Pharmaceutical Sciences

Pharmaceutical Sciences Experts

Brian M. Ross

Northern Ontario school of Medicine


1988 BSc (Hons) in Biochemistry from Glasgow University, Glasgow, UK. 1992 Ph.D. in Molecular Pharmacology and Biochemistry from Glasgow University, Glasgow, UK. 2013 MEd in Medical Education from Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, Ontario.

Research Interest

My lab is interested in the biology of lipids, the biomediators the produce and their participation in the process of oxidative stress. I am also investigating the production of volatile lipid metabolites in disease as well as other applications involving volatile compounds. I carry out both lab-based and clinic based studies. The lab has recently acquired an analytical selected ion flow tube mass spectrometer to aid in the analysis of volatile compounds.   Diet and behaviour. Diet has been implicated as playing a role in both depression and childhood attentional deficits. My lab aims to examine how dietary supplementation can alter mood and behaviour, and why some people appear to be more prone to dietary insufficiencies than others. We are currently testing this hypothesis in children with reduced attention.   Breath analysis for medical diagnosis. The lab is developing non-invasive health screening tests using volatile compounds present in human breath. We have recently acquired an Instrument Science analytical Selected Ion Flow Tube Mass Spectrometer (SIFT-MS) and a Markes Unity Automated Thermal Desorber for this purpose. Currently we have the only SIFT-MS of this type an academic setting in North America. The research work is based on my study of oxidative stress and lipid peroxidation using breath markers. This technology will be used to determine whether breath analysis can be used to aid the early detection of cancers, in particular lung cancer, various other disorders, and how volatile chemical measurements can assist with reducing environmental pollution and work place health and safety. Applications of volatile chemical analysis in microbiology. SIFT-MS can determine volatile compound levels down to single digit PPB in real time. Various organisms and chemical compounds produce unique mass spectrum ‘signatures’. Using the technique we can determine bacterial growth via ‘head space’ analysis. The project will determine whether pathogenic organisms produce signatures which can aid in their detection. In addition to my lab-based research, I am also an active researcher in the field of place-based and medical education. I am interested in finding out how place and professional training interacts and how to use that information to design better and more effective educational programs.

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