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Kyle Duncan


Assistant Professor, Vancouver Island University (VIU)

Dr. Duncan received his Ph.D. In chemistry from the University of Victoria. He moved to Sweden for his postdoctoral fellowship at Uppsala University in the lab of Prof. Ingela Lanekoff. Dr. Duncan is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry at Vancouver Island University and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Victoria. 

Why do you study metabolism?

“Small molecule metabolites are the precursors, intermediates, and products of biological processes and metabolic pathways. Metabolic pathways can compensate and react to environmental stressors or stimuli, creating a moving puzzle with many intricate pieces. Attempting to solve parts of this puzzle to provide better understanding for human health and informed disease therapeutics is highly addicting.”

Why it fascinates you?

“Metabolomics bridges events and reactions at the molecular scale to cellular or organismal biological responses. I find it fascinating that miniscule molecular modifications to biomolecules can regulate and/or trigger cells to proliferate or to undergo apoptosis.”

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Research Focus

Custom ambient mass spectrometry imaging instrumentation

We construct and develop custom instrumentation to map metabolite distributions in tissue and engineer strategies to expand the range of metabolites detected. 

Non-targeted spatial metabolomics

Data analysis and metabolite annotation for non-targeted molecular histology of 2D tissue sections.

Mass spectrometry imaging of low abundance metabolites. 

We use reactive chemistries and targeted ionization enhancements to uncover the spatial distribution of metabolites in tissue with low physiological abundance but high biological significance. 

Direct MS differentiation of metabolite isomers

Unique ionization chemistries are explored to yield structurally diagnostic product ions for isomerically resolved MS/MS fragmentation.

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