Ahead of hybridoma technology, she used the monoclonal autoantibodies to the branched and linear glycan analogues as sequence-specific reagents and showed their developmental regulation on embryonic cells, erythrocytes, as well as changes in epithelial cancers. These observations were the basis of her 1985 article in Nature (an ISI Classic in Glycoscience) predicting biological roles for the changing glycan structures – which has since become textbook knowledge. Her work was fundamental in establishing determinants for glycan recognition.
In 1985, Professor Feizi and colleagues introduced the neoglycolipid technology for microscale tagging glycans to lipid to immobilise and probe their roles as recognition structures. In 2002 this became the basis of the first glycan array system intended to encompass entire glycomes, a principle which has led to the establishment of Carbohydrate Microarray Facility at Imperial College London and revolutionised the molecular dissection of pathogen–host interactions as well as endogenous recognition systems. This has culminated in the recent Beam Search approach that capitalizes on iterative robotic arraying and probing of highly heterogeneous glycan populations for targeting and micro-sequencing ligand-bearing moieties.
Professor Feizi is a passionate advocate of the Glycosciences in the wider biomedical research community. She has collaborated with innumerable researchers across disciplines and has mentored countless scientists many have become successful academics.