Professor Kelvin Cain

Head of Science Facilities & Protein Profiling Group Leader

Headshot of Professor Kelvin Cain

MRC Toxicology Unit
Hodgkin Building
Lancaster Road


Qualifications and Personal History

2013-Present Head of Science Facilities, MRC Toxicology Unit.

2011-Present Professorship, University of Leicester.

2002-Present Head of Protein Profiling Group, MRC Toxicology Unit.

1996-Present Band 2, Senior Scientist, MRC Toxicology Unit.

1977-1996 Tenured Scientist, MRC Toxicology Unit.

1976 PhD (Warwick University), Molecular Sciences.

1972 BSc Hons, Pharmacology.


Research Interests

Proteomic and biochemical characterisation of large protein complexes involved in cell death, mitochondrial proteomics and bioenergetics in malignant cells.

I have worked as a Research Scientist in the MRC Toxicology Unit for 39 years, largely working on apoptosis, cell death and cancer. I am now Head of Science Facilities at the MRC Toxicology Unit, in charge of the Proteomics, Genomics, Bioinformatics, EM and Advanced Light Imaging groups. I manage ten members of staff and co-supervise three PhD students. I have extensive experience in cell death, cellular metabolism, protein biochemistry, purification and enzymology. My own group, the Protein Profiling Group, has two full time members of staff and three joint PhD students and uses Proteomics and Mass Spectrometry to identify novel and aberrant proteins in cell death and cancer (see Research Interests). A major focus of our work is identifying and quantifying proteins involved in toxicity and cancer. These are mechanistic-based studies aimed at correlating signalling defects with changes in metabolism, and how these impact on cellular and organelle proteomes, which in turn modulate cell survival and cell death. Large protein complexes drive many of the key metabolic and biochemical pathways involved in cell death and survival; a major aim of our work is to characterise the proteomic stoichiometric composition of such complexes.  Such information provides key understanding of how the complexes function and how this can be disrupted by potential toxic agents or tumorigenesis. These proteomic discovery studies are carried out in collaboration with Toxicology Unit programmes led by Professor Marion MacFarlane, Professor Anne Willis, Professor Martin Bushell, Dr Michal Malewicz and UoL researchers (e.g. Professor Martin Dyer).  These studies have resulted in significant publications in high impact factor journals such as Molecular and Cellular Proteomics, Molecular Cell, Oncogene, Nature Immunology, Cell Death and Differentiation.

The summary of research interests provides a snapshot of the group’s research and illustrates how it interacts with other research groups in the Unit.

Selected Publications

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