relating to cancer, liver and GI diseases, nutritional interventions, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases, to improve patient safety, improve patient experience and lower healthcare costs. We use advanced NMR and MS spectroscopic technologies to augment conventional patient diagnostics, imaging and chemical pathology to provide thousands of metabolic variables describing individual patient biology, helping us discover new diagnostic markers of disease.

By creating new scalable and translatable paradigms for global patient phenotyping and systems biology based modelling of hospital patient journeys, we aim to improve clinical decision-making enhancement of disease classification and patient management, in a range of hospital environments and specialties.

Key Individuals
  • Professor Jeremy Nicholson
    Professor Jeremy Nicholson
    Theme Lead, Molecular Phenomics
  • Dr Isabel Garcia-Perez
    Dr Isabel Garcia-Perez
    Lecturer in Precision & Systems Medicine
  • Dr Jonathan Swann
    Dr Jonathan Swann
    Senior Lecturer in Microbiomics and Human Development
  • Dr Kirill Veselkov
    Dr Kirill Veselkov
    Lecturer
  • Dr Muireann Coen
    Dr Muireann Coen
    Lecturer in Metabonomics & Biochemical Toxicology
  • Dr Robert Plumb
    Dr Robert Plumb
    Visiting professor/Director of Global Phenotyping (Waters Corporation)
  • Dr Stephen Brett
    Dr Stephen Brett
    Reader in Critical Care
  • Dr Tim Ebbels
    Dr Tim Ebbels
    Reader in Computational Bioinformatics
  • Dr Toby Athersuch
    Dr Toby Athersuch
    Lecturer in Environmental Toxicology
  • Dr. Joram Posma
    Dr. Joram Posma
    Research Associate
  • Professor Antony Gordon
    Professor Antony Gordon
    Chair in Anaesthesia and Critical Care
  • Professor Ian Wilson
    Professor Ian Wilson
    Chair in Drug Metabolism and Molecular Toxicology
  • Professor John Lindon
    Professor John Lindon
    Professor of Chemistry
  • Professor Zoltan Takats
    Professor Zoltan Takats
    Professor of Analytical Chemistry
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