Essam Ghazaly

Essam Ghazaly

Postdoctoral Research Assistant

My research is currently focused on the clinical pharmacology of cancer chemotherapeutic agents. I am using a metabolomic approach in search of biomarkers that can predict activity/toxicity of the cytotoxic agents.

My work also involves development of LC-MS (liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry) methodology for detection and quantification of different anti-cancer drugs and small molecules in complex biological matrices such as plasma, urine and intracellular. I am also interested in the clinical pharmacology of novel new cytotoxic agents in the context of early phase clinical trials.

Life at the Institute

My career in cancer research is highly motivating because many cancer patients may benefit from the outcome of my research. I work with a diverse range of cancer chemotherapeutic agents, so I rarely get bored.

The work can be challenging and mentally stimulating as we try to find out the causes behind anomalies in our results, or try to understand the mechanisms behind observed interaction. Also, it is amazing to be surrounded by such experienced colleagues, who provide me with constant support and inspiration.


  • The mass spectrometry facility that allowed us to measure different metabolites with a high degree of accuracy and sensitivity.
  • A diverse seminar program covering wide areas in cancer research.
  • Fun social program including summer and winter activities.

Low Points

When an assay doesn’t quite come together or when I get some odd results it can be stressful, but the despair can soon be overcome if I can understand the cause behind these irregularities and find a solution.

I wish I'd known...

I wish I had known the total number of the chromatography and mass spectrometry systems in the Institute, because I never imagined that one day I would be required to run three systems at the same time!

Future Plans

In future, using my metabolomic approach, I hope to map all the metabolomic pathways involved in cancer, making it easier to study the drug effects on these pathways. This will also help in developing new therapeutic agents targeting these pathways.

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