eLife Omics: Early-Life Biomarkers to Improve Perinatal & Child Health


The eLife Omics team at INFANT study small molecules including proteins, metabolites, and lipids in biofluids to better understand the molecular pathways dysregulated in health and disease. Using these small molecules as biomarkers we apply artificial intelligence to develop unique molecular fingerprints and algorithms which can identify mothers and babies at risk potential pregnancy complications such as pre-term birth or pre-eclampsia, or potential neurodevelopmental outcomes such as autism spectrum disorder.


(Dr Fergus McCarthy (Clinical Lead – far left) and Dr Jane English (Scientific lead -far right) lead a multi-omics research group focused on the identification of biomarkers improve maternal and child health. The team from left include Dr Fergus McCarthy, Ms Lauren Pawley, Mr Daragh O’Boyle (Phd Student), Mr Kevin Cusack (MSc Student), Dr Shridharan Parthasarathy (Post Doc), Ms Samprikta Manna (PhD Student), Ms Aude-Claire Morillon (PhD Student), Ms Maria Hernandez Fernandez (Erasmus student), Dr Kirsten Dowling (Lab Manager/Post Doc), and Dr Jane English (Lecturer in Dept of Anatomy & Neuroscience, and HRB-EIA funded Investigator at INFANT). )


Our team, in collaboration with its industry partners, aims to address unmet clinical needs, capitalising on our world class biobanks at INFANT, and state-of-the-art mass spectrometry facilities. Our clinical and technical expertise in biobanking, proteomics, metabolomics, and bioinformatics are essential to developing both early screening tests for prediction of at-risk pregnancy and neonatal neurodevelopmental outcomes. These tests will present an effective method of predicting diseases and have the potential to dramatically improve maternal and infant health worldwide.

( See these Links to INFANT’s ASD Biomarker StudyBEFORE BIRTH, and the INFANT Mass Spectrometry Suite )