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David Boocock

David Boocock

Senior Research Fellow

School of Science & Technology

Staff Group(s)


Dr David Boocock is a Senior Research Fellow and the Group Leader of the Biological Mass Spectrometry & Clinical Proteomics group in the John van Geest Cancer Research Centre where he established a quantitative mass spectrometry facility in 2013/14.  In addition, he is responsible for the supervision of PhD and MSc/MRes students and provides assistance in the undergraduate teaching of cancer, proteomics and biomarker discovery related subject areas.

The John van Geest Cancer Research Centre incorporates state-of-the-art technologies for discovering the genetic basis of the disease and developing new methods of diagnosis and treatment, and is therefore well equipped for the challenge of modern day cancer research.

Career overview

Dr Boocock graduated with a BSc (hons) in Pharmacology & Therapeutics at the University of Liverpool (1993-1996), followed by a PhD (Pharmacology & Toxicology) in the same department sponsored by the Medical Research Council (MRC) from 1996 to 2000 ("A metabolic rationale for the carcinogenicity of tamoxifen : an inter-species comparison"). The PhD focused on researching the toxicology of the breast cancer drug tamoxifen which at the time was being proposed for prophylaxis in humans but had shown carcinogenic effects in rats.

From 2000 to 2002 Dr Boocock was a postdoctoral scientist in the MRC Toxicology Unit, Leicester conducting research into the identification of tamoxifen-DNA adducts using Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS), in collaboration with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, USA.

In 2002 he became a postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Leicester in the Cancer Biomarkers and Prevention Group (Cancer Studies and Molecular Medicine department), a very active multidisciplinary group concerned with the development of chemopreventive and chemotherapeutic naturally derived compounds.  The main focus was collaborating with the National Cancer Institute and the University of Michigan, USA, on a 5 year research contract investigating the "Phase I safety and pharmacokinetics of resveratrol in humans" utilising high performance liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry method development for DMPK studies of resveratrol and metabolites.

Dr Boocock joined NTU as a Research Fellow and mass spectrometry laboratory manager in 2007, and in 2009 became a Senior Research Fellow in the John van Geest Cancer Research Centre in the School of Science and Technology, establishing the quantitative LC-MS facility for biological research in the University.

Research areas

The main area of research is biomarker discovery utilising biological mass spectrometry to identify protein biomarkers as predictors of disease status and response to therapy. Primary research areas are prostate cancer and breast cancer, though the techniques can be applied across many conditions and have been used in the diagnosis or prognosis of melanoma, ovarian cancer, Lymphangioleiomyomatosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Alzheimer's and diabetes, among others.

The research leverages the mass spectrometry facility in the John van Geest Cancer Research Centre. The facility has several mass spectrometers including 2 SCIEX TripleTOF instruments (5600+ and 6600) capable of both nano and microflow ESI.  One main research area is the use of DIA/SWATH for label free quantitative proteomic profiling to identify differentially expressed proteins and has recently expanded to support small molecule profiling targeted and untargeted profiling (metabolomics).

The laboratory has several current PhD students, recent project titles include:  "Multiplexed Tandem MSMS", "Development of next-generation tissue culture surfaces to advance models of cancer metastasis", "An integrative approach to a cancer biomarker discovery and validation pipeline", "Molecular mechanisms governing the development of induced T regulatory cells and their significance in the progression of breast cancer models".

External activity

Dr Boocock is a Member of the British Mass Spectrometry Society (BMSS), American Society of Mass Spectrometry and a member of the organising committee of the East Midlands Proteomics Workshop, an annual national conference organised by Nottingham Trent University, University of Nottingham, University of Leicester, University of Birmingham, Aston University, Lincoln University, Sheffield Hallam University  and the University of Warwick.  This has been running since 2001.  He is a member of the SCIEX innovation advisory board, and the Midlands Biological Mass Spectrometry group.  An active member of the scientific community, Dr Boocock has reviewed grants for Cancer Research UK, Medical Research Council, Breast Cancer Now and regularly acts as a reviewer for journals relevant to his area of expertise.

Sponsors and collaborators

Dr Boocock has current collaborations with SCIEX, the Universities of Birmingham, Nottingham, Newcastle, Aston in the UK and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU Munich), University of Debrecen Hungary among others internationally.  He is actively seeking research funding and has several grant applications under review.

Recent funding:

NTU PhD Studentship "Development of next-generation tissue culture surfaces to advance models of cancer metastasis" - fully funded 2018-2021.

Investigation of the plasma and urine proteome in patients with different rates of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) progression to identify stable and progressive disease fingerprints. £105,740.  2017-2018.  UCB Biopharma Spr.

Investigation of NNMT as a key regulator of cancer metastasis and identification of new therapeutic targets. £4,611. 2017-2018.  Cancer and Polio Research Fund.

Investigation into Parkinson’s disease biomarkers using the Azure cloud computing platform.  £5000.  2017-2018.  Microsoft (Azure).

The LAM Foundation “Discovery of serum markers of disease activity for LAM” June 2015-2017. £22,241.

AB Sciex PTE Ltd. “Integrating RNA-seq and SWATH™ Proteomic analysis of an induced versus spontaneous model of EMT in prostate cancer”, Dec 2015-2018.  £11,897.

NTU VC bursary PhD Studentship ““An integrative approach to a cancer biomarker discovery and validation pipeline” – fully funded studentship starting Feb 2015-2019.


Published 2016 onward:

Multi-Omic Analysis of Two Common P53 Mutations: Proteins Regulated by Mutated P53 as Potential Targets for Immunotherapy. Vadakekolathu, Jayakumar; Boocock, David J; Pandey, Kirti; Guinn, Barbara-ann; Legrand, Antoine; Miles, Amanda K; Coveney, Clare; Ayala, Rochelle; Purcell, Anthony W; McArdle, Stephanie E.  Cancers,14,16,3975 (2022)

The Transglutaminase-2 Interactome in the APP23 Mouse Model of Alzheimer’s Disease.  Wilhelmus, Micha MM; Tonoli, Elisa; Coveney, Clare; Boocock, David J; Jongenelen, Cornelis AM; Brevé, John JP; Verderio, Elisabetta AM, Drukarch, Benjamin. Cells. 11,3,389,2022,MDPI

MiR-423-5p prevents MALAT1-mediated proliferation and metastasis in prostate cancer. Ferri, Carmela; Di Biase, Anna; Bocchetti, Marco; Zappavigna, Silvia; Wagner, Sarah; Le Vu, Pauline; Luce, Amalia; Cossu, Alessia Maria; Vadakekolathu, Jayakumar; Miles, Amanda.  Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research,41,1,1-16 (2022)

Carnosine protects stimulus-secretion coupling through prevention of protein carbonyl adduction events in cells under metabolic stress.  Merell P Billacura, Katie Hanna, David J Boocock, Clare Coveney, Amanda K Miles, Gemma A Foulds, Alice Murphy, Arnold Tan, Laura Jackisch, Sophie R Sayers, Paul W Caton, Craig L Doig, Philip G McTernan, Sergio L Colombo, Craig Sale, Mark D Turner.  Free Radical Biology and Medicine, 175, 1 Nov, 65-79 (2021)

Multiomic analysis of stretched osteocytes reveals processes and signalling linked to bone regeneration and cancer.  Lívia Santos, Aslihan Ugun-Klusek, Clare Coveney, David J Boocock.  npj Regenerative Medicine volume 6, Article number: 32 (2021)

Homocitrullination of lysine residues mediated by myeloid-derived suppressor cells in the tumor environment is a target for cancer immunotherapy.  Katherine W Cook, Wei Xue, Peter Symonds, Ian Daniels, Mohamed Gijon, David Boocock, Clare Coveney, Amanda K Miles, Sabaria Shah, Suha Atabani, Ruhul H Choudhury, Poonam Vaghela, Daisy Weston, Rachael L Metheringham, Victoria A Brentville, Lindy G Durrant.  J Immunother Cancer. 9(7): e001910. (2021)

Supramolecular Chromatographic Separation of C60 and C70 Fullerenes: Flash Column Chromatography vs. High Pressure Liquid Chromatography. Subbareddy Mekapothula, A. D. Dinga Wonanke, Matthew A. Addicoat, ,David J. Boocock, John D. Wallis and Gareth W. V. Cave.  Int. J. Mol. Sci., 22(11), 5726 (2021)

A supramolecular cavitand for selective chromatographic separation of peptides using LC-MS/MS: A combined in silico and experimental approach.  Subbareddy Mekapotula  A. D. Dinga Wonanke, Matthew A. Addicoat,  John D. Wallis, David J. Boocock and Gareth W.V. Cave, New J. Chem., DOI: 10.1039/D0NJ03555F (2021)

Alterations in the chondrocyte surfaceome in response to pro-inflammatory cytokines. Bernadette Jeremiasse, Csaba Matta, Christopher R. Fellows, David J. Boocock, Julia R. Smith, Susan Liddell, Floris Lafeber, Willem E. van Spil & Ali Mobasheri.  BMC Mol and Cell Biol 21, 47 (2020)

Neurite outgrowth inhibitory levels of organophosphates induce tissue transglutaminase activity in differentiating N2a cells: evidence for covalent adduct formation. Ibtesam S. Almami, Maha A. Aldubayan, Shatha G. Felemban, Najiah Alyamani, Richard Howden, Alexander J. Robinson, Tom D. Z. Pearson, David Boocock, Alanood S. Algarni, A. Christopher Garner, Martin Griffin, Philip L. R. Bonner & Alan J. Hargreaves.  Arch Toxicol (2020)

Exercise Training in Obese Rats Does Not Induce Browning at Thermoneutrality and Induces a Muscle-Like Signature in Brown Adipose Tissue. Peter Aldiss, Jo E. Lewis, Irene Lupini, Ian Bloor, Ramyar Chavoshinejad, David J. Boocock, Amanda K. Miles, Francis J. P. Ebling, Helen Budge and Michael E. Symonds.  Frontiers in Endocrinology. 11. p 97. (2020)

β2-Adrenergic Signalling Promotes Cell Migration by Upregulating Expression of the Metastasis-Associated Molecule LYPD3. Michael Gruet, Daniel Cotton, Clare Coveney, David J. Boocock, Sarah Wagner, Lucie Komorowski, Robert C. Rees, A. Graham Pockley, A. Christopher Garner, John D. Wallis, Amanda K. Miles, and Desmond G. Powe. Biology. 9:2. (2020)

Silica bound co-pillar[4+1]arene as a novel supramolecular stationary phase. Subbareddy Mekapothula, Matthew A. Addicoat, David J. Boocock, John D. Wallis,  Peter J. Cragg   and  Gareth W. V. Cave. Chemical Communications.  12. (2020)

Molecular phenotyping of the surfaceome of migratory chondroprogenitors and mesenchymal stem cells using biotinylation, glycocapture and quantitative LC-MS/MS proteomic analysis. Csaba Matta, David J. Boocock, Christopher R. Fellows, Nicolai Miosge, James E. Dixon, Susan Liddell, Julia Smith & Ali Mobasheri.  Scientific Reports 9, 9018. (2019)

PYK2 promotes HER2-positive breast cancer invasion. Shaymaa IK. Al-Juboori, Jayakumar Vadakekolathu, Sarra Idri, Sarah Wagner, Dimitrios Zafeiris, Joshua RD. Pearson, Rukaia Almshayakhchi, Michele Caraglia, Vincenzo Desiderio, Amanda K. Miles, David J. Boocock, Graham R. Ball and Tarik Regad.  Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research.  38:210.  (2019)

Interscapular and Perivascular Brown Adipose Tissue Respond Differently to a Short-Term High-Fat Diet. Peter Aldiss, Jo E. Lewis, David J. Boocock, Amanda K. Miles, Ian Bloor, Francis J. P. Ebling, Helen Budge  and Michael E. Symonds.  Nutrients 11(5), 1065. (2019)

Monoamine oxidase-A promotes protective autophagy in human SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells through Bcl-2 phosphorylation.  Aslihan Ugun-Klusek, Theodosis Theodosi, Ellen Billett, Christoph Ufer, David Boocock, Florence Burté, Julia C. Fitzgerald, Patrick Yu-Wai-Man, Lynn Bedford. Redox Biology. 20 Jan. (2019)

The Vitamin D Binding Protein axis modifies disease severity in Lymphangioleiomyomatosis.  Suzanne Miller, Clare Coveney, Janice Johnson, Aliki-Eleni Farmaki, Nishant Gupta, Martin D. Tobin, Louise V. Wain, Francis X. McCormack, David J. Boocock, Simon R. Johnson. European Respiratory Journal 52: 1800951 (2018)

A new inhibitor of glucose-6-phospate dehydrogenase blocks pentose phosphate pathway and suppresses malignant proliferation and metastasis in vivo.  Michele Caraglia, Luigi Mele, Francesca Paino, Federica Papaccio, Tarik Regad, David Boocock, Paola Stiuso, Angela Lombardi, Davide Liccardo, Gabriella Aquino, Antonio Barbieri, Claudio Arra, Clare Coveney, Marcella La Noce, Gianpaolo Papaccio, Virginia Tirino, and Vincenzo Desiderio.    Cell, Death and Disease. 9, Article number: 572. (2018)

Proteomic profiling reveals the transglutaminase-2 externalization pathway in kidneys post-UUO.  Furini G, Schroeder N, Huang L, Boocock DJ, Coveney C, Tonoli E, Ramaswamy R, Ball G, Verderio C, Johnson TS, Verderio EAM.  Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. 29 (3) 880-905. (2018)

Identification and characterisation of Nanog+/ Oct4 high/Sox2+ doxorubicin-resistant stem-like cells from transformed trophoblastic cell lines.  Balahmar RM., Boocock DJ., Coveney C., Vadakekolathu J., Ray S., Regad T., Ali S and Sivasubramaniam S.   Oncotarget. Vol. 9, (6), 7054-7065. (2018)

β 2-adrenoceptor-induced modulation of transglutaminase 2 transamidase activity in cardiomyoblasts.  Vyas FS., Nelson CP., Freeman F., Boocock DJ., Hargreaves AJ., Dickenson JM..   European Journal of Pharmacology. 813, Oct, 105-121. (2017)

A novel spontaneous model of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) using a primary prostate cancer derived cell line demonstrating distinct stem-like characteristics.  Vadakekolathu, J., Dunning-Foreman, N., Laversin, S A., Mathieu, M G., Reeder, S., Pockley, A G., Rees, R C., Boocock, D J.  Scientific Reports vol. 7,:40633.  (2017)

Cytoplasmic PML promotes TGF-β-associated epithelial-mesenchymal transition and invasion in prostate cancer.  Buczek ME, Miles AK, Green W, Johnson C, Boocock DJ, Pockley AG, Rees RC, Hulman G, van Schalkwky G, Parkinson R, Hulman J, Regad T.  Oncogene. Jun 30;35(26):3465–75. (2016)

A1 adenosine receptor-induced phosphorylation and modulation of transglutaminase 2 activity in H9c2 cells: A role in cell survival.  Vyas FS, Hargreaves AJ, Bonner PLR, Boocock DJ, Coveney C, Dickenson JM.  Biochem Pharmacol. May 1; 107:41–58 (2016)

The Importance and Clinical Relevance of Surfaces in Tissue Culture.  Hickman GJ, Boocock DJ, Pockley AG, Perry CC.  ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering. American Chemical Society; 2016 Feb 8;2(2):152–64 (2016)


Link to Dr Boocock's ORCID

Link to Dr Boocock's Google Scholar list of all publications


The link below takes you to the publications in the NTU Institutional Repository published while working at NTU

See all of David Boocock's publications...

Press expertise

  • Proteins / proteomics (the study of proteins)
  • Biomarkers (biological markers for diagnosis and prognosis of disease)
  • Cancer (general)
  • Prostate cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Mass spectrometry (how to analyse proteins and small molecules)
  • Drugs / pharmacology (general)