Samantha Marie Lawrence


Prior to joining the University of Leeds as a PhD student in October 2018, I obtained my Biochemistry BSc at the University of York (2014-2018). This included a Year in Industry at AstraZeneca (formerly MedImmune (Cambridge)). My current research project is a BBSRC Collaborative Training Partnership PhD Studentship between the Astbury Centre for Structural and Molecular Biology and AstraZeneca, and is jointly funded by the BBSRC and AstraZeneca.

Research interests

My research investigates how hydrodynamic flow forces, such as shear and extensional force, can cause damage to proteins, with a particular focus on biopharmaceuticals.These molecules encounter flow-related stresses during their manufacture and therefore it is important to further understand the processes leading up to aggregation, as to avoid blocking the huge potential of these drugs in the market. I subject proteins to stresses using a flow device designed in the University of Leeds, which mimics flows found in industrial manufacture, and consequently use a range of analytical tools, including light scattering and mass spectrometry, to assess the levels of aggregation.

Primarily my research surrounds the development and use of surface-labelling techniques such as fast photochemical oxidation of proteins (FPOP) coupled to mass spectrometry to visualise protein struture. The use of flow coupled to FPOP-MS is my focus, and I am involved with the development of a flow channel which will sit in the path of the FPOP laser, designed to take snapshots of protein unfolding/flow-induced shape changes as we expose the proteins to force. My project goals include generating a greater fundamental understanding of protein molecular unfolding under flow, using FPOP and additionally HDX-MS for example. 


  • BSc Biochemistry (with a Year in Industry) (1st Class Hons)
  • AMRSB (Associate Member of the Royal Society of Biology) since April 2017