Dr Darragh P. O’Brien has over a decade 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 senior post-doctoral researcher at Institut Pasteur in Paris, France, under the supervision of Dr. Alexandre Chenal, where he utilises biophysical and MS-based approaches for the structural analysis of the adenylate cyclase toxin. Prior to this, Dr O’Brien undertook post-doctoral training in the group of Dr. John Timms at University College London, United Kingdom. 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, Psychology & Neuroscience, King’s College London, United Kingdom, under the supervision of Professor Sir Simon Lovestone. Here, he utilised selected reaction monitoring MS in combination with isobaric protein tagging for the development and implementation of a novel, multiplexed assay for the validation of candidate plasma and cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease in large, longitudinal cohorts of disease and control samples. Dr O’Brien’s PhD followed an Honours Degree in Biochemistry at 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.
We are interested in investigating the effects of molecular crowding, i.e., excluded volume effects, mimicking the effects of high concentrations of macromolecular solutes found in biological fluids on biochemical properties of proteins. In particular, […]
CyaA secretion, folding and translocation across membrane
CyaA, a 1706 residue-long protein, is one of the major virulence factors produced by B. pertussis and plays an important role in the early stages of respiratory tract colonization. This toxin uses an original […]
Development of a new statistical tool for the analysis of large HDX-MS data sets
Hydrogen Deuterium eXchange followed by Mass Spectrometry (HDX-MS) is a recognized biophysical tool in structural biology capable of probing protein/ligand interactions, conformational changes, and protein folding and dynamics. The use of improved HDX-MS workflows […]
- 2013 – Present: Post-doctoral Researcher at Institut Pasteur, Paris, France
- 2011 – 2013: Post-doctoral Researcher at University College London, UK
- 2007 – 2011: Ph.D, Neuroscience at King’s College London, UK
- 2005 – 2011: Research Assistant in Mass Spectrometry and Proteomics at Proteome Sciences Plc, London, UK
- 2000 – 2004: BSc (Hons), Biochemistry at University College Dublin, Ireland
2019Post-translational acylation controls the folding and functions of the CyaA RTX toxin, FASEB J. 2019 Jun;:fj201802442RR.
2016MEMHDX: an interactive tool to expedite the statistical validation and visualization of large HDX-MS datasets, Bioinformatics 2016 Nov;32(22):3413-3419.
2015Decreased Serum Thrombospondin-1 Levels in Pancreatic Cancer Patients Up to 24 Months Prior to Clinical Diagnosis: Association with Diabetes Mellitus., Clin Cancer Res. 2015 Nov 16. [Epub ahead of print].
2015Structural models of intrinsically disordered and calcium-bound folded states of a protein adapted for secretion, Sci Rep 2015 Sep;5:14223.
2015Identification of novel candidate biomarkers of epithelial ovarian cancer by profiling the secretomes of three-dimensional genetic models of ovarian carcinogenesis, Int. J. Cancer 2015 Oct;137(8):1806-17.
2014Serum CA19-9 is significantly upregulated up to 2 years before diagnosis with pancreatic cancer: implications for early disease detection, Clin. Cancer Res. 2015 Feb;21(3):622-31.
2014Employing TMT quantification in a shotgun-MS platform, Methods Mol. Biol. 2014;1156:187-99.
2010Association of plasma clusterin concentration with severity, pathology, and progression in Alzheimer disease, Arch. Gen. Psychiatry 2010 Jul;67(7):739-48.
2010Plasma gelsolin is decreased and correlates with rate of decline in Alzheimer’s disease, J. Alzheimers Dis. 2010;21(2):585-96.