Our staff

Meet the team
Our experts help you get the most from our state–of-the-art tools for proteomic, metabolomic and mass spectrometry imaging.


Professor Stuart Cordwell, Director

Professor Stuart Cordwell, Academic Director

Academic profile.

Stuart has been involved in proteomics research throughout his career. He was an author on the manuscript that defined the term ‘proteome’ and established the first laboratory-based undergraduate Proteomics course in Australia.

He has been awarded the Selby Research Award for work on bacterial membrane proteins and a Villum Kann Rasmussen VELUX Professorship for his work on post-translational modification of proteins, and was the President of the Australasian Proteomics Society (2016-2020).

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Dr Ben Crossett, Associate Director

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Ben began his scientific career at the University of Manchester, gaining a BSc(Hons) in Biochemistry, followed by a PhD at the University of Cambridge. It was while he was a post-doctoral researcher at Imperial College London that he developed his interested in proteomics, applying the methods to investigate novel anti-microbial and vaccine targets in Burkholderia pseudomallei. In 2004, he moved to Sydney to help establish the forerunner of Sydney Mass Spectrometry.  Since then the facility has grown from one mass spectrometer and a narrow proteomics focus to one of the largest providers of LCMS services to the life sciences in Australia. 

As the Associate Director of Sydney Mass Spec he utilises proteomic and metabolomic techniques to study biological systems from species ranging from alpacas to zooxanthellae.



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Dr Atul Bhatnagar,  Senior Technical Officer

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Atul has over 8 years of experience in the field of life sciences mass spectrometry with a focus on metabolomics and small molecule absolute quantification. He obtained his PhD from Macquarie University in therapeutic drug quantification studies in cancer patients. Prior to joining SydneyMS, Atul has worked in various pharmaceutical industries and most recently was a senior scientist at APAF. His role there involved developing and validating LC-MS methods, managing commercial and research projects, instrument maintenance and imparting training to students and researchers.

Atul has extensive instrument experience for LC-MS (Orbitrap, QqQ) and UHPLC. He has a strong background in method development and validation in the areas of small molecules, metabolomics and therapeutic drug quantification. His expertise lies with validating bioanalytical methods for pharmacokinetic studies as per the regulatory guidelines (US-FDA, EMA, etc.). Atul is responsible for providing technical and analytical support to researchers using our facility especially in the areas of targeted and untargeted metabolomics, lipidomics and xenobiotic molecules. 


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Angela Connolly, Senior Mass Spectrometry Specialist


Angela has over 20 years’ experience working in the field of proteomics. Before joining Sydney University, Angela worked for several years at the Australian Proteomics Analysis Facility (APAF) as a Senior Mass Spectrometry Analyst, conducting projects for collaborating researchers, commercial customers and internal research groups.

Angela has extensive experience in operating mass spectrometers and HPLC systems. Additionally, she is skilled in data analysis for TMT analysis, shotgun proteomics, PMF and PTM analysis. She is responsible for much of the contract research conducted at Sydney Mass Spec as well as providing technical support to researchers accessing proteomic workflows at Sydney Mass Spec to ensure effective and efficient collaborative outcomes.


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Jacquie Kufner, Senior Administration Officer


Skilled in navigating the University's bureaucracy, Jacquie provides invaluable administrative support to Sydney Mass Spec and will guide users through the on-boarding process and handle any billing inquires.

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Dr Samiuela Lee, Senior Technical Officer

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With over 15 years of experience in mass spectrometry, Sam graduated with first-class honours in medical science and earned a PhD in analytical chemistry with a focus on LC-PDA-MS/MS method validation for complex herbal formulations from Wester Sydney University (WSU) in 2010. Post-PhD his career has encompassed roles such as a Laboratory Manager at a TGA certified laboratory at the herbal analysis lab at the National Institute for Complementary Medicine (NICM), WSU, Research Scientist for the Kids Cancer Alliance (KCA) within Westmead Children's Hospital, Project Scientist at the National Measurement Institute (NMI), and Research Associate at the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering before joining SydneyMS.

Sam's core expertise revolves around method development and validation of targeted metabolomic LC-MS/MS methods in diverse fields including phytochemical, pharmaceutical, pesticide, environmental, and clinical research. He has a proven track record in supporting users in discovery workflows utilising orbitrap and TOF MS instruments. Currently, within his role at SydneyMS, Sam is actively involved in the establishment of a node laboratory at the Biomedical Building (C81), contributing to the advancement of analytical capabilities in the field of mass spectrometry.


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Dr Kang-Yu Peng, Senior Technical Officer

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Kang-Yu started his career as a biomedical research scientist at Chang Gung University, Taiwan, where he obtained his undergraduate and master’s degrees and worked briefly as a research assistant. He undertook his PhD at the University of Melbourne and Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute focused on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease lipidomics, during which he used both patient samples and in vitro models and carried out lipid profiling and flux analysis to explore the involvement of lipid in this disease.

In 2017 Kang-Yu started work at the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, where he developed a targeted lipidomic assay covering more than 350 lipid species before moving on to the Heart Research Institute, where he was able to further develop the lipid assay so it could cover nearly double the number of species in almost half the instrument time.  In late 2021 he brought his lipidomics skills to Sydney Mass Spectrometry. 

Kang-Yu is an expert in LC/MS-based targeted and untargeted metabolomics and lipidomics.  He has worked on a wide range of projects which involved quantitative lipidomics of complex biological and/or clinical matrices (e.g., mammalian milk, plasma, platelet).  He is also interested in metabolomics/lipidomics data analysis and the application and development of relevant computer tools for this purpose. 


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Dr Jessica Pandohee, Senior Technical Officer 

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Jess holds a Bachelor of Forensic Science (Deakin University, 2012) and a PhD in Applied Chemistry (RMIT University, 2017). Her PhD research involved the development of multidimensional chromatographic techniques for targeted and untargeted study of metabolites and its application in the field of food, agriculture and forensic science. The work for which she received the RMIT Vice Chancellor Prize for Research Excellence, The Agilent Technologies Award for Separation Science and an Honourable Mention for the IUPAC-Solvay award in 2018. Prior to joining the Sydney Mass Spectrometry, Jess completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Centre for Integrative Metabolomics and Computational Biology (Edith Cowan University) and the Centre for Crop and Disease Management (Curtin University). Jess’ interests in improving human health and tackling global challenges arising from a growing food, environmental and water insecurity have led her in collaborative projects across Australia and internationally. 

She joined Sydney Mass Spectrometry to continue her passion in mass spectrometry, analytical sciences, and bioinformatics, as well as to apply her expertise to support multidisciplinary research.


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Dr Lake-Ee Quek, Postdoctoral Fellow

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Lake-Ee is a computational biologist specialising in cancer metabolism, mass spectrometry and stable isotope tracing. His PhD in Chemical Engineering at the University of Queensland involved the development of fluxomic tools for biopharmaceutical production. In 2016 he joined the Judith and David Coffey LifeLab at the University of Sydney, leveraging his metabolomics expertise to bolster Charles Perkins Centre’s multidisciplinary initiative in addressing chronic diseases. He was also a CINSW Fellow working towards identifying vulnerability in prostate cancer lipid metabolism using stable isotopes.

Lake-Ee is a LCMS application specialist in metabolomics and lipidomics. He works extensively with 13C carbon tracing and has a strong background in mammalian cell culture and tumour explants.


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Alex Rookyard, Senior Technical Officer


Alex has over seven years' experience in proteomic, metabolomic, and lipidomic analysis. He started his journey with mass spectrometry at the University of Sydney where during his PhD he developed methods to quantify irreversible post-translational modification to cysteine residues by targeted mass spectrometry. He further complemented these analyses with targeted metabolomic methods to probe central carbon metabolism. After this Alex spent the next few years furthering his proteomic capabilities at Columbia University, New York, where he conducted large-scale analysis of cerebral spinal fluid in the context of Alzheimer’s disease.

Alex enjoys employing the multitude of analytical strategies enabled by mass spectrometry and is consequently experienced with a variety of mass spectrometry techniques and applications. Now back at the University of Sydney, he is excited to utilise his expertise in targeted and untargeted mass spectrometry workflows to facilitate research at SydneyMS.


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Dr Denise Tran, Senior Technical Officer

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Denise has been an advocate for mass spectrometry (MS) and proteomics since her undergraduate days at the University of Adelaide where she majored in Chemistry and Pharmacology.  She stayed on at the University of Adelaide and completed her PhD in the Pukala lab, characterising a molecular chaperonin using MS and complementary techniques. In 2018, she joined the Loo lab at UCLA and identified binding pockets of spermatogenesis proteins, naked mole rat apolipoproteins, and developed native MS techniques for lipid associated proteins. Following that position, Denise joined the Kelleher lab at Northwestern University in 2020 and helped develop native immunoprecipitation workflows for Amyloid beta oligomers and helped push the forefront of top-down MS analysis software before joining the team here at SydneyMS.

She will continue pushing the boundaries of mass spectrometry and enabling the scientific community to excel, especially in the areas of proteomics and MS based protein characterisation.


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Dr Ashleigh Dale, Technical Officer

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Ashleigh has over 5 years’ experience in proteomic analysis. During her PhD at the University of Sydney she studied proteome-wide protein-protein interactions in bacteria using cross-linking mass spectrometry. She developed new sample processing methods that utilised off-line and online fractionation and ion mobility to expand the depth of coverage and optimise quantitation in cross-linking mass spectrometry. In addition, she utilised immunoprecipitation strategies combined with mass spectrometry to investigate methods to identify and quantify proteome-wide protein lysine acetylation.

Ashleigh has extensive experience in bacterial and mammalian cell culture and tissue samples, and enjoys optimising sample preparations, mass spectrometry, liquid chromatography and associated techniques to answer biological questions.