Dr Nicholas Rattray

Strathclyde Chancellor's Fellow

Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences

Personal statement

Principle research interests lie in investigating metabolic changes throughout human life course with a focus on the dynamics of energy metabolism alongside biomarker detection. Currently developing a targeted research theme that incorporates pregnancy, frailty and ageing related clinical projects alongside novel analytical approaches that enable the targeting and quantification of pathways critical to biochemical energy production.


Portfolio of clinical research has covered a broad range of concepts including:

  • Population level analysis of frailty metabolism
  • Early diagnostic and theranostic biomarker detection
  • Energy metabolism across the placenta
  • Ageing effects the biological and metabolic basis of cancer

This work has also been complemented by development of statistical tools to understand how metabolite data can be automatically linked to biochemical pathways, helping to inform genomic studies and ultimately to develop models linking metabolic data and exposures to epidemiological studies.


Has expertise in:

    Lab has broad experience in

    • Development of cellular models of disease and ageing
    • Technical application of untargeted and targeted mass spectrometry based metabolomics pipelines with a view to high through-put levels of analysis
    • Automation of pre/post processing and informatics
    • Development of imaging mass spectrometry capability.
    • Enabling of a broad range of targeted MS workflow focusing on energy metabolites



Tumor tissue-specific biomarkers of colorectal cancer by anatomic location and stage
Cai Yuping, Rattray Nicholas J W, Zhang Qian, Mironova Varvara, Santos-Neto Alvaro, Hsu Kuo Shun, Muca Engjel, Rosen Vollmar Ana K, Hsu Kuo-Shun, Rattray Zahra, Cross Justin R, Zhang Yawei, Batty Philip B, Khan Sajid A, Johnson Caroline H
Metabolites Vol 10 (2020)
Sex differences in colon cancer metabolism reveal a novel subphenotype
Cai Yuping, Rattray Nicholas J W, Zhang Qian, Mironova Varvara, Santos-Neto Alvaro, Hsu Kuo-Shun, Rattray Zahra, Cross Justin R, Zhang Yawei, Paty Philip B, Khan Sajid A, Johnson Caroline H
Scientific Reports Vol 10 (2020)
Metabolic dysregulation in vitamin E and carnitine shuttle energy mechanisms associate with human frailty
Rattray Nicholas JW, Trivedi Drupad K, Xu Yun, Chandola Tarani, Johnson Caroline H, Marshall Alan D, Mekli Krisztina, Rattray Zahra, Tampubolon Gindo, Vanhoutte Bram, White Iain R, Wu Frederick CW, Pendleton Neil, Nazroo James, Goodacre Royston
Nature Communications Vol 10 (2019)
Normalizing untargeted periconceptional urinary metabolomics data : a comparison of approaches
Rosen Vollmar Ana K, Rattray Nicholas J W, Cai Yuping, Santos-Neto Álvaro J, Deziel Nicole C, Jukic Anne Marie Z, Johnson Caroline H
Metabolites Vol 9 (2019)
Machine learning of designed translational control allows predictive pathway optimization in Escherichia coli
Jervis Adrian J, Carbonell Pablo, Vinaixa Maria, Dunstan Mark S, Hollywood Katherine A, Robinson Christopher J, Rattray Nicholas JW, Yan Cunyu, Swainston Neil, Currin Andrew, Sung Rehana, Toogood Helen, Taylor Sandra, Faulon Jean Loup, Breitling Rainer, Takano Eriko, Scrutton Nigel S
ACS Synthetic Biology Vol 8, pp. 127-136 (2019)
Palbociclib and fulvestrant act in synergy to modulate central carbon metabolism in breast cancer cells
Warth Benedikt, Palermo Amelia, Rattray Nicholas JW, Lee Nathan V, Zhu Zhou, Hoang Linh T, Cai Yuping, Mazurek Anthony, Dann Stephen, VanArsdale Todd, Fantin Valeria R, Shields David, Siuzdak Gary, Johnson Caroline H
Metabolites Vol 9 (2019)

more publications

Professional activities

Deadlier colon cancer develops differently in women and men
MSc Thesis Examination
UNESCO-Newton Prize 2020 Reviewer
PhD Examination
Scottish Metabolomics Network Annual Symposium 2019
Workshop Lecture on Metabolomics Data Pre-Processing

more professional activities


STRAthclyde Diversity in Data LinkagE (STRADDLE) Doctoral Training Centre
Barry, Sarah (Co-investigator) Kavanagh, Kimberley (Co-investigator) Megiddo, Itamar (Co-investigator) Murray, Paul (Co-investigator) Rattray, Nicholas (Co-investigator)
The focus of the STRAthclyde Diversity in Data LinkagE (STRADDLE) DTC is to develop a centre of excellence in the linkage and analysis of data across disciplines. With an initial focus on health and healthcare delivery, STRADDLE will deliver linkage and innovative analysis of data from the molecular to population level, to achieve new insights and to maximize the value of health research data. There are 3 fully funded, 3.5 year PhD studentships are available to highly motivated UK and EU students. Successful applicants will be trained as the next generation of data scientists and develop skills and know how to deliver on the integration of diverse clinical data types – from molecules to man to populations.
01-Jan-2019 - 31-Jan-2023

more projects


Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences
Hamnett Wing

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