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Fields & Applications Clinical, Spectroscopy

The Infrared Invasion in Our Hospitals

I’ve always been interested in analysis and applied science, so a PhD using MS to study “dirty samples” felt like a natural progression. I subsequently worked at the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin and Harvard Med in Boston, where I studied combined spectroscopy and imaging MS, and later moved into the Ministry of Defense, conducting real-world analyses of bacterial samples and toxic chemicals. In my current research, I’m looking into the expression of disease markers in blood, and developing methods to detect them simply, quickly and efficiently, particularly for brain tumors.

For many, the idea of translating spectroscopy into the clinic remains a pipedream, but the potential is enormous. And though that may sound like a sweeping generalization, we’re clearly moving away from single biomarker approaches, which I don’t believe can accurately characterize heterogeneous diseases. The more we understand a given disease, the more we understand that a single biomarker or single genetic mutation often cannot accurately describe it; for example, breast cancer is associated with huge variation between subsets and cases.

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About the Author

Matthew Baker

Matthew Baker is a Reader in Chemistry at the Department of Pure and Applied Chemistry, University of Strathclyde, UK.

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