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Catherine Duckett

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Dr Catherine Duckett BSc PhD PGCert FHEA CSci CChem FRSC

Senior Lecturer in Analytical Science


I became a Senior Lecturer at Sheffield Hallam in January 2013, and part of the Bioanalytical Research Group in the BMRC. My research is focussed on drug metabolism and analytical procedures used to develop novel pharmacological and biomedical applications with a particular emphasis on ICPMS methodologies including imaging. 

I teach undergraduate and postgraduate students across the Chemistry and Biosciences degree programmes. 

I hold a BSc (Hons) Chemistry, a PhD from Imperial College London, and a Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching Learning from Keele University. I also hold FHEA, CChem and CSci status. I am a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry. 


I worked for five years in the agrochemical industry (Rhone-Poulenc/Aventis), whilst gaining my BSc (Hons) Chemistry p/t, and then carried out my doctoral studies in biological analytical chemistry in the Faculty of Medicine at Imperial College, London under Professor Jeremy Nicholson and Professor John Lindon, with sponsorship by AstraZeneca. 

I worked then in the pharmaceutical industry (GSK) for two years. My academic career started properly in 2006 when I joined Keele University as a Lecturer in Analytical and Forensic Chemistry. Here I focused my research into key areas, derived from my earlier doctoral studies, my spectroscopic expertise, my interest in drug metabolism and maintained contacts and instrument access within the pharmaceutical industry.

I became a Senior Lecturer at Sheffield Hallam in January 2013, and part of the Bioanalytical Research Group and the Centre for Mass Spectrometry Imaging in the BMRC. I remain focussed in directing my expertise in drug metabolism and analytical procedures towards novel pharmacological and biomedical applications, with a particular emphasis on ICPMS methodologies including imaging. 

I believe passionately in public engagement of science and support school and public events as a STEM ambassador. I am also a member of the University's Virtual Reality Prosthetics Project funded by the Wellcome Trust. 


Department of Biosciences and Chemistry

• I teach across a relatively broad selection of disciplines that stem from my technical expertise working within the agrochemical and pharmaceutical industries and my research knowledge from my PhD studies and onwards. 

• Primarily I am focussed on delivering analytical chemistry material, including NMR, MS, IR and atomic spectroscopy, within the undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes. I also cover topics within pharmacology, toxicology and forensic chemistry and into bioanalytical science. 

• I deliver workshops on professional and scientific skills that are focussed on employability such as CVs and portfolio development. 

• I have led the implementation of e-portfolios across all degree programmes within the Department of Biosciences and Chemistry over the past few years. 

• I am currently developing modules on innovations in analytical science and distance learning mass spectrometry modules. 


Analysis of Biomolecules using ICPMS:

a) Studies into the uptake and distribution of metal oxide nanoparticles and trace nutrients in plants - with Professor Malcolm Clench and Professor Neil Bricklebank in collaboration with Croda Crop Care & Plant Impact
b) Imaging the transport and biotransformation of molecules across biological membranes - with Professor Malcolm Clench and Professor Neil Bricklebank in collaboration with Croda and Quotient
c) Pharmacological investigations into Bromfenac in rats, including excretion balance and distribution by imaging - with Professor Ian Wilson at Imperial College and Anthony Dickie at Evotec

Spectroscopic Analyses:

Structural characterisation (NMR/MS) of biologically active isolated compounds from Apium graveolens - with Professor Tom Smith

Public Engagement and Application of Biomedical Science:

This work involves a cross-university project exploring the use of Virtual Reality to aid the design and use of prosthetics for patients (Wellcome Trust funded).

Royal Society of Chemistry Inclusion & Diversity Project:

A grant awarded to me and Dr Alex Hamilton - to try and understand the lack of engagement in the chemical sciences from students who come from lower socio-economic backgrounds.


Croda Crop Care, Croda Personal Care, Plant Impact - with Professors Neil Bricklebank and Malcolm Clench, 2015 - present 

Wellcome Trust/UTC Sheffield/Steeper, 2016 - present 

Professor Ian Wilson (Imperial College), 2015 - present 


Journal articles

Spencer, C.E., Rumbelow, S., Mellor, S., Duckett, C.J., & Clench, M.R. (2022). Adaptation of the kirkstall QV600 LLI microfluidics system for the study of gastrointestinal absorption by mass spectrometry imaging and LC-MS/MS. Pharmaceutics, 14 (2).

Rawlinson, K.E., Duckett, C., Shaw, H., Woodroofe, M.N., & Lacey, M. (2021). Family-focused campus-based university event increases perceived knowledge, science capital and aspirations across a wide demographic. International Journal of Science Education, Part B: Communication and Public Engagement.

Cole, L.M., Handley, J., Claude, E., Duckett, C.J., Mudhar, H.S., Sisley, K., & Clench, M.R. (2021). Multi-Modal Mass Spectrometric Imaging of Uveal Melanoma. Metabolites, 11 (8).

Flint, L.E., Hamm, G., Ready, J.D., Ling, S., Duckett, C.J., Cross, N.A., ... Clench, M.R. (2021). Comparison of Osteosarcoma Aggregated Tumour Models with Human Tissue by Multimodal Mass Spectrometry Imaging. Metabolites, 11 (8).

Duckett, C.J., Hargreaves, K.E., Rawson, K.M., Allen, K.E., Forbes, S., Rawlinson, K.E., ... Lacey, M. (2021). Nights at the museum: integrated arts and microbiology public engagement events enhance understanding of science whilst increasing community diversity and inclusion. Access Microbiology, 3 (5).

Spencer, C.E., Flint, L.E., Duckett, C., Cole, L., Cross, N., Smith, D., & Clench, M. (2021). Role of MALDI-MSI in combination with 3D tissue models for early stage efficacy and safety testing of drugs and toxicants. Expert Review of Proteomics, 17 (11-12), 827-841.

Flint, L.E., Hamm, G., Ready, J.D., Ling, S., Duckett, C.J., Cross, N.A., ... Clench, M.R. (2020). Characterization of an Aggregated Three-Dimensional Cell Culture Model by Multimodal Mass Spectrometry Imaging. Analytical Chemistry.

Hogeling, S.M., Cox, M., Bradshaw, R., Smith, D., & Duckett, C.J. (2019). Quantification of proteins in whole blood, plasma and DBS, with element-labelled antibody detection by ICP-MS. Analytical biochemistry, 575, 10-16.

Russo, C., Brickelbank, N., Duckett, C., Mellor, S., Rumbelow, S., & Clench, M. (2018). Quantitative investigation of terbinafine hydrochloride absorption into a living skin equivalent model by MALDI-MSI. Analytical chemistry, 90 (16), 10031-10038.

Griffin, L., Cox, M., & Duckett, C. (2016). Trace 56Fe, 63/65Cu and 64Zn metal analysis in whole blood by SEC-HPLC-ICPMS. Chromatography Today, 9 (3), 32-34.

Duckett, C., McCullagh, M., Smith, C., & Wilson, I.D. (2015). The metabolism of 4-bromoaniline in the bile-cannulated rat: application of ICPMS (79/81Br), HPLC-ICPMS & HPLC-oaTOFMS. Xenobiotica, 45 (8), 672-680.

Thompson, D.F., Michopoulos, F., Smith, C.J., Duckett, C., Wilkinson, R.W., Jarvis, P., & Wilson, I.D. (2013). Phosphorus and sulfur metabonomic profiling of tissue and plasma obtained from tumour-bearing mice using ultra-performance liquid chromatography/inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, 27 (22), 2539-2545.

Thompson, D., Michopoulos, F., Smith, C., Duckett, C., Wilkinson, R., Jarvis, P., & Wilson, I. (2011). Profiling biological samples using ultra performance liquid chromatography–inductively coupled plasma–mass spectrometry (UPLC-ICP-MS) for the determination of phosphorus and sulfur-containing metabolites. Molecular Biosystems, 7 (4), 1149-1157.

Thompson, D.F., Eborall, W., Dinsmore, A., Smith, C.J., & Duckett, C.J. (2010). Development and validation of a NANOGold™ immunoassay for the detection of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in human serum using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, 24 (7), 927-932.

Athersuch, T., Duckett, C., Castro-Perez, J., Wilson, I., & Nicholson, J. (2008). Metabolism of [14C]-5-chloro-1,3-benzodioxol-4-aminein male Wistar-derived rats following intraperitonealadministration. Xenobiotica, 37 (1), 44-58.

Duckett, C., Wilson, I., Douce, D., Walker, H., Abou-Shakra, F., Lindon, J., & Nicholson, J. (2007). Metabolism of 2-fluoro-4-iodoaniline in earthworm Eisenia veneta using 19F-NMR spectroscopy, HPLC-MS, and HPLC-ICPMS (127I). Xenobiotica, 37 (12), 1378-1393.

Duckett, C., Lindon, J., Walker, H., Abou-Shakra, F., Wilson, I., & Nicholson, J. (2006). Metabolism of 3-chloro-4-fluoroaniline in rat using[14C]-radiolabelling, 19F-NMR spectroscopy, HPLC-MS/MS, HPLC-ICPMS and HPLC-NMR. Xenobiotica, 36 (1), 59-77.

Duckett, C., Wilson, I., Walker, H., Abou-Shakra, F., Lindon, J., & Nicholson, J. (2003). High-performance liquid chromatography/inductivelycoupled plasma mass spectrometry with iodine-specificdetection for profiling the metabolites produced in theearthworm Eisenia veneta by exposure to 2-fluoro-4-iodoaniline. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, 17 (16), 1855-1858.

Duckett, C., Bailey, N., Walker, H., Abou-Shakra, F., Wilson, I., Lindon, J., & Nicholson, J. (2002). Quantitation in gradient high performance liquid chromatography/inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry investigated using diclofenac and chlorpromazine. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, 16 (4), 245-247.

Conference papers

Millar, J., Campbell, S., Duckett, C., Doyle, S.L., & Cole, L. (2022). Multimodal mass spectrometry imaging of key biomarkers to study age-related macular degeneration [Abstract only]. Investigative ophthalmology & visual science, 63 (7), 471.


Other activities

External Examiner Loughborough University Chemistry MSc programmes 2014-2018 

Postgraduate supervision

'Development of LA-ICP-MS and associated techniques for the analysis of crop enhancement products' (co-supervisor) 2018- with Croda Crop Care; Joe Ready

'Zenobiotic metabolism in a living skin equivalent model' (co-supervisor) 2018- Hatem Salem

‘Investigations into Apium graveolens as a novel antimicrobial agent’ (co-supervisor) 2016- Sophie Hutchinson

'Imaging the transport and bio transformation of molecules across biological membranes' (co-supervisor) 2015- with Croda Personal Care; Cristina Russo

Previous supervision:

'Development of novel applications of ICPMS for the discovery and quantification of biomarkers (biofluids and tissues)' 2007-2011 (DoS) with AstraZeneca; David Thompson 

'Investigation of biofluids using mass spectrometry, for the detection of novel metabolites, focusing on urine and saliva' 2006-2010 (DoS) Jordan Richardson 

'An investigation into the biotransformation and enzymology of a methyl-imidazole containing cyclin dependent kinase inhibitor’ (AstraZeneca cpd) 2006-2010 (DoS) Chris Pollard 

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