Joseph Black Award 2009 winner

2009 Joseph Black Award Winner Perdita Barran
Perdita Barran
University of Edinburgh

Awarded for her developments in the field of mass spectrometry, especially ion-mobility techniques, and the application of these techniques to biological macromolecules and their gas phase interactions.

About the winner

Dr Barran describes her research as using Physics to do Biology within a Chemistry department. She is primarily a physical chemist trained in the use of mass spectrometry based techniques to interrogate matter in the gas-phase. Increasingly she has sought to study systems which have relevance to biology, and collaborates extensively with biological chemists and life scientists. Dr Barran has published over 40 papers in peer reviewed journals.

Dr Barran graduated from Manchester University with a degree in Chemistry with Industrial Experience (1994), and from Sussex University with a PhD in Chemical Physics in 1998 under the supervision of Tony Stace and Sir Harry Kroto. She worked as a Post-doc for Tony Stace for 3 further years, before moving to University of California Santa Barbara to work with Mike Bowers.

In March 2002 she was awarded an EPSRC Advanced Research Fellowship to examine the 'Structure and Energetics of Peptides and Small Proteins' and prior to taking this up, moved to the University of Edinburgh, where she spent a year setting up a proteomics service for the MRC-Human Genetics Unit.

This year was key to the formation of extremely fruitful research collaborations, and also persuaded her to take up my fellowship at Edinburgh where she currently holds a Senior Lecturership. In 2005 she was awarded the 10th Desty Memorial prize for her Innovation in Separation Science.

The principal research aim of Dr Barran's group, is to evaluate the structure and reactivity of biologically relevant molecules at the molecular level. This may involve model biological systems and employs gas-phase, solution phase and also theoretical approaches. They use and develop several methods by which to do this, however Ion mobility mass spectrometry, which measures the temperature dependent collision cross section of ions, is their central analytical technique.

Related Links

Link icon Perdita Barran's webpage
Department of Chemistry at the University of Edinburgh

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