Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
LE11 3TU
+44 (0)1509 263171
Loughborough University


Department staff

Professor Colin Creaser

Professor of Analytical Chemistry
Head of the Centre for Analytical Science

Tel +44 (0) 1509 222552


Colin Creaser was educated in Uganda and the UK, at Lancing College and at the University of Kent, where he received his BSc and PhD degrees, followed by postdoctoral research at the University of California at Santa Barbara. He has held appointments as Senior Scientific Officer at AEA Harwell, Senior Lecturer in Analytical Chemistry at the University of East Anglia and Professor of Analytical Chemistry/Head of the Department of Chemistry and Physics/University Associate Dean, Research & Graduate Studies at Nottingham Trent University. In 2007, Colin moved to his present appointment as Professor of Analytical Chemistry and Head of the Centre for Analytical Science in the Department of Chemistry at Loughborough University.

Research areas

Our research is focused on two related areas of analytical science: mass spectrometry and ion mobility spectrometry. Please follow the links for more information on Selected Publications and the Research Group.

  • Mass Spectrometry. We are researching several areas concerned with the development and application of mass spectrometry and gas-phase ion chemistry using time-of-flight, quadrupole/time-of-flight, combined chromatography-mass spectrometry and ion mobility-mass spectrometry separations.
  • Ion mobility spectrometry. We have pioneered developments and applications of ion mobility spectrometry (IMS) and field asymmetric waveform ion mobility spectrometry (FAIMS) as gas-phase electrophoretic separation techniques. Structural and trace analysis is carried out using commercial and prototype IMS, IMS-MS and FAIMS-MS instrumentation. 

We are applying our novel mass spectrometry and ion mobility spectrometry techniques to analytical applications in the following areas:

  • Miniaturised FAIMS combined with mass spectrometry. Applications of prototype chip-based FAIMS separations (Owlstone Limited) combined with time-of-flight mass spectrometry (Agilent Technologies) in pharmaceutical and biomedical science.
  • Structural studies by ion mobility spectrometry. The use of ion mobility spectrometry to measure collision cross sections of selected ions, including metal-ligand complexes, reaction intermediates and products, and peroxide-based explosives TATP. Measured cross sections are compared with calculated cross sections derived from molecular modelling.
  • Direct analysis/ambient ionization techniques. The development of high throughput mass spectrometry and ion mobility techniques, based on thermal desorption, desorption electrospray ionization and extractive electrospray ionization, for the qualitative and quantitative analysis of pharmaceutical active ingredients and excipients, potentially genotoxic impurities, lubricants, additives and biological samples.
  • Biomarkers. The identification and quantification of biomarkers (metabolites and proteins that show variations in concentration in response to disease state or treatment). These allow insights into biochemical pathways and the development of novel assays for the diagnosis/prognosis of disease and response to therapy.

External collaborators and funders:

Agilent Technologies; AstraZeneca; BBSRC; Castrol; BBSRC; EPSRC; HFL Sport Science; Hope for Cancer; Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia (Tarragona); Owlstone Limited; Purdue University, Quotient Bioresearch; University of Edinburgh; University of Leicester. 

External activities

  • Vice-Chair and Chair-Elect of the British Mass Spectrometry Society. Chair of the Biological Mass Spectrometry special interest group.
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC) and Chartered Chemist (CChem). Formerly President of the RSC Analytical Division and of the Analytical Chemistry Trust Fund (2002/04)
  • Member of the international Editorial Advisory Boards of the European Journal of Mass Spectrometry and Current Analytical Chemistry.