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Dr Naila Rabbani

Job Title
WPH Proteomics Facility RTP
024 7696 8593
Research Interests

I lead multi-disciplinary team, working in the field of disease mechanisms - particularly in the study of damage to the proteome by glycation, oxidation and nitration. Major theme of my research are (i)Proteomics of protein damage ? innovative analytical techniques to study protein glycation, oxidation and nitration in ageing and disease. (ii) Dysfunctional lipoprotein metabolism - studying damage to lipoproteins in obesity, diabetes and ageing and risk of atherosclerosis. (iii) Protein damage in arthritis ? biomarker discovery for early-stage diagnosis (iv) Thiamine metabolism and therapy in diabetes ? a novel factor predisposing to vascular complications of diabetes and route to therapy.


I entered academic life as a mature student in 1995. After graduating in Biological and Medicinal Chemistry, I pursued pre-doctoral research improving analytical methods to identify and quantify markers of protein damage by glycation, oxidation and nitration. Damage to proteins of these types is important in mechanisms of chronic and degenerative disease mediating impairment of structural, catalytic and regulatory proteins. I gained skills and experience in mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS stable isotopic dilution analysis of amino acids and related glycated, oxidised and nitrated derivatives, and proteomics) mammalian cell culture, pre-clinical animal pharmacology and clinical studies; working with colleagues within the host research team and with several national and international collaborating research groups. I have supervised 4 PhD students, published 81 peer-reviewed articles and 124 conference papers; I have published 80 peer-reviewed articles, 119 conference papers and abstracts, and 5 patents; h-factor 34 with 2937 citations; and I have filed 5 patents. In my post-doctoral research, I continued studies developing LC-MS/MS techniques for comprehensively and quantitatively screening for protein damage in models of disease mechanisms and clinical studies and became world leaders in this field - supported by Welcome Trust. With advanced proteomics techniques, I identified proteins and sites within proteins susceptible to damage by glycation; particularly glycation by the reactive dicarbonyl methylglyoxal (MG): albumin, haemoglobin, lens crystallins and type IV collagen. Markers of damage to albumin and haemoglobin are of diagnostic relevance as markers of glycaemic control and risk of vascular disease development in diabetes. I studied markers of protein damage in clinical and experimental diabetes and diabetic complications, endstage renal disease and dialysis, cirrhosis, Alzheimer's disease, ageing, arthritis and thermally processed foodstuffs. Damage to lens crystallins and type IV collagen is important mechanistically in the development of cataract and vascular disease, respectively. I gained national and international recognition of my work because of its original, insightful approach. Since April 2007, I have co-directed the Protein Damage and Systems Biology Research Group in Warwick Medical School. I specialise in preclinical and clinical studies of protein damage and the anti-stress gene response in disease mechanisms, diagnostics and therapeutics; with spin-off therapeutics development (high dose thiamine therapy for diabetic vascular complications). My current research focus is investigations of damage to lipoproteins and influence of dietary bioactive compounds on lipoprotein synthesis, damage and metabolism - supported by the BHF and BBSRC. My core research project is a study of dicarbonyl glycation of apolipoprotein B100 of low density lipoprotein (LDL) and its importance in dyslipidaemia in diabetes and ageing. This includes use of mathematical models in a systems biology approach to predict consequences of change in lipoprotein function in lipoprotein metabolism following glycation. Improved understanding is also available from studies of high density lipoprotein (HDL) damage in dyslipidaemia and atherosclerosis in diabetes and ageing.

Title Funder Award start Award end
MTA - University of Liege Universite de Liege 01 Mar 2017 28 Feb 2019
Laboratory-based blood test for detection and treatment monitoring of early-stage osteoarthritis Val Smith 01 Feb 2017 31 Jul 2018
16ALERT: Mid-Range Equipment Initiative: A high sensitivity triple quadruple mass spectrometer coupled to an ultra-high pressure liquid chromatograph system for quantitative analysis BBSRC 01 Jul 2017 30 Jun 2018
Renewal of a Research and Material Transfer Agreement (#37864) with Bologna Universita Degli Studi Di Bologna 01 Jan 2017 31 Dec 2017
Collaboration for analysis of protein damage in humans Tufts University 01 May 2015 31 Dec 2017
Studentship agreement - Bleuenn Leporcher Institut National des Sciences Appliquees - Toulouse 04 Jul 2016 03 Sep 2016
Nutrition for Life call via Unilever - FULL Technology Strategy Board 01 Jan 2012 31 Dec 2014
BIOCLAIM - Homeostatic Robustness as Biomarker Strategy for Nutrigenomic Health CLAIMs made on Food. European Commission 01 Oct 2009 30 Sep 2014
Young Researcher Overseas Visits Program for Vitalizing Brain Circulation Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science (TMIMS) 01 Mar 2012 28 Feb 2014
Collaboration for analysis of protein damage in Mice Tufts University 02 Jan 2014 14 Feb 2014
Collaboration for analysis of protein damage in clinical autistic people Universita Degli Studi Di Bologna 01 Sep 2013 15 Oct 2013
Revised award - supplement - Ms Fang Zhang: Mechanism of increased renal clearance of Thiamine in Hyperglycaemia associated with Diabetes Diabetes UK 01 Apr 2009 31 Mar 2012
Vitamin B status in type 2 diabetes (VITA) University Medical Center of Mainz 01 Jul 2011 31 Dec 2011
Glyoxalase 1 inducers new generation healthy ageing therapeutics BBSRC 01 Oct 2010 30 Sep 2011
Mechanism of Increased Renal Clearance of Thiamine in Hyperglycaemia Associated with Diabetes Diabetes UK 01 Oct 2008 30 Sep 2011
Dietary Activators of antioxidant response element-linked gene expression for good vascular health BBSRC 01 Oct 2008 30 Sep 2011
Functional Impairment of HDL by Glycation in Diabetes and Link to Cardiovascular Disease British Heart Foundation 01 Jan 2008 31 Dec 2010
International Travel Grant - 2010/R3 Conference Participation Royal Society 12 Dec 2010 17 Dec 2010
Analysis of AGEs and protein oxidation markers in diet, plasma and urine of a rat study Nestec Limited 01 Jan 2009 31 Dec 2009
Intermediate Research Fellowship extension British Heart Foundation 01 Jan 2009 31 Dec 2009
Epidemiological cross-sectional study on B-vitamin status in SEA diabetic patients (ISIS) Merck KGaA 01 Jul 2008 30 Jun 2009
BHF Intermediate Research Fellowship no. FS/05/094/19935 Hotspots glycation of apolipoprotein B100 by dicarbonyls at LDL receptor recognition domains - importance in dyslipidaemia and atherosclerosis in diabetes British Heart Foundation 01 Jan 2007 31 Mar 2008
9th International Symposium on the Maillard Reaction conference Royal Society 01 Sep 2007 30 Sep 2007

Glyoxalase research at Warwick Medical School

Dicarbonyl proteome and genome damage in metabolic and vascular disease by Naila Rabbani

1 15 Naila Rabbani questions

Protein Damage and Systems Biology

Warwick Systems Biology Centre

Biochemical Society focussed meeting: Glyoxalase Centennial conference

27-29 November 2013, Scarman House, University of Warwick

This event will celebrate 100 years of research on the "Glyoxalase" metabolic pathway.

This year is the centenary of the Glyoxalase System. It provides protection against damaging modification of proteins and nucleotides by methylglyoxal. Methylglyoxal accumulation - “dicarbonyl stress” – may provide the basis for improved understanding of mechanisms of disease and health decline in ageing, and suggest new strategies for therapeutics and functional food development.

Further details and registration are available on the Biochemical Society website