David Boocock

David Boocock

Senior Research Fellow

School of Science & Technology

Staff Group(s)


Dr David Boocock is the Group Leader of the Clinical Proteomics group in the John van Geest Cancer Research Centre, incorporating biological mass spectrometry. In addition, he is responsible for the supervision of PhD and MSc students and provides assistance in the teaching of cancer 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

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.

Collaborating with the National Cancer Institute and the University of Michigan, USA, investigating the "Phase I safety and pharmacokinetics of resveratrol in humans".

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.

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 and Alzheimer's, among others.

Current research projects include "An integrated approach to investigate biomarkers /antigens for the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer" and "A Study of the Immune System in Breast Cancer and the Impact on the Treatment Response". The team also have several ongoing projects outside the area of cancer, involving outside collaborations such as "Translation of bovine tuberculosis biomarkers to the point of care setting".

Opportunities to carry out postgraduate research towards an MPhil / PhD exist in the School of Science and Technology, and further information may be obtained from the NTU Graduate School.

External activity

Dr Boocock is a Member of the British Mass Spectrometry Society (BMSS), and a member of the organising committee of the East Midlands Proteomics Workshop. He also teaches and lectures on the Advanced Genomics and Proteomic Science M.Res. degree course at The University of Nottingham.

He was an Invited Speaker for the Annual General meeting of the Prostate Cancer Support Federation 2013. He is also the liaison with PROSTAid, a regional prostate cancer patient support group and charity who collaborate extensively with the John van Geest Cancer Research Centre.

Sponsors and collaborators

Dr Boocock has current collaborations with Public Health England as part of a Technology Strategy Board (TSB)-funded project investigating the "Translation of bovine tuberculosis biomarkers to the point of care setting", The European Research Development Fund (as part of iNET) investigating "An integrated approach to investigate biomarkers / antigens for the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer".


Biomarker Identification in Breast Cancer: Beta-Adrenergic Receptor Signaling and Pathways to Therapeutic Response. Kafetzopoulou LE, Boocock DJ, Dhondalay GKR, Powe DG, Ball GR, Computational and Structural Biotechnology Journal, 2013, 6

Plasma protein biomarkers and mechanistic pathways. Ehsan S, Slade S, Boocock D et al., AAA: British Journal of Surgery, 2013, 100, 53–53

Plasma biomarkers of abdominal aortic aneurysm. Ehsan S, Slade SE, Boocock D., et al., The Lancet, 2013, 381, S39

Identification of SPARC-like 1 protein as part of a biomarker panel for Alzheimer's disease in cerebrospinal fluid. Vafadar-Isfahani B, Ball G, Coveney C, Lemetre C, Boocock D et al., Journal of Alzheimers Disease, 2012, 28, 625–636

Fabrication, characterisation and performance of hydrophilic and super-hydrophilic silica as cell culture surfaces. Hickman GJ, Rai A, Boocock DJ et al., Journal of Materials Chemistry, 2012, 22, 12141–12148

Application of mass spectrometric (MS) based proteomics coupled with artificial neural networks analysis for biomarker discovery of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). Ehsan S, Boocock D, Ball G et al., British Journal of Surgery, 2012, 99, 16–16

A simpler method of preprocessing MALDI-TOF MS data for differential biomarker analysis: stem cell and melanoma cancer studies. Tong DL, Boocock DJ, Coveney C et al,. Clinical Proteomics, 2011, 8, 14

Tamoxifen forms DNA adducts in human colon after administration of a single [14C]-labeled therapeutic dose. Brown K, Tompkins EM, Boocock DJ et al., Cancer Research, 2007, 67, 6995–7002

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)