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Personal profile

Research interests

I am interested in the chemical modification of proteins and developing methods to characterise such modifications. Protein modification can have significant effect on protein function and consequently biochemical outcome. Attempts to characterise the site of modification can be challenging due in part to the complexity of the sample. Protein modification can result from either enzymatic post-translational modification (phosphorylation, ubiquitination, methylation, etc.) or non-enzymatic chemical modification with reactive metabolites (Michael additions, oxidation, reactive drug metabolite adducts).

My interests have recently focused on non-enzymatic chemical modifications of proteins by reactive metabolites, for example catecholamines and catechol oestrogen metabolites and their implications in diseases, such as neurodegenerative diseases, diabetes and cancer. Current strategies are to develop methods to capture/enrich these modifications from biological sources, such as cell media, for analysis by mass spectrometry, to verify and optimise the methods using in vitro samples and to use these methods for global screening of biological samples such as tissue, blood and urine. The hope is that these protein modifications can serve as prognostic markers of disease which in turn can be translated to a clinical biochemistry setting. Other interests include protein modification/immobilisation to create novel biomaterials and biocatalysts and the recent discovery of amelogenin peptides from tooth enamel to enable sexing of archaeological samples using nanoLC-MS.

Approach to teaching

I currently teach many aspects of analytical chemistry including chromatography, mass spectrometry and NMR. I try to encourage students to learn by understanding the key concepts rather than memorising and regurgitating material.

Supervisory Interests

Research areas where project applications are welcomed include: 1) Applying nanoLC-MS/MS for the identification of novel post-translational modification of proteins, 2) Developing on-line methods for the enrichment of modified peptides in proteomics.

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, University of Ottawa


  • QD Chemistry
  • protein chemistry
  • mass spectrometry
  • proteomics

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Nicolas Stewart is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Tooth enamel Chemical Compounds
Phospholipases A1 Chemical Compounds
Methylation Chemical Compounds
Proteins Chemical Compounds
Peptides Chemical Compounds
Mass spectrometry Chemical Compounds
Liquid chromatography Chemical Compounds
Glioblastoma Medicine & Life Sciences

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Research Output 1995 2019

Cell-derived extracellular vesicles can be used as a biomarker reservoir for glioblastoma tumor subtyping

Lane, R., Simon, T., Vintu, M., Solkin, B., Koch, B., Stewart, N., Benstead-Hume, G., Pearl, F., Critchley, G., Stebbing, J. & Giamas, G., 19 Aug 2019, In : Communications Biology. 2, 1, 315.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Stromal Cells
Extracellular Vesicles

Macromolecular crowding and membrane binding proteins: the case of phospholipase A1

Wei, Y., Mayoral-Delgado, I., Stewart, N. & Dymond, M., 14 Dec 2018, In : Chemistry and Physics of Lipids. 218, p. 91-102

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Phospholipases A1
Carrier Proteins
Catalyst activity
Neurodegenerative diseases

Sex determination of human remains from peptides in tooth enamel

Stewart, N., Gerlach, R. F., Gowland, R. L., Gron, K. J. & Montgomery, J., 11 Dec 2017, In : Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Dental Enamel

The identification of peptides by nanoLC-MS/MS from human surface tooth enamel following a simple acid etch extraction

Stewart, N., Molina, G. F., Issa, J. P. M., Yates, N. A., Sosovicka, M., Viera, A. R., Line, S. R. P., Montgomery, J. & Gerlach, R. F., 15 Jun 2016, In : RSC Advances. 6, p. 61673-61679 7 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Tooth enamel
Liquid chromatography

Proteomic analysis of patient tissue reveals PSA protein in the stroma of benign prostatic hyperplasia

O'Malley, K. J., Eisermann, K., Pascal, L. E., Parwani, A., Majima, T., Graham, L., Hrebinko, K., Acquafondata, M., Stewart, N., Nelson, J. B., Yoshimura, N. & Wang, Z., 30 Jun 2014, In : Prostate. 74, 8

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle