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Darragh O'Brien


Head of Structural & Mechanistic Proteomics


Darragh O’Brien is a senior researcher in Translational Proteomics at the Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford, where he utilises biological mass spectrometry (MS) approaches to characterise and decipher mechanisms of human disease. His interests lie in how protein intrinsic disorder and post-translational modifications such as phosphorylation and ubiquitination relate to protein function and disease, with a focus on Alzheimer's Disease and neurodegeneration. Prior to this, Dr O’Brien spent several years as a researcher at Institut Pasteur, where he used integrative structural biology workflows for the characterisation of protein conformational dynamics following protein and ligand binding, or membrane insertion. This followed post-doctoral studies at University College London from 2011 and a PhD programme in Neuroscience at the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London from 2007, which was supervised by Professor Sir Simon Lovestone. For his thesis project, Dr O’Brien developed quantitative proteomic and MS strategies for the discovery and validation of candidate plasma and cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers of Alzheimer’s Disease. Dr O'Brien received an Honours Degree in Biochemistry from University College Dublin in 2004, where his undergraduate thesis looked at mechanisms of amyloid processing in Alzheimer Disease, under the guidance of Professor Dominic Walsh.

Darragh heads the newly established Structural & Mechanistic Proteomics laboratory within the Nuffield Department of Medicine, which uses Hydrogen-Deuterium eXchange Mass Spectrometry (HDX-MS) to characterise the structure and conformational dynamics of biological systems.

For collaboration enquiries, please contact