Dr Ashley Martin PhD

Senior Research Fellow

Contact details

School of Cancer Sciences
College of Medical and Dental Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Ashley manages the Proteomic Facility within the College of Medical and Dental Sciences to provide a core resource for the College. In this role Ashley interacts with many researchers to help in production of samples for proteomic analysis.

With a background in lipid metabolism and cell signalling Ashley moved into cancer related work when it became clear that many of the lipids he was working on were fundamentally involved in the cancer process.

Ashley has been funded by CRUK for Biomarker discovery and he has also been active with Charity in raising funds by giving talks at many CRUK sponsored events.


  • PhD 1986, Nottingham University
  • BSc (Hons) Biochemistry and Physiology, Leeds University


Having left school Ashley trained as a Medical Laboratory Scientific Officer at the City Hospital in Nottingham after which he entered Leeds University to Study for a Combined degree in Biochemistry and Physiology.

Dr Martin then completed a PhD (“The role of Phosphatidate Phosphohydrolase in the regulation of Glycerolipid production in rat liver”) at Nottingham University Medical School and then moved to the University of Alberta, Edmonton in Canada when his supervisor moved the group. Ashley worked in Canada for over 6 years before taking a post in the Dept. of Clinical Oncology at Birmingham University to focus on the role of lipid signalling in Cancer. 

After 4 years of this work Dr Martin moved to the University of Wolverhampton as a Senior Lecturer before returning to Birmingham to set up and manage the Proteomics Facility in the Medical School at Birmingham University.


  • B.Med.Sci.
  • B.Med.ClinSci
  • Clinical Oncology MSc/PG Dip

Postgraduate supervision

Ashley is interested in supervising Doctoral research students in the following areas:

The development of proteomic strategies to address fundamental questions in Biomedical Science

The use of mass spectrometry to measure bioactive lipids in disease processes.

Proteomic and phosphoproteomic changes that occur during the acquisition of drug resistance in cancer patients


Research Theme

Structural Biology and Biomarkers

Research interests

Ashley’s research is focussed on the development of sample preparation strategies to enhance the use of mass spectrometry based proteomic approaches to address questions asked by biomedical scientists. The techniques available include the identification and quantitation of proteins, in both complex and enriched samples using label-free and isotopic labelling strategies.

The affinity purification of protein complexes to study “interactomics” is a technique that has proven successful in several collaborations. In addition protocols to identify and quantify phosphoproteins/phosphopeptides in complex samples have been developed. More recently the analysis of biologically active lipids using mass spectrometry has been started. 

In addition the use of mass spectrometry based approaches for biomarker research is a focus of the work, for example, to try and identify diagnostic markers for a range of cancers. 

Studies to identify changes in the phosphorylation pattern of proteins in samples taken from renal cancer patients treated with Sunitinib (a kinase inhibitor) before and after the patients develop resistance to treatment are underway. Work to describe proteomic changes in human epithelial breast cancer cells when they become resistant to Tamoxifen has been performed and the involvement of several novel proteins implicated in the process are being investigated.


Y Mohri, T Mohri, W Wei, YJ Qi, A Martin, C Miki, M Kusunoki, DG Ward, P Johnson (2009) 'Identification of macrophage migration inhibitory factor and human neutrophil peptides 1-3 as potential biomarkers for gastric cancer'. British journal of cancer

NJ Shimwell, A Martin, RK Bruton, AN Blackford, GG Sedgwick, P H Gallimore, AS Turnell, RJA Grand (2009) 'Adenovirus 5 E1A is responsible for increased expression of insulin receptor substrate 4 in established adenovirus 5-transformed cell lines and interacts with IRS components activating the PI3 kinase/Akt signalling pathway'. Oncogene 28 686-97

S Wilson, TK Taskila, T Ismail, DD Stocken, A Martin, VD Redman, MJO Wakelam, I Perry, FDR Hobbs (2009) 'Establishing the added benefit of measuring MMP9 in FOB positive patients as a part of the Wolverhampton colorectal cancer screening programme'. BMC cancer 9 36

C Ludwig, DG Ward, A Martin, MR Viant, T Ismail, P Johnson, MJO Wakelam, UL Gunther (2009) 'Fast targeted multidimensional NMR metabolomics of colorectal cancer'. Magnetic Resonance in Chemistry n/a-n/a

DG Ward, K Roberts, P Stonelake, P Goon, CG Zampronio, A Martin, P Johnson, TH Iqbal, C Tselepis (2008) 'SELDI-TOF-MS determination of hepcidin in clinical samples using stable isotope labelled hepcidin as an internal standard'. Proteome Science 6 28

DG Ward, SO Nyangoma, H Joy, E Hamilton, W Wei, C Tselepis, NM Steven, MJO Wakelam, P Johnson, T Ismail, A Martin (2008) 'Proteomic profiling of urine for the detection of colon cancer'. Proteome Science 6 19

DG Ward, K Roberts, MJ Brookes, H Joy, A Martin, T Ismail, RT Spychal, TH Iqbal, C Tselepis (2008) 'Increased hepcidin expression in colorectal carcinogenesis'. World journal of gastroenterology : WJG 14 1339-45

I Bell, A Martin, S Roberts (2007) 'The E1circumflexE4 protein of human papillomavirus interacts with the serine-arginine specific protein kinase SRPK1'. Journal of Virology 81 5437-48

PF Lalor, P Jun Sun, CJ Weston, A Martin, MJO Wakelam, DH Adams (2007) 'Activation of vascular adhesion protein-1 on liver endothelium results in an NFkB-dependent increase in lymphocyte adhesion'. Hepatology 45 465-474

S Rathinam, SO Nyangoma, DG Ward, A Alzetani, J Starczynski, A Martin, P Johnson, ND James, PB Rajesh (2007) 'Proteomic analysis of resectable non-small cell lung cancer: Impact of smoking, histological type and stage of disease'. Thorax 62 A11-A12

Y Senis, MG Tomlinson, A Garcia, S Dumon, V Heath, J Herbert, SP Cobbold, JC Spalton, S Ayman, R Antrobus, N Zitzmann, R Bicknell, J Frampton, KS Authi, A Martin, MJO Wakelam, SP Watson (2006) 'A comprehensive proteomics and genomics analysis reveals novel transmembrane proteins in human platelets and mouse megakaryocytes including G6b-B, a novel immunoreceptor tyrosine-based inhibitory motif protein'. Molecular and Cellular Proteomics 6 548-564

DG Ward, Y Cheng, G N'kontchou, TT Thar, N Barget, W Wei, A Martin, M Beaugrand, P Johnson (2006) 'Preclinical and post-treatment changes in the HCC-associated serum proteome'. British Journal of Cancer 95 1379-1383

DG Ward, W Wei, Y Cheng, LJ Billingham, A Martin, P Johnson, BP Lyons, SW Feist, GD Stentiford (2006) 'Plasma proteome analysis reveals the geographical origin and liver disease status of dab (Limanda limanda) from UK marine waters'. Environmental Science and Technology 40 4031-4036

DG Ward, NR Suggett, Y Cheng, W Wei, H Johnson, LJ Billingham, T Ismail, MJO Wakelam, P Johnson, A Martin (2006) 'Identification of serum biomarkers for colon cancer by proteomic analysis'. British Journal of Cancer 94 1898-1905

DG Ward, Y Cheng, G N'Kontchou, TT Thar, N Barget, W Wei, LJ Billingham, A Martin, M Beaugrand, P Johnson (2006) 'Changes in the serum proteome associated with the development of hepatocellular carcinoma in hepatitis C-related cirrhosis'. British Journal of Cancer 94 287-292

S Wilson, MJO Wakelam, RF Hobbs, AV Ryan, JA Dunn, VD Redman, F Patrick, L Colbourne, A Martin, T Ismail (2006) 'Evaluation of the accuracy of serum MMP-9 as a test for colorectal cancer in a primary care population'. BMC cancer 6 258

AV Ryan, S Wilson, MJO Wakelam, SA Warmington, JA Dunn, RF Hobbs, A Martin, T Ismail (2006) 'A prospective study to assess the value of MMP-9 in improving the appropriateness of urgent referrals for colorectal cancer'. BMC Cancer 6 251

AS Turnell, GS Stewart, RJA Grand, SM Rookes, A Martin, H Yamano, SJ Elledge, P H Gallimore (2005) 'The APC/C and CBP/p300 co-operate to regulate, transcription, transformation and progression through mitosis'. Nature 438 690-695

GD Stentiford, MR Viant, DG Ward, P Johnson, A Martin, W Wei, HJ Cooper, BP Lyons, SW Feist (2005) 'Liver tumours in wild flatfish: A histopathological, proteomic and metabolomic study'. Journal of Integrative Biology 9 281-299

A Martin (2005) 'Protein identification by mass spectrometric analyses of peptides'. Methods in Molecular Biology 298 227-240

GD Stentiford, MR Viant, DG Ward, PJE Johnson, A Martin, W Wei, HJ Cooper, AG Marshall, BP Lyons, SW Feist (2005) 'Liver tumours in wild flatfish: A histopatholoical, proteomic and metabolomic study'. 13th International Symposium on Pollutant Responses in Marine Organisms

SA Jones, MJ Farquhar, A Martin, JD Howl (2005) 'Intracellular translocation of the decapeptide carboxyl terminal of Gi3 alpha induces the dual phosphorylation of p42/p44 MAP kinases'. Biochimica Biophysica Acta 1745 207-214

PM Taylor, RJ Woodfield, M Hodgkin, TR Pettitt, A Martin, DJ Kerr, MJO Wakelam (2002) 'Breast cancer cell-derived EMMPRIN stimulates fibroblast MMP2 release through a phospholipase A2 and 5-lipoxygenase catalysed pathway'. Oncogene 21 5765-5772

A Ben-Smith, SKD Dove, A Martin, MJO Wakelam, COS Savage (2001) 'Antineutrophil cytoplasm autoantibodies from patients with systemic vasculitis activate neutrophils through distinct signalling cascades: Comparison with conventional Fc receptor ligation'. Blood 98 1448-1455

MJ Farquhar, A Martin, RL Bates, JD Howl (2001) 'Experimental modulation of the facilitated uptake and constitutive exocytosis of 5-hydroxyltryptamine in RBL-2H3 cells'. Biogenic Amines 16 593-604

MJ Farquhar, U Soomets, RL Bates, A Martin, U Langel, JD Howl (2001) 'Differential secretion from mast cells induced by novel mastoparan analogues'. Journal of Chemistry and Biology 9 63-70