Meet Robin Curnow

📢IMSPEX Announcement: This week, Imspex presents our doctoral student, Robin Curnow, co-sponsored by us and the University of Manchester. Robin shares insights into his impactful work in Breathomics:

“My PhD is in Breathomics which I am carrying out within the division of Immunology, Immunity to Infection and Respiratory Medicine at the University of Manchester. Breathomics involves analysing compounds found in breath to try and identify the metabolomic processes occurring throughout the body. This information can then be used for biomarker discovery in a range of diseases. Although this includes respiratory diseases, since the main purpose of the lungs is to exchange gas with the blood, Breathomics is also used in a range of other diseases affecting the different parts of the body. Specifically, I work with a class of metabolite called Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC). These can be collected from exhaled air and analysed using mass spectrometry. 1000s of VOCs have been identified in breath and some have been implicated as biomarkers in a range of diseases including asthma, COPD, liver cirrhosis and lung cancer, as well as general markers for oxidative stress throughout the body. In order to implement these biomarkers in clinical scenarios, they must be validated in multicentre studies involving a large number of participants. One issue that must be overcome for this to be possible is the standardisation of sample collection and analysis which has been prevented in the past by failing to correct for a number of non-disease related factors now known to affect exhaled VOC concentrations such as diet, smoking, medication and VOC concentrations in the ambient air during sampling. My PhD aims to provide an informed approach to standardizing breath VOC collection and analysis. To achieve this, I’m using a range of statistical and mathematical modelling to show the expected behaviour of VOCs with different properties and origins within the body while sampling, and how different protocols for collection and analysis may be suited to different scenarios.”

Stay updated on Robin’s ground breaking research! More insights to come. #Breathomics #Research #Imspex #UniversityofManchester #DoctoralStudent