Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Metabolism, Digestion and Reproduction

Honorary Research Associate







Sir Alexander Fleming BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





I am a postdoctoral research associate within Computational and Systems Medicine and work as a chemometrician for the Imperial Clinical Phenotyping Centre (CPC).

The work at the CPC aims to use the information generated by metabolite profiling of patient samples to help clinicians make more informed decisions regarding diagnosis or treatment choice. I work closely with clinicians to analyse and interpret metabolite profile datasets generated from 1H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS)-based analysis of biofluids, such as urine, blood and cerebrospinal fluid, from clinical studies. Patient samples are characterized via multivariate statistical analyses (such as principal component analysis or orthogonal to projection filtered partial least-squares discriminant analysis), and this information can then be used to understand disease progression, response to a drug or help elucidate biochemical mechanisms.

Research Interests

I am particularly interested in the role of the intestinal microbiota in health and disease, and in understanding the complex interactions between microbial communities and the host, especially in the context of obesity, nutrition and the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Several metabolites found in urine, plasma, faeces and tissues have been associated with microbial metabolism or microbial–host cometabolism. Thus, global metabolic profiling of biofluids and tissues, via 1H NMR spectroscopy and LC-MS, provides a valuable insight in to the functional aspects of the host-microbiome relationship, especially when used in conjunction with faecal/intestinal microbial community characterisation techniques.




Biggs MB, Medlock GL, Moutinho TJ, et al., 2016, Systems-level metabolism of the Altered Schaedler Flora, a complete gut microbiota, Isme Journal, ISSN:1751-7362

Phetcharaburanin J, Lees H, Marchesi JR, et al., 2016, Systemic Characterization of an Obese Phenotype in the Zucker Rat Model Defining Metabolic Axes of Energy Metab-olism and Host-Microbial Interactions, Journal of Proteome Research, Vol:15, ISSN:1535-3907, Pages:1897-1906

Lees H, Swann J, Poucher SM, et al., 2014, Age and Microenvironment Outweigh Genetic Influence on the Zucker Rat Microbiome, Plos One, Vol:9, ISSN:1932-6203

Lees HJ, Swann JR, Wilson ID, et al., 2013, Hippurate: The Natural History of a Mammalian-Microbial Cometabolite, Journal of Proteome Research, Vol:12, ISSN:1535-3893, Pages:1527-1546

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