Gavin Reid laboratory

Research Overview

Our research focuses on the development of advanced mass spectrometry based technologies and analytical biochemistry techniques for quantitative proteome and lipidome analysis strategies, and their application to identify and characterize functional biomarkers of disease.

A broad variety of methods are employed in the lab, including novel sample extraction, chemical derivatization, gas-phase separation, ultra-high resolution mass spectrometry (UHRMS) and ultra-violet photodissociation tandem mass spectrometry (UVPD-MS/MS), to comprehensively identify and quantify changes in protein expression and post translational modifications, or complex lipid abundances, that are associated with the dysregulation of normal cellular function.

Ultimately, the results obtained from these studies can provide critical insights toward improving our understanding of the onset and progression of disease pathogenesis, including in colorectal cancer and neurodegeneration, and may enable the identification of candidate biomarkers for improved disease diagnostic or prognostic monitoring, or novel targets for therapeutic intervention.

Figure showing ultra-high resolution mass spectra of crude lipid extracts from primary human colon carcinoma cell line SW480, and its lymph node metastatic derivative SW620.

Figure 1: Ultra-high resolution mass spectra of crude lipid extracts from primary human colon carcinoma cell line SW480, and its lymph node metastatic derivative SW620. From these spectra, >1000 lipids can be identified, and relative quantification performed between the cell lines, with significant changes in both plamanyl- and plasmenyl-ether lipid abundances. siRNA knockdown of the rate limiting peroxisomal enzyme for ether lipid biosynthesis, alkylglyceronephosphate synthase (AGPS), within the SW620 cells followed by comprehensive lipidome profiling and PCR array analysis, results in the attenuation of multiple genes known to be associated with molecular and phenotypic characteristics of cancer malignancy and metastasis.


Dr George Khairallah, Research Fellow
Ms Huaqi (Kate) Su, PhD student
Mr Tim Salita, PhD student
Ms Mengxuan Fang, PhD student
Ms Shiyue Qui, , PhD student
Ms Liuyu Peng, Masters student
Mr Henry West, Masters student
Ms Madison Nuske, Masters student
Ms Thi Hien Ha (Jenna) Cung, Masters student
Mr Tom Kralj, Research Assistant

Research Publications

Click here for the results of a PubMed search of Gavin's publications.

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  1. West H, Reid GE. Hybrid 213 nm photodissociation of cationized Sterol lipid ions yield [M]+. Radical products for improved structural characterization using multistage tandem mass spectrometry. Anal Chim Acta. 2021, 1141: 100-109. doi: 10.1016/j.aca.2020.10.013
  2. Sui X, Pires DEV, Ormsby AR, Cox D, Nie S, Vecchi G, Vendruscolo M, Ascher DB, Reid GE, Hatters DM. Widespread remodeling of proteome solubility in response to different protein homeostasis stresses. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2020, 117: 2422-2431. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1912897117.
  3. Lee TH, Hofferek V, Separovic F, Reid GE, Aguilar MI. The role of bacterial lipid diversity and membrane properties in modulating antimicrobial peptide activity and drug resistance. Curr Opin Chem Biol. 2019, 52: 85-92. doi: 10.1016/j.cbpa.2019.05.025.
  4. Rustam YH, Reid GE. Analytical Challenges and Recent Advances in Mass Spectrometry Based Lipidomics. Anal Chem. 2018, 90: 374-397. doi: 10.1021/acs.analchem.7b04836.
  5. Chen MZ, Moily NS, Bridgford JL, Wood RJ, Radwan M, Smith TA, Song Z, Tang BZ, Tilley L, Xu X, Reid GE, Pouladi MA, Hong Y, Hatters DM. A thiol probe for measuring unfolded protein load and proteostasis in cells. Nat Commun. 2017, 8: 474. doi: 10.1038/s41467-017-00203-5.
  6. Ryan E, Nguyen CQN, Shiea C, Reid GE. Detailed Structural Characterization of Sphingolipids via 193 nm Ultraviolet Photodissociation and Ultra High Resolution Tandem Mass Spectrometry. J Am Soc Mass Spectrom. 2017, 28: 1406-1419. doi: 10.1007/s13361-017-1668-1.
  7. Ryan E, Reid GE. Chemical Derivatization and Ultrahigh Resolution and Accurate Mass Spectrometry Strategies for "Shotgun" Lipidome Analysis. Acc Chem Res. 2016, 49: 1596-1604. doi: 10.1021/acs.accounts.6b00030.
  8. Lydic TA, Townsend S, Adda CG, Collins C, Mathivanan S, Reid GE. Rapid and comprehensive 'shotgun' lipidome profiling of colorectal cancer cell derived exosomes. Methods. 2015, 87: 83-95. doi: 10.1016/j.ymeth.2015.04.014.
  9. Zhou X, Mester C, Stemmer PM, Reid GE. Oxidation-induced conformational changes in calcineurin determined by covalent labeling and tandem mass spectrometry. Biochemistry. 2014, 53: 6754-6765. doi: 10.1021/bi5009744.
  10. Lydic TA, Busik JV, Reid GE. A monophasic extraction strategy for the simultaneous lipidome analysis of polar and nonpolar retina lipids. J Lipid Res. 2014, 55: 1797-7809. doi: 10.1194/jlr.D050302.
  11. Fhaner CJ, Liu S, Ji H, Simpson RJ, Reid GE. Comprehensive lipidome profiling of isogenic primary and metastatic colon adenocarcinoma cell lines. Anal Chem. 2012, 84: 8917-8926. doi: 10.1021/ac302154g.

Research Projects

Faculty Research Themes


School Research Themes

Cancer in Biomedicine, Molecular Mechanisms of Disease

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact Head of Laboratory Professor Gavin E. Reid

Department / Centre

Biochemistry and Pharmacology

Unit / Centre

Gavin Reid laboratory

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