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Dr Richard Unwin (PhD) - personal details

Contact details

Dr Richard Unwin

Role: Honorary Lecturer

Tel: +44 (0)161 701 0237


Centre for Advanced Discovery and Experimental Therapeutics (CADET)
Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Oxford Road
M13 9WL

Fax: +44 (0) 161 701 0242




Richard obtained a BSc. in Biology, and an MSc. (distinction) in Oncology from Nottingham University before completing a PhD  in Leeds, applying proteomics to study renal cell carcinoma and developing methods for identifying tumour markers and antigens.

Subsequently, in the laboratory of Prof Tony Whetton in Manchester, he developed methods for the proteomic analysis of leukaemic and normal haematopoietic cell and stem cell (phospho)proteomes, establishing mass spectrometry for large scale relative protein quantification and phosphorylation site mapping. During this time, he also developed the MIDAS (MRM-Initiated Detection and Sequencing) workflow, initially for the sensitive detection of post-translational modifications, including phosphorylation, acetylation and proline hydroxylation. This workflow was extended to include relative and 'absolute' quantification of post-translational modification levels between samples, and is useful for the sensitive detection of any peptide, particularly in establishing MRM/SRM-type assays for biomarker validation workflows. In addition, he has worked on bioinformatics methods to combine and compare protein and gene expression datasets.

In late 2010, he took up the post of Proteomics Lead in the newly established Centre for Advanced Discovery and Experimental Therapeutics (CADET), part of the Manchester Biomedical Research Centre, a joint venture between Manchester University and the Central Manchester Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. The laboratory is primarily focussed on analysis of human clinical and pre-clinical material in order to discover novel targets for therapeutic intervention, to define key pathways in disease progression, and extend these studies into the development and characterisation of novel therapeutics for common human conditions. This indudes the identification of marker of disease risk in asymptomatic individuals (Pre-Eclampsia, collaboration with Dr. Jenny Myers), and novel disease related pathways in complications of diabetes and Alzheimer's disease, and cardiovascular disease.


  • PhD; University of Leeds, UK 2002
  • MSc. Oncology (with distinction); University of Nottingham 1998
  • BSc. (Hons) Biology; University of Nottingham 1997


Proteomics Lead, Centre for Advanced Discovery and Experimental Therapetics (CADET)Manchester Biomedical Research Centre

I am head of the proteomics laboratory within CADET. The aim of our laboratory is to analyse protein expression and modification in disease states to determine key aspects of disease development, with the intention of using the knowledge gained to identify and develop novel therapeutics.

I am also actively involved in public engagement activities, and am PE champion for the faculty (profile), and represent the Institute for Human Development on the FMHS PPI/E Coordinating Centre forum.

Social Responsibility

I am actively involved in public engagement activities. I am part of a CADET team delivering events to schoolchildren as part of science events. In these activities, participants are invited to diagnose diabetes by way of a demonstration urine test (dipstick) and blood test (using paper chromatography). CADET has also developed an A-level study day where students at local colleges visit the University and  learn about diabeteic complication vis a 'Dragons Den'-style pitch for funding, and an activity where we look at the research CADET does identifying markers of disease processes and how these may be used clinically. To supplement these activities, we have recently developed a series of short animated videos explaining our research. these can be found here.

I am PE champion for the faculty (profile), and represent the Institute for Human Development on the FMHS PPI/E Coordinating Centre forum.

I also sit on the governing body of Arlies Community Primary School, Stalybridge.