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Dr Wendy Heywood
1C- Biochemistry
UCL Institute of Child Health
30 Guilford Street
Dr Wendy Heywood profile picture
  • Research Fellow in Translational Biomarker Discovery
  • Genetics & Genomic Medicine Dept
  • UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
  • Faculty of Pop Health Sciences

As an undergraduate, I studied Molecular Genetics at Kings College London. I obtained my PhD at University College London on the effects of nutritional programming on islet-cell function and the key pancreatic glucose regulatory enzyme glucokinase. My research led to a publication and I won the Jean Rey prize in nutrition at the European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology Hepatology & Nutritionmeeting in 2002.  After time out to travel the world (on a shoestring), I took up an EU funded post-doctoral position on the SAFE project the UCL Institute of Child Health on the proteomic investigation of maternal plasma for biomarkers of Down syndrome affected pregnancies which resulted in the discovery of 2 new biomarkers which were published and patented. Since this EU post, I developed core skills in proteomics, bioinformatics, mass spectrometry, and clinical assay development with a focus on novel biomarker discovery. I have been instrumental in developing the UCL Biological Mass Spectrometry Centre into the largest translational mass spectrometry platform at UCL. I became a GOSH BRC Senior ResearchAssociate in the Inborn Errors of metabolism section of the Genetics and Genomic Medicine department at ICH.  As a principal investigator, I lead translational research into lysosomal storage disorders developing novel biomarkers for treatment response and understanding disease mechanisms behind biomarker changes

Research Themes
Research Summary

I am a BRC funded Senior Research Associate based in the UCL Biological MassSpectrometry Centre (BMSC) and co-manage the Translational Mass SpectrometryResearch Group. My expertise is in the use of proteomics for biomarker discovery and understanding disease mechanisms. One of my key translational research aims is to create a pipeline for novel biomarker development to streamline translation of biomarkers to clinical use principally for clinical trials for novel therapies. I have an active research group in LysosomalStorage Disorders and collaborate with many other researchers throughout UCLand worldwide not just in inborn errors of metabolism but also in adult diseases including Covid-19. 

Teaching Summary

To date I have taught and supervised >15 BSc and MSc students fortheir final year and maxi projects.
I have been a secondary supervisor for 2 completed PhD students. Currently, iam primary supervisor for PhD student investigating Gaucher disease and asecondary supervisor for a part-time PhD student investigating Fabry disease.

I have lectured on the IBSc paediatric and MRes Biomedicine Courses at UCLthis year on mass spectrometry methods and I regularly lecture on proteomics andbiomarkers on the Genomic Medicine and Novel therapies MSc courses. 

I helped deliver a workshop on targeted proteomics at the University of Umea.

SEP-2015 Senior Research Associate in Translational Mass Spectrometry Institute of Child Health UCL, United Kingdom
01-SEP-2012 – AUG-2015 BRC Research Associate Institute of Child Health UCL, United Kingdom
01-AUG-2009 – 31-AUG-2012 Research Associate Instiute of Child Health UCL, United Kingdom
01-JUN-2006 – 31-JUL-2009 Post Doctoral Researcher Instiute of Child Health UCL, United Kingdom
01-AUG-2002 – 31-JUL-2005 BBSRC Post Doctoral Researcher Eastman Dental Institute UCL, United Kingdom
Academic Background
2002   Doctor of Philosophy University College London
1998   Bachelor of Science King's College London
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