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Dr John Timms
Cruciform Building
Gower St
  • Reader in Cancer Proteomics
  • Women's Cancer
  • UCL EGA Institute for Women's Health
  • Faculty of Pop Health Sciences
John obtained his PhD in biochemistry in 1991 from the Laboratory of Molecular Biophysics, Oxford University. In 1995 he joined the group of Benjamin Neel at Harvard Medical School as a Leukemia Society of America Junior Research Fellow studying the role of tyrosine phosphatases in cellular signalling. He returned to the UK in 1999 as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow withlaboratory Mike Waterfield at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, working on HER receptor signalling in cancer and the development and application of proteomic technologies. In 2002, he was appointed Assistant Member of the Institute and Leader of the Cancer Proteomics Group. He moved to the UCL Institute for Women’s Health in 2006 as a Lecturer, establishing an independent group specialising in the application of proteomics to cancer research. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 2015. He is currently a Director of the British Society for Proteome Research and chairs the London Biological Mass Spectrometry Discussion Group.
Research Summary

Dr John Timms is group leader of the EGA Institute for Women's Health Cancer Proteomics Group with 18 years of experience in proteomics method development and application and 24 years in cancer and cell signalling research. The group has expertise in the preparation, separation, characterisation and quantification of peptides and proteins using mass spectrometry (MS) and other methods. The group has established workflows for linking sample prep and LC-based protein/peptide separation with quantitative MS-based profiling.

His research is focused on understanding the molecular basis of cancer and cell signalling mechanisms and the identification of novel disease biomarkers.

Projects include:
* Serum biomarker discovery - the group has developed high-throughput proteomic techniques aimed at identifying biomarkers of cancer and other diseases using large case control clinical and pre-diagnosis sample collections. Work also involves assay development, machine learning biomarker modelling and validation of markers for the early detection of different cancer types.

* Molecular basis of breast and epithelial ovarian cancer - the group has combined gene expression and proteomic profiling methods with gene-specific knockdown to functionally characterise alterations in tumour tissues and cell models of breast and ovarian cancer.

* Mechanisms of cellular signalling - research is aimed at understanding the molecular events associated with growth factor and stress signalling in cells and how these are dysregulated in cancer. This includes mapping proteomic responses to EGF and HRG growth factors and HER2  overexpression in mammary luminal epithelial cells, characterising redox stress responses in cell models and delineating kinase networks using phosphoproteomic methods.

Teaching Summary

Supervision of PhD (10 past students; 1 present), MSc project and visiting students. MSc module co-lead (Women's Cancer) and lectures in proteomics, mass spectrometry, cancer biology and tumour markers. 

01-OCT-2015 Reader in Cancer Proteomics Women's Cancer, Institute for Women's Health University College London, United Kingdom
01-MAY-2012 Honorary Senior Lecturer Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences University of Manchester, United Kingdom
01-DEC-2006 – 30-SEP-2015 Lecturer Women's Cancer, Institute for Women's Health University College London, United Kingdom
01-MAR-2003 – 30-NOV-2006 Lecturer (Joint Appointment) Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology UCL, United Kingdom
02-MAR-2002 – 30-NOV-2006 Associate Member and Group Leader Cancer Proteomics Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research UCL Branch, United Kingdom
01-MAR-1999 – 01-MAR-2002 Postdoctoral Research Fellow Cancer Biochemistry Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research UCL Branch, United Kingdom
01-NOV-1995 – 28-FEB-1999 Postdoctoral Research Fellow Cancer Biology Harvard Medical School, United States
Academic Background
1995 DPhil Doctor of Philosophy – Biochemistry University of Oxford
1991 BA Hons Bachelor of Arts (Honours) – Biochemistry University of Oxford
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