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Bio-MS Research Facility

Professional support for protein and metabolite analysis


A Core Research Facility in the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health dedicated to providing support for the identification, characterisation and quantification of proteins and metabolites using mass spectrometry and associated technologies.

This site is designed to provide you with an overview of the facility and what we do. For more practical information please visit our  detailed BioMS-Community support website.

Learn more about the facility

The Biological Mass Spectrometry Core Research Facility (BioMS) provides analytical support for biological and biomedical research within the University of Manchester. It is predominately focused on providing mass spectrometry support for the analysis of proteins and metabolites and similar molecules using mass spectrometry but also contains technologies and expertise for ligand binding assays (LBA) and sample preparation automation. The facility provides a highly comprehensive support structure for research providing everything from advice on experimental design, through to highly supported and robust sample preparation protocols and facilities, professionally maintained equipment and support and training for data analysis and interpretation.

How to access the facility

The first step is always to contact us to discuss your specific needs and to allow us to advise you on the most appropriate options available to you.

The facility provides a mixture of different support mechanisms including:

  • Full service support
  • Facility staff supported analysis only access to the mass spectrometry systems
  • Consultancy/dedicated staff support
  • One-to-one researcher training in sample preparation and data analysis
  • Direct access to associated technologies e.g. sample preparation technologies
  • Comprehensive protocols and onsite resources for sample preparation and data analysis


How the facility charges

The facility charges for the support we provide as a way of fairly distributing the costs of running the facility across the users of the facility. The exact costs involved will depend upon your experimental design and the types of support provided, please contact facility staff to help in costing experiments. All facility work is organised and charged through the Unversity’s PPMS core facility management system accessible here. A list of the current core facility charges is available on the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health’s intranet site here.

Supporting other universities and companies

Although the facility predominately supports researchers within the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health we also provide support for those in other faculties in the University of Manchester and other universities and industry. If you are not part of the University of Manchester but would like to access the facilities here, including the BioMS Facility, then please contact our Business Development Manager Dr Joanne Flannelly.

Our staff

Dr David Knight – Facility Manager
Support area: All things BioMS, especially experiment design and initial concepts

Dr Stacey Warwood – Senior Experimental Officer (Protein Mass Spectrometry)
Support area: Post-doc level advanced support for modifications analysis, MS Western blotting and absolute quantification

Dr Ronan O’Cualain – Senior Experimental Officer (Proteomics pipelines and LBA)
Support area: Post-doc level advanced support for proteomics
Email: ronan.o’

Dr George Taylor – Experimental Officer (Small Molecules Mass Spectrometry)
Support area: Targeted analysis of small molecules (bioanalysis), metabolite screening and metabolomics.

Julian Selley – Informatition (Protein Mass Spectrometry)
Support area: All informatics, especially experimental design for proteomics studies plus data analysis of protein mass spectrometry data.

Emma Keevill – Facility Technician
Support area: All service support, especially in-gel digestion and intact mass determination.

Find us

Visit us in the Michael Smith Building, room B.2071. Map

Research we support


Proteomics is the unbiased analysis of the composition of a complex mixture of proteins whether that is from a cell line, tissue, liquid biopsy, media or a subset of any one of them. We have extensive experience of the analysis of all these sample types and are particularly experienced in the characterisation of the extra-cellular matrix through our links with the Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell-Matrix Research.


Proteomics can be applied to tiny amounts of material to provide valuable information about micro-environments using techniques such as laser capture dissection in collaboration with the BioImaging Facility and flow cytometry in collaboration with the Flow Cytometry Facility.


Post-translational modifications such as phosphorylation are central to the understanding of how cells transmit signals and respond to their environment. We can help investigate changes in protein phosphorylation and have strong links with the Francavilla phospho-proteomics group.

Protein-protein interactions

The investigation of protein function can be aided by the investigation of the protein partners that the protein works with. These experiments focus on isolating possible interactors by either co-isolation or proximity tagging methodologies. We have many years of experience in supporting these experiments and can provide you with highly comprehensive support and provide you with introductions to other researchers who are well established in this field.

Protein characterisation and validation

For those interested in specific proteins, including the production of recombinant proteins, we offer a range of service support options. These include in-gel digestions for confirmation of identification, intact mass determination for precise molecular validation and multi-enzyme digests for looking for post-translational modifications.

Bioanalysis (drug or metabolite quantification)

Many studies require the high quality quantification of a drug, its metabolites, or other biological small molecules such as metabolites. We can develop targeted methods to provide you with the quantification support you require from rapid relative quantification assays through to fully validated absolute quantification assays.

Metabolite screening and metabolomics

Metabolomics provide a relatively unbiased analysis of the composition of a complex mixture of metabolites. One of the major challenges for metabolomics is the identification of unknown compounds so the BioMS facility offers two complementary approaches. Metabolomics support provides a comprehensive fingerprint of the small molecules within a sample for those interested in looking for subtle shifts in a cell phenotype. Small molecules screening provides high confidence comparison of the common metabolites in our chemical library for those who prefer quality over quantity.

Active component identification

Cells communicate and interact with each other via chemical signals that can be useful for many purposes such as controlling cell differentiation or having antimicrobial properties. We can help you isolate and identify these compounds in association with the separation technologies in the BioMols Facility.

Biomarker screening and LBA

Some protein markers of disease, such as cytokines and other inflammation related proteins, are present at very low levels and are difficult to detect by mass spectrometry. The BioMS Facility therefore offers complimentary industrial quality ELISA analysis including easy to access multiplexed assays for the most popular markers that are available on a per well basis.

Technologies we support

The BioMS Facility is constantly evolving the technologies and methodologies we support. For more information on what is available please contact us.

Some of our mass spectrometers including a Thermo Exploris 480 with FAIMS Pro, Thermo QE HF, and Sciex 6600 and 5600 systems

Examples of complimentary equipment such as the MSD QuickPlex ELISA system, Covaris ultrasonication disruption systems, Kingfish Flex magnetic bead robot and equipment for plate based sample preparation

Our main informatics software including Proteome Discoverer, Progenesis QI for Proteomics and Metabolomics, Mascot, Scaffold, Protein Pilot and MultiQuant

More information

Community site

Our Community support site gives more details on what we do and how things work. Visit our community site

PPMS site

UoM booking of BioMS services or resources is done via PPMS software. Visit our PPMS site