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Dr Wendy Heywood

Dr Wendy Heywood

Research Fellow in Translational Biomarker Discovery

Genetics & Genomic Medicine Dept

UCL GOS Institute of Child Health

Joined UCL
19th Jun 2006

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.

Education

University College London
Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy | 2002
King's College London
First Degree, Bachelor of Science | 1998

Biography

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

Publications