Disputation: Nicholas McKitterick

Doctoral candidate Nicholas McKitterick at the Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, is  defending the thesis "Molecularly Imprinted Polymers for the Analysis of Small Cell Lung Cancer Biomarkers by Liquid Chromatography-Tandem Mass Spectrometry" for the degree of Philosophiae Doctor.

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The PhD defence will be fully digital and streamed directly using Zoom. The host of the session will moderate the technicalities while the chair of the defence will moderate the disputation.

Ex auditorio questions: the chair of the defence will invite the audience to ask ex auditorio questions either written or oral. This can be requested by clicking 'Participants -> Raise hand'.

Trial lecture

The stereo-selective interaction of chiral drugs with proteins

Main research findings

Analysis of Small Cell lung Cancer Biomarkers using Novel Capture Materials


Small cell lung cancer is an aggressive disease that requires early diagnosis to reduce patient mortality. Presently, there are two known biomarkers that are widely used for the detection and monitoring of small cell lung cancer. However, the current analytical methods have limited in formats and require expensive materials (e.g. antibodies). Therefore, new tools that can aid in the quick, cheap, and reliable analysis of small cell lung biomarkers is of great importance. The present work focused on the development and application of synthetic materials known as molecularly imprinted polymers in two formats to target small cell lung cancer biomarkers. The polymers developed and optimised in the present work were able to successfully capture the small cell lung cancer biomarkers from human serum. Furthermore, a new approach that combined two unique polymers allowed for an automated extraction procedure that analysed two biomarkers simultaneously. With further improvements in the development of molecularly imprinted polymers, it is possible there will be the development of clinically viable synthetic capture materials that will allow for cheaper and more readily available biomarker analysis.

Published Feb. 18, 2021 10:00 AM - Last modified Mar. 2, 2021 8:11 AM