Bob Amess

BSc, MSc, PhD


An innovative and commercially aware senior research scientist with significant experience of biochemical research in both the academic and private sectors, particularly, in the development and application of bioinformatics tools to proteomics for drug target discovery and disease diagnosis. High degree of literacy with skills in Microsoft® Access, Microsoft® Excel, Microsoft® Word, SQL and UNIX scripting. Successful manager of both teams and projects.

Career History

1996 - 2001 Director of Proteome Data Analysis (formerly Director of Protein Sciences) , Oxford GlycoSciences (UK) Ltd, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RY (

Oxford GlycoSciences specialises in Proteomics, the comprehensive study of proteins, as a foundation for the discovery of new drugs and ways of diagnosing disease.

Managing a group of 15 graduates to provide a proteome data analysis service for internal and external customers. Responsibilities included recruitment, training, SOP writing, QC, project leadership, technical supervision and scheduling of production work, as well as custom data analysis. Frequent interaction with internal and external project scientists, biostatisticians, project managers and other senior colleagues in Bioinformatics, Proteome Operations and Proteome Research at OGS, was involved. In addition, providing advice on the gel image production process and contributing to the development of software for analysis of gel images formed a significant part of the role.

Main Achievements

Played a central role in establishing the OGS proteomics platform based on high throughput 2D gel electrophoresis of proteins and quantitative differential protein analysis.

Key contributions made to laboratory protocols for 2D gel electrophoresis and gel imaging by fluorescence.

Extensive involvement in the development of computer analysis protocols, including the specification and validation of proprietary software used to match gel images for propagation of protein annotations and analysis of differential protein expression.

Successfully built and led a professional team focused on delivering high quality data, meeting both targets and customers' expectations, while achieving a very high retention of staff.

Research work contributed to published papers and the successful grant of patents (see list of publications), co-authoring the OGS omnibus patents covering the entire proteomics process.

1994 - 1996 Senior Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge

Continuing from the previous post (transferred from Oxford following the relocation of the research group of Dr Aviva Tolkovsky), my role involved using 2D gel electrophoresis of 35S-labelled proteins with computer image analysis to study changes in protein synthesis at the onset of programmed cell death in neurons.

Main Achievements

Established and maintained a UNIX workstation with Quest II 2D gel image analysis software (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, New York).

Obtained preliminary data on proteins of interest to the study.

1992 - 1994 Senior Postdoctoral Research Assistant, Human Anatomy, University of Oxford

Designed and implemented a large format 2nd dimension multi-gel electrophoresis tank with constant temperature control and ease of use.

1988 - 1992 Postdoctoral Research Scientist, Division of Protein Sciences, National Institute for Medical Research, London

Identified multiple phosphorylation sites in the 80 kDa (MARCKS) protein kinase C substrate.

1986 - 1987 Research Scientist, Shandon Southern Products Ltd, Runcorn, Cheshire

Established a small team for development of electrophoresis protocols.

1983 - 1986 Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Chemistry, University of Birmingham

Wrote interactive software (Fortran 77) for 2D gel image analysis via lab built scanner.

Education and Qualifications

1983 PhD Chemistry, University of Birmingham; title of thesis "Novel Enzyme Substrates"
1980 MSc Applied Organic Chemistry, University of Birmingham
1979 BSc Hons. Chemistry, University of Birmingham
1976 A-levels: Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics, South Bromsgrove High School


Leisure interests

DIY, gardening, classical music (especially guitar), reading, particularly travel books.

Other relevant information

Member of the Biochemical Society (UK) since 1990.

Member of the British Society for Proteome Research (formerly British Electrophoresis Society) since 1983 (Executive Committee member since 1993, Honorary Secretary 1995 - 1998, Newsletter editor, 1995 - 2000). Achievements include:- co-organised annual scientific meeting (1987), organised annual scientific meeting (1993); established Society's web site (1995) - the first for any national electrophoresis society; significantly improved the format of the Newsletter (1995/6).

Book Reviews

Methods in Molecular Biology, 190, "High Throughput Screening: Methods and Protocols", edited by William P Janzen, series editor John M Walker, Humana Press, 2002, ISBN: 0-89603-889-0.
Amess B, Proteomics 2002, 2(9), 1356-1357.


Tutor to Bioinformatics for Proteomics, 8-10 Oct 2002, CPD Centre, Department for Continuing Education, University of Oxford.

Attended Industrial Society residential course Managing Professional Teams, 21-23 Apr 1998.

Attended Construction and Analysis of Two-Dimensional Gel Protein Databases, 13-20 Apr 1993, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Long Island, New York, USA.


Parekh RB, Amess R, Bruce JA, Prime SB, Platt AE, Stoney RM, Oxford GlycoSciences (UK) Ltd.
Computer-assisted isolation and characterization of proteins.
US Patent 6,278,794 B1 Granted 21 Aug 2001.

Parekh RB, Amess R, Bruce JA, Prime SB, Platt AE, Stoney RM, Oxford GlycoSciences (UK) Ltd.
Computer-assisted methods and apparatus for identification and characterization of biomolecules in a biological sample.
US Patent 6,064,754 Granted 16 May 2000. (Similar granted in Australia, South Africa and pending in Canada, China, EPO, Japan and Norway.)

Amess R, Townsend RR, Parekh RB, Oxford GlycoSciences (UK) Ltd and Waterfield MD, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research.
Proteins for diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer.
International Application published under the Patent Cooperation Treaty WO 00/55628 Publication date 21 Sep 2000. (Similar published in EPO and pending in US.)


Gagneux P, Amess B, Diaz S, Moore S, Patel T, Dillmann W, Parekh R, Varki A.
Proteomic comparison of human and great ape blood plasma reveals conserved glycosylation and differences in thyroid hormone metabolism.
Am. J. Phys. Anthropol 2001, 115(2), 99-109.

Page MJ, Amess B, Townsend RR, Parekh R, Herath A, Brusten L, Zvelebil MJ, Stein RC, Waterfield MD, Davies SC, O'Hare MJ.
Proteomic definition of normal human luminal and myoepithelial breast cells purified from reduction mammoplasties.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 1999, 96(22), 12589-12594.

Page MJ, Amess B, Rohlff C, Stubberfield C, Parekh R.
Proteomics: a major new technology for the drug discovery process.
Drug Discov. Today 1999, 4(2), 55-62.

Dubois T, Howell S, Amess B, Kerai P, Learmonth M, Madrazo J, Chaudhri M, Rittinger K, Scarabel M, Soneji Y, Aitken A.
Structure and sites of phosphorylation of 14-3-3 protein: role in coordinating signal transduction pathways.
J. Protein Chem. 1997, 16(5), 513-522.

Amess B, Tolkovsky AM.
Programmed cell death in sympathetic neurons: a study by two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis using computer image analysis.
Electrophoresis 1995, 16(7), 1255-1267.

Harnett W, Houston KM, Amess R, Worms MJ.
Acanthocheilonema viteae: phosphorylcholine is attached to the major excretory-secretory product via an N-linked glycan.
Exp. Parasitol. 1993, 77(4), 498-502.

Learmonth MP, Howell SA, Harris AC, Amess B, Patel Y, Giambanco I, Bianchi R, Pula G, Ceccarelli P, Donato R, et al.
Novel isoforms of CaBP 33/37 (annexin V) from mammalian brain: structural and phosphorylation differences that suggest distinct biological roles.
Biochim. Biophys. Acta. 1992, 1160(1), 76-83.

Aitken A, Amess B, Howell S, Jones D, Martin H, Patel Y, Robinson K, Toker A.
The role of specific isoforms of 14-3-3 protein in regulating protein kinase activity in the brain.
Biochem. Soc. Trans. 1992, 20(3), 607-611.

Toker A, Sellers LA, Amess B, Patel Y, Harris A, Aitken A.
Multiple isoforms of a protein kinase C inhibitor (KCIP-1/14-3-3) from sheep brain. Amino acid sequence of phosphorylated forms.
Eur. J. Biochem. 1992, 206(2), 453-461.

Amess B, Manjarrez-Hernandez HA, Howell SA, Learmonth M, Aitken A.
Multisite phosphorylation of the 80 kDa (MARCKS) protein kinase C substrate in C3H/10T1/2 fibroblasts. Quantitative analysis of individual sites by solid-phase microsequencing.
FEBS Lett. 1992, 297(3), 285-291.

Manjarrez-Hernandez HA, Amess B, Sellers L, Baldwin TJ, Knutton S, Williams PH, Aitken A.
Purification of a 20 kDa phosphoprotein from epithelial cells and identification as a myosin light chain. Phosphorylation induced by enteropathogenic Escherichia coli and phorbol ester.
FEBS Lett. 1991, 292(1-2), 121-127.

Amess R, Baggett N, Darby P, Goode AR, Vickers EE.
Synthesis of luciferin glycosides as substrates for novel ultrasensitive enzyme assays.
Carbohydrate Res. 1990, 205, 225-233.

Amess R, Spragg SP.
Reducing the background to silver stained polyacrylamide gels after two-dimensional electrophoresis.
Electrophoresis 1986, 7, 444-446.

Spragg SP, Amess R, Jones MI, Ramasamy R.
Quantifying patterns from two-dimensional PAGE.
Ch 8 in Gel Electrophoresis of Proteins, edited by Dunn MJ (Adam Hilger Limited, Wright Publishing House) 1986.

Spragg SP, Amess R, Jones MI, Ramasamy R.
Double-beam flying spot scanner for two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis.
Anal. Biochem. 1985, 147(1), 120-127.

Ramasamy R, Spragg SP, Jones MI, Amess R.
A new system for unloading gel rods for isoelectricfocusing and a tank for running twenty second dimension slab gels vertically.
Electrophoresis 1985, 6, 43-46.

Thorpe GH, Kricka LJ, Gillespie E, Moseley S, Amess R, Baggett N, Whitehead TP.
Enhancement of the horseradish peroxidase-catalyzed chemiluminescent oxidation of cyclic diacyl hydrazides by 6-hydroxybenzothiazoles.
Anal. Biochem. 1985, 145(1), 96-100.