Ruben Tomás is a Research Fellow joint with The University of Warwick and Cryologyx, an early-stage biotechnology company based in Coventry, UK. Ruben focuses on the development of next-generation cryoprotectants to expand the storage and transportation of cell-based products used in drug discovery and diagnostics.
Ruben completed his PhD in the Gibson group focusing on "Metabolic Oligosaccharide Engineering for Glycocalyx Remodelling with Synthetic Polymers", under the supervision of Professor Matthew Gibson (supervisor; Department of Chemistry and Warwick Medical School) and Dr Daniel Mitchell (co-supervisor; Warwick Medical School). Glycocalyx engineering through metabolic labelling, a technique pioneered by Carolyn Bertozzi, allows the installation of azide groups onto the cell surface through the use of unnatural azide modified sugars to hijack the promiscuous biosynthetic pathway of endogenous glycans. Subsequent biorthogonal installation of synthetic polymers conjugated to biomolecules, drugs or fluorescent dyes allows non-native functionality to be introduced, probing biological processes and enhancing cell-based therapies. The use of cell and molecular biology techniques have been utilised to determine the biocompatibility and efficiency of such approaches (Biomacromolecules, 2019; ACS Macro Lett., 2018).
Fig. 1. Cell surface modification with azido sugars and bioorthogonal small molecule probes.
We also focus on improving the cryopreservation formulations of cells, with recent efforts targetted towards improving the cryopreservation of stem cells using polymer derivatives of natural antifreeze proteins, whilst retaining their pluripotent status.
PhD in Analytical Science at The University of Warwick (2017-2021)
MSc in Molecular Analytical Science at The University of Warwick (2016-2017)
Graduated with Pass with Distinction.
Activities and Societies: Student Staff Liason Officer for Molecular Analytical Science at The University of Warwick (2017). Outreach Officer for The University of Warwick's Chemistry Society (2017). STEM ambassador for The Royal Society of Chemistry (2017-onwards).
BSc (Hons) in Forensic Science at Nottingham Trent University (2013-2016)
Graduated with First Class Honours.
Activities and Societies: Course Representative for Forensic Science at Nottingham Trent University (2014). Student member of the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences (2013-2016).
July 2017 - September 2017
Electrochemical sensing directly in bodily fluids – a move towards point of care and in vivo analysis
Supervised by Professor Julie Macpherson (Warwick Electrochemistry and Interfaces Group, Department of Chemistry) and Dr Tony Bristow (Astra Zeneca, Industry Supervisor).
April 2017 - July 2017
Conquering poor resolution in fast magic angle spinning solid-state NMR spectra of noncrystallisable protein assemblies.
Supervised by Dr Józef Lewandowski (The University of Warwick's Solid State NMR Group, Department of Chemistry) and Dr Peter Gierth (Bruker, Industry Supervisor).
Jan 2016 - April 2016
Dye-Doped Silica Nanoparticles and Microparticles for Fingermark Enhancement.
Supervised by Dr Muriel Funck (School of Science & Technology, Nottingham Trent University).
Nottingham Trent University, Summer Placement
July 2015 - September 2015
Synthesis of Novel Antimalarial Compounds derived from the Codinaeopsin Scaffold.
Supervised by Dr Liam Duffy (School of Science & Technology, Nottingham Trent University).
1. Alex Murray, Tom R. Congdon, Ruben M.F. Tomás, Peter Kilbride, Gibson, M.I., Biomacromolecules, 2021., "Red Blood Cell Cryopreservation with Minimal Post-Thaw Lysis Enabled by a Synergistic Combination of a Cryoprotecting Polyampholyte with DMSO/Trehalose".
4. Ruben M. F. Tomás, Matthew I. Gibson. ACS Macro Lett., 2020, 9 (7), 991-1003. "100th Anniversary of Macromolecular Science Viewpoint: Re-Engineering Cellular Interfaces with Synthetic Macromolecules Using Metabolic Glycan Labeling".
Notable features: Invited Viewpoint for 100th Anniversary of Macromolecular Science, ACS Editors' Choice, Top Most Accessed Paper Jun-Nov 2020, 3rd Most Accessed Paper 2020-21, ACS Macro Letters Coverpage.
5. Hadyn L. Parker, Ruben M. F. Tomás, Christopher M. Furze, Collette S. Guy, Elizabeth Fullam.Org. Biomol. Chem., 2020,18, 3607-3612. "Asymmetric trehalose analogues to probe disaccharide processing pathways in mycobacteria".
6. Ruben M. F. Tomás, Trisha L. Bailey, Muhammad Hasan, Matthew I. Gibson, Biomacromolecules, 2019, 20 (10), 3864-3872. "Extracellular Antifreeze Protein Significantly Enhances the Cryopreservation of Cell Monolayer".
7. Trisha L. Bailey, Christopher Stubbs, Kathryn Murray, Ruben M. F. Tomás, Lucienne Otten, Matthew I. Gibson, Biomacromolecules, 2019, 20 (8), 3104-3114. "Synthetically Scalable Poly(ampholyte) Which Dramatically Enhances Cellular Cryopreservation".
8. Ruben M. F. Tomás and Matthew I. Gibson, Biomacromolecules, 2019, 20 (7), 2726-2736. Optimization and Stability of Cell-Polymer Hybrids Obtained by ‘Clicking’ Synthetic Polymers to Metabolically-Labeled Cell Surface Glycans.
9. Ruben M. F. Tomás, Benjamin Martyn, Trisha L. Bailey, Matthew I. Gibson, ACS Macro Lett., 2018, 7(11), 1289–1294. "Engineering Cell Surfaces by Covalent Grafting of Synthetic Polymers to Metabolically-Labeled Glycans"
Notable features: Most access Nov/Dec 2018
Notable features: Warwick press release, Highlighted a 'hot' paper.
07/20 Talk prize winner at MAS CDT annual conference.
06/20 ACS Macro Letters cover page feature.
06/20 ACS Editors’ Choice.
06/20 Chemical Biology Warwick Postgraduate Symposium Presentation Prize
07/19 ACS Editors’ Choice.
07/19 Biomacromolecules cover page feature.
06/19 Talk prize winner at MAS CDT annual conference.
09/18 - 09/19 University of Warwick Chair of student staff liason committee.
06/18 Poster prize winner at MAS CDT annual conference.
09/17- 09/18 MAS CDT Secretary of student staff liason committee.
05/17 Poster prize winner at MAS CDT annual conference.
09/16 MAS scholarship awarded by the Engineering & Physical Science Research Council.
07/16 Winner of the Trent Institute for Learning and Teaching Research in Undergraduate Studies in the School of Science and Technology 15/16 for the best research project
09/13 - 07/16 NTU Undergraduate Studies Scholarship
07/20 MAS CDT annual conference, Virtual, UK (Oral)
06/20 Macro Group YRM, Virtual, UK (Oral)
06/20 Warwick Chemistry Postgraduate Symposium, Coventry, UK (Oral)
01/20 4th Chemical Ligation Meeting, Le Studium, Orleáns, France (Poster & Oral)
06/19 MAS CDT annual conference, Somerset, UK (Poster & Oral)
05/19 Warwick Postgraduate Symposium, University of Warwick, UK (Poster)
07/19 MAS CDT annual conference, Bakewell, UK (Poster & Oral)
Orcid ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7191-2539
MOAC Department, Top floor Senate House, Universty of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 7AL.
The University of Warwick.