Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Metabolism, Digestion and Reproduction

Lecturer in Proteomics and Integrative Data Analysis Proteom



h.whitwell Website CV




312Burlington DanesHammersmith Campus






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2020-Current - NPC and Systems Medicine, Imperial College London, Research Associate and Group Lead for Proteomics

2017-2020 - Chemical Engineering, Imperial College London, Research Associate

2015-2017 - University College London, Research Associate

2010-2011 - University of York, Bioscience Technology (MSc)

2007-2010 - University of York, Biology, BSc(Hons)

2012-2015 - University of Southampton, PhD

My PhD at the University of Southampton was to used mass spectrometry to understand the interactions between nanoparticles and pulmonary surfactant, a complex mixture of lipids and proteins that lines the alveolar space within the lung and with alveolar epithelial cells. 

After completing my PhD, I undertook a post doctoral position with Dr John Timms at University College London, using serum proteomics to identify biomarkers for ovarian cancer. This was utilising serum from the United Kingdom Collaborative Trial of Ovarian Cancer Screening (UKCTOCS), where samples were taking from 400,000 women annually over approximately 10 years. Whilst in this project, I also developed, with Prof. Alexey Zaikin, a parenclitic-network approach for data analysis and disease classification in which graphs are generated for individuals without any prior knowledge of the relationship between analytes (continuous or categorical data). The linkages highlight protein groups that are changing within the data set and graph-topologies may also be applied to disease classification.

In May 2017, I started my second post doc with Dr Peter DiMaggio and Dr Matthew Fuchter, and in close collaboration with Prof. Hugh Brady. This research aims are to investigate, using novel chemical probes, new methylation targets for DOT1L, a methyl-transferase that is miss-appropriated in leukaemia. Inhibitors for DOT1L are currently in clinical trials as a therapy for mixed-lineage leukemia and further understanding of the biology behind DOT1L is of high importance. The research is CRUK funded.

I am currently in a position at the National Phenome Centre and the Division of Systems Medicine integrating proteomics workflows and technologies into the existing facilities while exploring my own research interests, focusing on the impact of MTAP-deletion on global methylation signalling.



Spencer R, Maksym K, Hecher K, et al., 2023, Maternal PlGF and umbilical Dopplers predict pregnancy outcomes at diagnosis of early-onset fetal growth restriction, Journal of Clinical Investigation, Vol:133, ISSN:0021-9738, Pages:1-16

Kowalka AM, Alexiadou K, Cuenco J, et al., 2023, The postprandial secretion of peptide YY<sub>1-36</sub> and <sub>3-36</sub> in obesity is differentially increased after gastric bypass versus sleeve gastrectomy, Clinical Endocrinology, Vol:99, ISSN:0300-0664, Pages:272-284

Kowalka AMM, Alexiadou K, Cuenco J, et al., 2023, Commentary on "The road to reliable peptide assays is paved with good guidelines", Clinical Endocrinology, Vol:98, ISSN:0300-0664, Pages:763-765

Li H-K, Zhi X, Vieira A, et al., 2023, Characterisation of emergent toxigenic M1UK Streptococcus pyogenes and associated sublineages, Microbial Genomics, Vol:9, ISSN:2057-5858, Pages:1-15

Nene NRR, Ney A, Nazarenko T, et al., 2023, Serum biomarker-based early detection of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas with ensemble learning, Communications Medicine, Vol:3, ISSN:2730-664X

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