Category Archives: News

News from the Biospec group.

Well done Dr Mekhala!

Well done to Dr Mekhala Spencer who successfully defended her PhD on Thursday 7th December.

Mekhala's thesis is entitled "The development of Raman spectroscopy for monitoring industrial biopharmaceuticals". This was a BBSRC CASE award with Pall and Mekhala was co-supervised by Prof. Alan Dickson.

We are also very grateful to the examiners Dr Matt Baker and from Strathclyde and Dr Robin Curtis from Manchester.

Analytical Chemistry Front Cover

We are delighted that our work with our collagues Profs Karen Faulds and Duncan Graham on multiplex bacterial detection features on the front cover of Analytical Chemistry Volume 89 issue 23 published today (5th Dec 2017).

Read the paper here:

Kearns, H., Goodacre, R., Jamieson, L., Graham, D. & Faulds, K. (2017) SERS detection of multiple anti-microbial resistant pathogens using nanosensors. Analytical Chemistry 89, 12666-12673.

Many thanks to Howbeer Muhamadali for the brilliant artwork!


Congratulation Dr Heidi

Congratulations to Dr Heidi Fisk who succesfully defended her PhD on Friday 1 December.

Heidi's thesis is entitled "Raman Spectroscopy for the Direct Monitoring of Microbial Biotransformations". This was a BBSRC CASE award with GSK and Heidi was co-supervised by Prof. Jason Micklefield.

You can read some of Heidi's work here:

 We are also grateful to the examiners Dr Colin Campbell from Edingburgh and Dr Lu-Shin Wong from Manchester.

Sniffing out lung infection

Research into breath volatile analysis of infection is growing rapidly within the last decade, particularly with concern over antibiotic resistance. Volatiles from pathogenic microbes and host metabolism can used as early markers of infection. Advances in standardised breath sampling and analysis strategies form a vital step towards early and accurate diagnosis.

Interested in learning more? Then see tweet by @mancbreathgroup and read our news item in Microbiologist – a magazine from Society for Applied Microbiology:

  • News: Ahmed, W.M., Fowler, S.J. & Goodacre, R. (2017) Sniffing out lung infection. Microbiologist (from Society for Applied Microbiology), 18(3; Sept), 20-23.

For further reading see our 2 recent reviews in breathomics:




Dr Robert – hoorah!

Congratulations Dr Robert Eendebak who succesfully defended his PhD (28 Sept). And especially so as this was with no corrections!

The title of Dr Robert's PhD is "The potential relationships between hormone biomarkers and functional and health outcomes of ageing – a multinational longitudinal cohort study of ageing in men" and was funded by BBSRC.



Through-container detection counterfeit alcohol using SORS

Our latest Food Security research, published in Scientific Reports, is receiving considerable attention in the press and on social media.  This work involves the through-container detection of fake spirits with a handheld SORS device, with collaborators from Cobalt Light Systems and the Scotch Whisky Research Institute (SWRI).

We demonstrated that we could detect multiple chemical markers of counterfeit alcohol in extremely low concentrations without having to open bottles. This is the first time handheld SORS has ever been used for such an application, its primary applications to date being explosives and hazmat screening/detection and pharmaceutical analysis. The spirit drinks industry is vitally important in economic terms and is the EU’s biggest agri-food exporter, with EU governments’ revenues of at least €23 billion in excise duties and VAT, and approximately 1 million jobs linked to the production, distribution and sale of spirit drinks. In addition, illicit spirit drinks can have very serious health impacts, especially when so-called ‘denatured’ (i.e. industrial) alcohols such as methanol, amongst several others. are used by counterfeiters.

Our open access article can be found here and links to the University of Manchester’s research on Industrial Biotechnology here


Dr Ewa – congratulation

Congratulations! to Dr Ewa Szula who successfully defended her PhD today (14 September). 

Ewa's thesis was entitled "Metabolic profiling and imaging of CHO cells for fusion protein production" and was funded by the BBSRC's DTP scheme.

Many thanks to Prof Malcolm Clench (Sheffield Hallam University) and Prof Sabine Flitsch (UoM) for examining.