Nicholas J W Rattray

 Nik Rattray

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The University of Manchester (UK)

Dr Nik Rattray is a bioanalytical chemist working within the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology (MIB), part of the University of Manchester. At present, he is an Experimental Officer in the new BBSRC SYNBIOCHEM centre ( where he serves as metabolomics lead. His current interests lie in applying mass spectrometry-based metabolomics to a design-build-test synthetic biology environment. This approach allows metabolomics to inform and influence the metabolic engineering of various microbial/mould based scaffolds with the ultimate goal of discovery and upscale of new valuable speciality chemicals.

Born in Dumfries UK, Nik earned his 1st Class undergraduate Masters (with Honours) in Medicinal Chemistry from Manchester Metropolitan University and subsequently gained his PhD from the School of Pharmacy at the University of Manchester in the area of Biophysics and Molecular Diagnostics. He subsequently moved to the MIB, worked as a mass spectrometry technician (breathomics) and subsequently as a post-doc (clinical and microbial metabolomics) under Professor Roy Goodacre, starting his journey into metabolomics based research.

Since gaining his PhD and working at the MIB, Nik has published over 25 peer review publications has contributed to over 40 conference proceedings and is co-investigator in grants totalling over £700,000. He is acting secretary within the University of Manchester Mass Spectrometry Steering Committee, serves as a technical director and trustee within the RORO registered charity ( - recycling scientific equipment and creating research opportunities in the developing world), is leading on the establishment of a UK-wide synthetic biology mass spectrometry users forum and currently acts as a Project Area Liaison within the ERA-net FAIRDOM data-management community (

His current research direction concentrates on advancing mass spectrometry based metabolomics into the automation of synthetic biology whilst at the same time developing methods to integrate ion-mobility and imaging mass spectrometry into more general metabolomics applications.

Nik now acts on the Conference and Training Committee within the Metabolomics Society and as the second chair of the Early Career Members Network (EMN).