Career in brief
Darragh P. O’Brien has over 15 years of experience as a protein biochemist in both academic and industrial environments, and his portfolio includes a wide array of mass spectrometry (MS) and proteomic techniques. He currently works as a post-doctoral researcher in clinical proteomics in the group of Professor Benedikt Kessler at the TDI MS Laboratory, University of Oxford. Prior to this, Dr. O'Brien was employed as a researcher at Institut Pasteur in Paris, France, under the supervision of Dr. Alexandre Chenal, where he utilised biophysical and MS-based approaches for the structural analysis of the adenylate cyclase toxin. This followed post-doctoral training in the group of Dr. John Timms at University College London, United Kingdom, where the primary focus of his research was the discovery and verification of biomarkers of preclinical pancreatic cancer in serum, using MS and immunoassays for protein characterisation and quantitation. In 2011, he completed a PhD in Neuroscience at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, United Kingdom, under the supervision of Professor Sir Simon Lovestone. Here, he developed targeted, multiplexed MS assays for the validation of candidate plasma and cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease in large, clinical sample cohorts. Dr O’Brien’s PhD followed an Honours Degree in Biochemistry from University College Dublin, Ireland, where his final year project investigated proteolytic degradation patterns of amyloid-beta protein in Alzheimer-like diseases, under the direction of Professor Dominic Walsh.