Dr Melissa Brazier-Hicks, Dr Junli Liu and Professor Robert Edwards
I graduated with an MChem in Applied Chemistry from Northumbria University. I have interests in analytical chemistry, specifically mass spectrometry, metabolomics and its applications. My current area of interest is the use of direct sampling techniques such as Rapid Evaporative Ionisation Mass Spectrometry (REIMS) in speciation analysis. Following conventional molecular biology protocols can be very long and often require the use of expensive reagents and kits. The use of emerging sample preparation free analytical devices such as REIMS combined with statistical analysis can be used in a variety of ways to that are faster than conventional protocols but retain the accuracy. REIMS has been put forward as tool in investigating fish fraud for example. Investigating new applications for these technologies is something I continue to read about and be involved in.
Understanding Herbicide Selectivity using a Pharmacokinetic Approach
Selective herbicides control target weed species whilst leaving the crop undamaged, however weeds such as black-grass have developed resistance mechanisms which impact on the yield and quality of cereal crops especially wheat. Populations of black-grass with non-target site resistance have emerged in the UK and mainline Europe and are able to tolerate the application of multiple classes of herbicide making effective control challenging. This form of resistance is believed to be due to the enhanced metabolism/detoxification of selective herbicides. The aims of this research project are to gain a clear understanding of how selective herbicides reach their target site using a pharmacokinetic approach and based on this, develop kinetic models to better understand the basis of enhance metabolism in non-target site resistance. This is a CASE project with Waters, the analytical science technologies company. This partnership will make available new and emerging analytical techniques, such as REIMS, to assist with this project.