Dr Andrew Powell

Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences

CURRENT RESEARCH

1. Developing molecular interaction, activity and detection/quantification assays.
2. Understanding the action of proteins (extracellular cytokines/growth factors,/receptors, bacterial adhesins) and negatively charged carbohydrates that mediate cell fate, adhesion and innate immunity.
3. Chromatographic purification/analysis of negatively charged oligosaccharides.

Using:
- Plate reader absorbance/fluorescence molecular activity/interaction assays (homo- or heterogeneous)
- PCR thermocycler protein thermostability, homogeneous interaction assays
- Cell interaction assays (plate reader, flow cytometry, microscopy)
- Cell response assays (microscopy morphology, MTT/cell count proliferation, Q-PCR/ELISA/western blot expression assays)
- Chromatography
- Bioconjugation
- Collaborations with cell biologists, synthetic chemists and biophysicists.

Andrew is interested in enquiries from PhD or MPhil candidates who have funding. Please email him to enquire.

A summary of his research history, outside engagement and teaching is below and under other tabs or database icons on this website.


RESEARCH HISTORY

Andrew begun his research career at the Glycobiology Institute, University of Oxford, completing a 4 month MBiochem undergraduate degree honours project developing novel methods in mass spectrometric analysis of negatively-charged, sialylated N-glycans. He then spent a year learning protein expression and analysis to investigate the oligomeric structure of the asialoglycoprotein receptor lectin, which mediates glycoprotein endocytosis.

He left Oxford to begin an MRC funded PhD at the University of Birmingham, investigating the fibroblast growth factor (FGF) signalling system, which is regulated by negatively-charged, O-glycosaminoglycans. This involved receptor/ligand protein expression and purification, bioconjugation to surfaces and labels, surface-based heterogeneous interaction assays (including affinity chromatography, direct and competition ELISA and optical biosensor assays (Biacore surface plasmon resonance and IAsys resonant mirror)) and cell line MTT plate reader assays to characterise receptor-glycan interaction cation-dependence, structural specificity, kinetics and ligand-receptor-heparan sulfate ternary complex assembly. He also critically reviewed FGFs, heparan sulfates and protein interaction methodology.

To improve progress in protein/carbohydrate structure-function studies, Andrew started developing a glass slide glycoarray heterogeneous fluorescence immunoassay as a multiplexed protein interaction screening platform, via a BBSRC grant. At the same time, he helped write a patent on a method for creating highly diverse heparin carbohydrate libraries for drug discovery. Heparins are members of the heparan sulfate family and are natural product pharmaceuticals used to prevent blood clotting ($8 billion market). They are also known bind/regulate 1000s of extracellular proteins linked to inflammation, infection, cancer, neurodegeneration and regenerative biology, hence are a rich resource for drug discovery. To exploit the technology, Andrew and others founded IntelliHep Ltd and reached the final of the 2001 BBSRC business plan competition. The team transferred to the University of Liverpool, where Andrew received the award for the 2005 BioNow Bioentrepreneur of the Year.

At the University of Liverpool, via a subsequent BBSRC grant, Andrew tested the first generation glycoarray technology, against competitive ELISA and optical biosensor assays for screening saccharide libraries for protein interactions with a panel of growth factors and single chain Fv HS-antibodies. He later joined the UK glycoarrays consortium, of research groups from Imperial, Oxford, Manchester, Dundee, East Anglia and Liverpool Universities, developing a second generation gold-surface-assembled monolayer glycoarray platform, compatible with different types of carbohydrate and fluorescence immunoassay, surface plasmon resonance biosensor and mass spectrometry read-outs.

Andrew also produced structurally-diverse heparan sulfate saccharide libraries (using chemical/enzymatic cleavage and sequential, orthogonal chromatographic methods) for use in protein interaction screening, or Slit-Robo receptor/ligand complex formation assays and developing mass spectrometry structural analysis with Imperial College, London. Then, as Director of IntelliHep Ltd, he raised NWDA funding and managed two heparin-based saccharide bioprocessing pilot projects at the National Biomanufacturing Centre (that latter became Allergan Biologics), for which he was awarded runner-up for the 2008 BioNow Emerging Technology of the year award.

Andrew secured a lectureship at Liverpool John Moores University and joined the UK glycoarrays consortium steering committee and supervised postdoctoral researchers at the University of Liverpool for an EPSRC consortium project led by the University of Manchester. He then continued collaborations with PDRAs at UoL, Dundee and Diamond Light source developing protein expression and glycoarray cellular assay methodology, analysing single chain Fv antibody interactions using ELISAs and investigating the specificity of interactions, ternary complex formation and neuron collapse activity for the Slit-Robo/heparan sulfate signalling system (using ELISAs, size exclusion chromatography, synchrotron radiation circular dichroism and ex vivo neuron collapse microscopy assays).

At LJMU, Andrew assessed different methods for small scale heparan sulfate purification/quantification/analysis from complex patient plasma samples (with Oxford University in Vietnam, Imperial College London and M.I.T) and a cell line, stimulating development of fluorescent reversed phase- HPLC analysis of heparan sulfate disaccharide composition (with Keele University) and initial feasibility studies of direct detection of heparin/heparan sulfate in blood/serum. He then studied regulation of cellular cytokine response and bacterial adhesion, using Q-PCR and ELISA expression analysis and fluorescent bacteria adhesion plate assays and flow cytometry, as well as cytokine interactions using homogeneous plate reader and thermostability assays. For these he acquired funding for masters or PhD students, research assistants and himself from the EPSRC, HEI, Biochemical Society and Rosetrees Trust.


TEACHING & TRAINING

Andrew teaches protein and carbohydrate structure, purification, analysis, interactions and cell biology at undergraduate and postgraduate level with a focus on technical approaches, real-world context and employability. His teaching approach is heavily focussed on constructive alignment of learning outcomes, teaching activities and assessment. As a result, he uses active learning to promote deeper learning to supplement live-annotation of powerpoints to deliver lecture material. He has received numerous nominations/shortlistings for university teaching, personal tutor, project supervisor and employability awards from students. He is a leader of modules, final year and industrial placements.

Andrew has trained undergraduate project students in extraction, purification and analytical chromatography methodology, as well as interaction assays and the use of protein bioinformatics, helping them gain graduate/doctoral study (e.g. at Imperial, Manchester or Liverpool Universities) and positions in analytical industry or NHS laboratories.

Degrees

2012, Liverpool John Moores University, United Kingdom, Postgraduate Certificate for Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (High distinction)
2001, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom, PhD (Biochemistry)
1996, University of Oxford, United Kingdom, MBiochem with honours (Biochemistry)

Academic appointments

Lecturer/Senior Lecturer, Pharmacy & Biomolecular Science, Liverpool John Moores University, 2008 - present
Honarary Fellow, Institute of Integrative Biology, University of Liverpool, 2008 - present

Postgraduate training

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, United Kingdom, University of Liverpool, 2004 - 2008
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, United Kingdom, University of Birmingham, 2001 - 2003
Postgraduate Research Assistant, United Kingdom, University of Birmingham, 2001 - 2001
Postgraduate Research Assistant, United Kingdom, University of Oxford, 1996 - 1997

Journal article

Richardson A, Powell A, Sexton D, Parsons J, Reynolds N, Ross K. 2020. MicroRNA-184 Is Induced By Store-Operated Calcium Entry And Regulates Early Keratinocyte Differentiation Journal of Cellular Physiology, DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Maciej-Hulme ML, Leprince ACN, Lavin A, Guimond SE, Turnbull JE, Pelletier J, Yates EA, Powell AK, Skidmore MA. 2020. High sensitivity (zeptomole) detection of BODIPY heparan sulfate (HS) disaccharides by ion-paired RP-HPLC and LIF detection enables analysis of HS from mosquito midguts. bioRxiv, DOI Publisher Url

Adeoye RI, Osalaye DS, Ralebitso-Senior TK, Boddis A, Reid AJ, Fatokun AA, Powell AK, Malomo SO, Olorunniji FJ. 2019. Catalytic Activities of Multimeric G-Quadruplex DNAzymes Catalysts, 9 :613-613 DOI Author Url Public Url

Lima M, Cavalheiro RP, Viana G, Meneghetti M, Rudd TR, Skidmore MA, Powell AK, Yates EA. 2016. 19F labelled glycosaminoglycan probes for solution NMR and non-linear (CARS) microscopy. Glycoconjugate Journal, 34 :405-410 DOI Author Url Public Url

Ahmed YA, Yates EA, Moss DJ, Loeven MA, Hussain S-A, Hohenester E, Turnbull JE, Powell AK. 2016. Panels of chemically-modified heparin polysaccharides and natural heparan sulfate saccharides both exhibit differences in binding to Slit and Robo, as well as variation between protein binding and cellular activity. Molecular Biosystems, DOI Author Url Public Url

Meneghetti MC, Hughes AJ, Rudd TR, Nader HB, Powell AK, Yates EA, Lima MA. 2015. Heparan sulfate and heparin interactions with proteins. Journal of the Royal Society Interface, 12 DOI Author Url Public Url

Solari V, Rudd TR, Guimond SE, Powell AK, Turnbull JE, Yates EA. 2015. Heparan sulfate phage display antibodies recognise epitopes defined by a combination of sugar sequence and cation binding. Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry, 13 :6066-6072 DOI Public Url

Puvirajesinghe TM, Ahmed YA, Powell AK, Fernig DG, Guimond SE, Turnbull JE. 2012. Array-based Functional Screening of Heparin Glycans. Chemistry & Biology, 19 :553-558 DOI Author Url

Otto DME, Campanero-Rhodes MA, Karamanska R, Powell AK, Bovin N, Turnbull JE, Field RA, Blackburn J, Feizi T, Crocker PR. 2011. An expression system for screening of proteins for glycan and protein interactions. Anal Biochem, 411 :261-270 DOI Author Url

Powell AK, Ahmed YA, Yates EA, Turnbull JE. 2010. Generating heparan sulfate saccharide libraries for glycomics applications. Nat Protoc, 5 :821-833 DOI Author Url

Rudd TR, Skidmore MA, Guerrini M, Hricovini M, Powell AK, Siligardi G, Yates EA. 2010. The conformation and structure of GAGs: Recent progress and perspectives. Curr Opin Str Biol, 20 :567-574 DOI Author Url

Powell AK, Zhi Z-L, Turnbull JE. 2009. Saccharide microarrays for high-throughput interrogation of glycan-protein binding interactions. Methods Mol Biol, 534 :313-329 DOI Author Url

Tissot B, Ceroni A, Powell AK, Morris HR, Yates EA, Turnbull JE, Gallagher JT, Dell A, Haslam SM. 2008. Software tool for the structural determination of glycosaminoglycans by mass spectrometry. Anal Chem, 80 :9204-9212 DOI Author Url

Zhi Z-L, Laurent N, Powell AK, Karamanska R, Fais M, Voglmeir J, Wright A, Blackburn JM, Crocker PR, Russell DA, Flitsch S, Field RA, Turnbull JE. 2008. A versatile gold surface approach for fabrication and interrogation of glycoarrays. Chembiochem, 9 :1568-1575 DOI Author Url

Tissot B, Gasiunas N, Powell AK, Ahmed Y, Zhi Z-L, Haslam SM, Morris HR, Turnbull JE, Gallagher JT, Dell A. 2007. Towards GAG glycomics: analysis of highly sulfated heparins by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. Glycobiology, 17 :972-982 DOI Author Url

Hussain S-A, Piper M, Fukuhara N, Strochlic L, Cho G, Howitt JA, Ahmed Y, Powell AK, Turnbull JE, Holt CE, Hohenester E. 2006. A molecular mechanism for the heparan sulfate dependence of slit-robo signaling. J Biol Chem, 281 :39693-39698 DOI Author Url

Zhi Z-L, Powell AK, Turnbull JE. 2006. Fabrication of carbohydrate microarrays on gold surfaces: direct attachment of nonderivatized oligosaccharides to hydrazide-modified self-assembled monolayers. Anal Chem, 78 :4786-4793 DOI Author Url

Powell AK, Yates EA, Fernig DG, Turnbull JE. 2004. Interactions of heparin/heparan sulfate with proteins: appraisal of structural factors and experimental approaches. Glycobiology, 14 :17R-30R DOI Author Url

Westblade LF, Ilag LL, Powell AK, Kolb A, Robinson CV, Busby SJW. 2004. Studies of the Escherichia coli Rsd-sigma70 complex. J Mol Biol, 335 :685-692 DOI Author Url

Yates EA, Jones MO, Clarke CE, Powell AK, Johnson SR, Porch A, Edwards PP, Turnbull JE. 2003. Microwave-enhanced reaction of carbohydrates with amino-derivatised labels and glass surfaces. J. Mater. Chem., 13 :2061-2063 DOI

Powell AK, Fernig DG, Turnbull JE. 2002. Fibroblast growth factor receptors 1 and 2 interact differently with heparin/heparan sulfate. Implications for dynamic assembly of a ternary signaling complex. J Biol Chem, 277 :28554-28563 DOI Author Url

Turnbull J, Powell A, Guimond S. 2001. Heparan sulfate: decoding a dynamic multifunctional cell regulator. Trends Cell Biol, 11 :75-82 DOI Author Url

Guile GR, Harvey DJ, O’Donnell N, Powell AK, Hunter AP, Zamze S, Fernandes DL, Dwek RA, Wing DR. 1998. Identification of highly fucosylated N-linked oligosaccharides from the human parotid gland. Eur. J. Biochem., 258 :623-656 DOI Author Url

Powell AK, Harvey DJ. 1996. Stabilisation of sialic acids in N-linked oligosaccharides and gangliosides for analysis by positive ion matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry. Rapid. Commun. Mass Spectrom., 10 :1027-1032 DOI Author Url

Poster

Richardson A, Sexton D, Powell AK, Ross K. 2017. A store-operated calcium entry-dependent regulatory loop between nuclear factor of activated T-cells 1 and miR-184 in keratinocytes Non-Coding RNA: Recent Insights into the Mechanism of Action, Biochemical Society Conference, Edinburgh, UK.

Richardson A, Sexton D, Powell AK, Ross K. 2016. Argonaute Expression in Psoriasis and Epidermal Keratinocytes. Inflammatory diseases - mechanisms and clinical perspectives, Maynooth University, Ireland. A Biochemical Society Focused Meeting.

Ahmed YA, Yates EA, Hohenester E, Powell AK, Turnbull JE. 2014. Selective effects of chemically modified heparins and heparan sulfate oligosaccharides on Slit & Robo complex formation and biological activity. Proteoglycans, Gordon Research Conference, Proctor Academy, Andover, NH, USA

Ahmed YA, Loeven MA, Hussain S, Yates EA, Moss DJ, Hohenester E, Turnbull JE, Powell AK. 2014. Selective effects of chemically modified heparins on Slit & Robo complex formation and biological activity 27th International Carbohydrate Symposium (ICS27), Bangalore, India.

Ahmed YA, Atrih AM, Guimond SE, Powell AK, Turnbull JE. 2012. Sequence-specific HS modulation of FGF signalling revealed by an ES-MS sequencing strategy Gordon Research Conference on Fibroblast Growth Factors in Development & Disease, Les Diablerets, Switzerland

Coyne V, Ross K, Shriver Z, Wills B, Powell AK. 2012. Applying an HPLC structural glycomics strategy to investigate triggers of changes in HS structure Carbohydrate analysis and glycomics: where next? Biochemical Society/Royal Society of Chemistry workshop

Powell A, Zhi Z-L , Ahmed Y, Karamanska R, Fais M, Otto DME, Crocker RP, Yates EA, Field RA, Turnbull JE. 2010. Heparan sulfate saccharide arrays – platform development, library screening and data interpretation. Structural glycobiology and human health, Biochemical Society conference

Ahmed YA, Powell AK, Yates EA, Moss D, Hohenester E, Turnbull JE. 2010. Involvement of Heparan Sulfate in Slit-Robo interactions: Evidence that Specific Sulfate Groups are Essential Structural Glycobiology and human health, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK

Powell A, Zhi Z-L, Ahmed Y, Karamanska R, Fais M, Otto DME, Rudd TR, Blackburn JM, Russell DA, Crocker PR. 2009. Development and evaluation of heparan sulfate glycoarrays for protein interaction screening 67th Harden conference (Biochemical Society) - Decoding the biology of heparan sulfate proteoglycans, Robinson College, Cambridge,

Ahmed YA, Powell AK, Yates EA, Moss D, Hohenester E, Turnbull JE. 2009. Involvement of Heparan Sulfate in Slit-Robo interactions: Evidence that Specific Sulfate Groups are Essential The 67th Harden conference: Decoding the biology of heparan sulfate proteoglycans, Robinson College, Cambridge, UK

Powell AK, Ahmed Y, Zhi Z-L, Rudd TR, Nichols R, Fernig DG, Yates EA, Turnbull JE. 2007. Saccharide microarrays for the investigation of heparan-sulfate protein interactions 14th European carbohydrate symposium

Ahmed YA, Powell AK, Guimond S, Atrih A, Turnbull JE. 2007. Investigating the specificity of heparin/ heparan sulfate activity and protein interactions using saccharide libraries FEBS Advanced Lecture Course, Matrix Pathobiology, Signaling and Molecular Targets. Patras, Greece

Conference publication

Joshi KH, Al-Manasra M, Mason A, Korostynska O, Powell A, Ortoneda Pedrola M, Al-Shamma'a A. 2017. Detection of Heparin Level in Blood using Electromagnetic Wave Spectroscopy Developments in eSystems Engineering (DeSE), 2016 9th International Conference on :329-334 DOI Author Url Publisher Url

Richardson A, Sexton D, Powell AK, Ross K. 2017. Defining the Role of Argonautes in Human Epidermal Keratinocytes British Society for Investigative Dermatology Annual Meeting 176 :e71-e71

Report

Lavin A, Powell AK. 2014. 2013 Biochemical Society Summer Vacation Studentship Report Heparan sulfate disaccharide analysis using fluorescence labelling and high performance liquid chromatography. http://www.scribd.com/doc/201219149/Summer-Students-Reports-2013

Coyne V, Ross KO, Powell AK. 2011. 2011 Biochemical Society Summer Vacation Studentship Report Examining the effects of cytokines on heparan sulfate expression in a HaCaT cell line :193-196

Thesis/Dissertation

Powell A. Characterisation of the interaction of fibroblast growth factor receptors with heparan sulfate. Turnbull JE, Fernig DG.

Research Grants Awarded:

LJMU Joint Faculty of Science/Faculty of Health PhD Studentships, Identification of blood biomarkers for antenatal diagnosis of a common congenital heart defect, Tetralogy of Fallot., Iain Dykes, Andrew Powell, Robyn Lotto, Atillio Lotto, Grant value (£): ~$62,000, Duration of research project: 3 years. 2020

LJMU REF-upskilling, Development of split G-Quadruplex DNAzymes for construction of gated biosensors, Femi Olorunniji, Andrew Powell, Amos Fatokun, Theresia Rabelitso-Senior, Amanda Boddis, Amanda Reid, Grant value (£): 15000, Duration of research project: 1 year. 2018

Rosetrees Trust, Novel carbohydrate antibiotics for the era of antibiotic resistance, Andrew Powell, Grant value (£): 19,000, Duration of research project: 1.5 year. 2018

IBCarb BBSRC Network in Industrial Biotechnology, Enabling heparin-based industrial biotechnology to counteract antibiotic resistance., Grant value (£): 19,728, Duration of research project: 9 months. 2018

Medical Research Council Industry Engagement Fund 2017-18, Towards novel heparin-based antibiotics for bacterial infection, Grant value (£): 5,000, Duration of research project: 5 months. 2018

HEFCE, Enabling discovery of novel heparin-based therapeutics, Grant value (£): 9951, Duration of research project: 3 months. 2017

HEFCE-QR, Hepsense: Next generation sensors of heparin-type carbohydrates - open heart surgery & beyond., Grant value (£): 63,000, Duration of research project: 1.5 years (truncated). 2017

BBSRC/EPSRC, Advanced glycosaminoglycan sequencing (Collaborator), Dr Mark Skidmore, Grant value (£): £330,445, Duration of research project: 3 years. 2014

Biochemical Society Eric Reid Fund for Methodology, Quantification of heparin/heparan sulfate carbohydrates, Grant value (£): 1,880, Duration of research project: 3 months. 2014

Biochemical Society Summer Vacation Studentship, Developing higher sensitivity High Performance Liquid Chromatography disaccharide composition analysis of heparan sulfate carbohydrates, Grant value (£): 1,400, Duration of research project: 2 months. 2013

Biochemical Society Summer Vacation Studentship, Regulation of keratinocyte heparan sulfate expression., Grant value (£): 1,600, Duration of research project: 2 months. 2011

HEFCE-QR, Characterisation of the regulation of epithelial FGF systems by heparan sulphate using the HaCaT keratinocyte cell line in different states as a model., Grant value (£): ~57,000, Duration of research project: 1.5 years (truncated). 2010

EPSRC, ‘Exploitation of Glycoarrays-Translation to End-use, Haslam SM, Dell A, Feizi T, Crocker PR, Powell AK, JE Turnbull, Russell DA, RA Field, S Flitsch:, Grant value (£): 1,030,438, Duration of research project: 2.5 years. 2009

North West Development Agency National Biomanufacturing Centre Access Fund, Heparin-based saccharide production procedure development Part 2, Powell AK (IntelliHep Ltd), Grant value (£): 68,000, Duration of research project: 1 year. 2008

North West Development Agency National Biomanufacturing Centre Access Fund, Heparin-based saccharide production procedure development Part 1, Powell AK (IntelliHep Ltd), Grant value (£): 68,000, Duration of research project: 1 year. 2007

BBSRC, Exploitation of heparan sulfate saccharide microarrays, Powell AK, Fernig DG, Yates EA and Turnbull JE, Grant value (£): 274,000, Duration of research project: 3 years. 2004

BBSRC, Development of heparan sulfate saccharide microarrays, Powell AK and Turnbull, JE, Grant value (£): 99,000, Duration of research project: 2 years. 2001

Other invited event:

Glycobiotechnology, Manchester, UK, Investigating skin-antibiotic activities. 2018

IBCarb Glycan Microarrays 2.0, Manchester Institute of Biotechnology, Manchester, Oral presentation - Heparan sulfate interaction studies. 2014

Gordon Research Seminar: Fibroblast Growth Factors in Development & Disease, Les Diablerets Conference Center, Switzerland, Discussion Leader (FGF interactions and signalling). Panel member (Becoming an independent researcher).. 2012

University of Keele Seminar, School of Life Sciences, The Institute for Science & Technology in Medicine, Keele University, Oral presentation - Understanding heparan sulfate carbohydrates: Viral infection and glycoarrays.. 2012

Biochemical Society/Royal Society of Chemistry workshop: Carbohydrate analysis and glycomics: where next?, London, Oral presentation - Applying an HPLC structural glycomics strategy to investigate triggers of changes in heparan sulfate.. 2012

67th Harden conference (Biochemical Society) - Decoding the biology of heparan sulfate proteoglycans, Robinson College, Cambridge, UK, Oral presentation - Development and evaluation of heparan sulfate glycoarrays for protein interaction screening. 2009

Royal Society Glycomics conference, London, Oral presentation - Slide-based fluorescence glycoarrays. 2008

14th European carbohydrate symposium, Lubeck, Germany, Oral presentation - Saccharide microarrays for the investigation of heparan-sulfate protein interactions. 2007

Royal Society Glycomics conference, Liverpool, Oral presentation - The challenge of heparan sulfate microarrays. 2006

Teaching qualification:

Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education. 2014

Fellowships:

Fellow, Higher Education Academy. 2012

Honarary Fellow, Institute of Integrative Biology, University of Liverpool. 2008

External PGR Supervision - completed students:

University of Liverpool, PhD. 2011

Membership of professional bodies:

Local Ambassador, Biochemical Society. 2010

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