School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

Staff

Liam is a Lecturer in Bioanalytical Science with a research interest in high-throughput measurement of small molecule metabolite biomarkers. He is actively working on projects that span across multiple disciplines including clinical diagnostic and prognostic applications, sports anti-doping analyses, and biomonitoring of exercise performance/fatigue. His work is centred around the application of analytical chemistry applying both gas chromatography- and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Previously, Liam studied an undergraduate degree in Sport and Exercise Science at Loughborough University, where he continued to a Masters in Exercise Physiology and a PhD in Analytical Chemistry (mass spectrometry). Prior to his current position, Liam spent time as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Leicester’s NIHR Cardiovascular Biomedical Research Centre, working in the John and Lucille van Geest Biomarker Facility. Liam was a senior member of the Cardiovascular Translational Research Group where he specialised in the analysis of cardiovascular disease biomarkers using mass spectrometry-based techniques.

Liam’s research is focussed on the measurement of small molecule metabolite biomarkers using liquid and gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry. Previously, Liam’s work focused on the analysis of biomarkers in cardiovascular diseases (heart failure, myocardial infarction) for investigation of altered circulating levels and subsequent patient risk stratification following an acute cardiac event. Liam is now continuing with his biomarker studies at Loughborough University that include analysis in both clinical cohorts, as well application of mass spectrometric techniques in health, toxicology and exercise-based investigations. His research topics include:

  • Quantitative small-molecule analyses for use in diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic monitoring of multiple disease states (e.g. cardiovascular disease, renal disease).
  • Multiplexed assay development for novel biomarkers of interest across varied sample states (e.g. plasma, serum, urine, tissue).
  • The influence of gut microbial metabolism on circulating metabolite profiles and the associations and impact on health and disease.
  • Improved and novel analytical methods in sports anti-doping for detection of banned performance-enhancing substances.
  • Biological monitoring of circulating metabolites as indicators of fatigue and exertion, including the role of nutritional supplements.

Liam is actively involved in local, regional and international activities focussed on the application of mass spectrometry-based assays in research. He is the current Chair of the Midlands Mass Spectrometry Group, a Co-opted Member of the British Mass Spectrometry Society Executive Committee, and Guest Editor for a special issue in the journal Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine on the ‘Advancements in Mass Spectrometry as a Tool for Clinical Analysis’.

Liam has delivered invited research presentations at the British Society of Mass Spectrometry, the London Biological Mass Spectrometry Discussion Group, the European College of Sport Science and is a regular contributor to special interest articles in The Analytical Scientist magazine. Furthermore, in 2017, Liam was invited to present his research in Parliament as a Finalist in the STEM for Britain competition. STEM for Britain is designed for the UK’s most promising Early Career Researchers to disseminate their work. It is a prestigious annual event which is attended by a significant number of Members of Parliament and Peers and is sponsored by Stephen Metcalfe MP, Chair of the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee.

  • Heaney LM, Jones DJL, Mbasu RJ, Ng LL, Suzuki T. High mass accuracy assay for trimethylamine N-oxide using stable-isotope dilution with liquid chromatography coupled to orthogonal acceleration time of flight mass spectrometry with multiple reaction monitoring. Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry 2016;408:797-804.
  • Suzuki T, Heaney LM, Bhandari SS, Jones DJL, Ng LL. Trimethylamine N-oxide and prognosis in acute heart failure. Heart 2016;102:841-8.
  • Heaney LM, Ruszkiewicz DM, Arthur KL, Hadjithekli A, Aldcroft C, Lindley MR, Thomas CLP, Turner MA, Reynolds JC. Real-time monitoring of exhaled volatiles using atmospheric pressure chemical ionization on a compact mass spectrometer. Bioanalysis 2016;8:1325-36.
  • Mbasu RJ, Heaney LM, Molloy BJ, Hughes CJ, Ng LL, Vissers JPC, Langridge JI, Jones DJL. Advances in quadrupole and time-of-flight mass spectrometry for peptide MRM based translational research analysis. Proteomics 2016;16:2206-20.
  • Suzuki T, Heaney LM, Jones DJL, Ng LL. Trimethylamine N-oxide and risk stratification after acute myocardial infarction. Clinical Chemistry 2017;63:420-8.
  • Suzuki T, Israr MZ, Heaney LM, Takaoka M, Squire IB, Ng LL. Prognostic role of molecular forms of a B-type natriuretic peptide in acute heart failure. Clinical Chemistry 2017;63:880-886.
  • Israr MZ, Heaney LM, Ng LL, Suzuki T. B-type natriuretic peptide molecular forms for risk stratification and prediction of outcome after acute myocardial infarction. American Heart Journal 2018;200:37-43.