Protein-Based Barcodes for Mapping B Cell Differentiation at High Resolution

Dr. Neil Kelleher will focus on scanning and mapping how B-cells mature from their beginnings in our bone marrow to those that protect us from infection. Specifically, he’ll look to understand how any abnormal deviations in this process can result in cancers like leukemia and multiple myeloma. Kelleher’s research will inform and complement other efforts toward cell-based therapies, regenerating organs, personalized drugs and improved detection of human disease.

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Affiliated Investigators

Neil Kelleher, Ph.D.

Northwestern University

Dr. Kelleher’s laboratory has three main sub-groups working in the areas of Top Down Proteomics, Natural Products Biosynthesis/Discovery, and Cancer Epigenetics.  The Kelleher group has been successful in driving both technology development and applications of high performance mass spectrometry at the interface of chemistry, biology and medicine.  Since 2011, Dr. Kelleher has served as the director of the Proteomics Center of Excellence at Northwestern University, where Northwestern and USA laboratories are supported and beyond state-of-the-art in Top Down Proteomics is developed.  Dr. Kelleher was elected Treasurer of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry in 2012 and established the Consortium for Top Down Proteomics that same year.  In September 2012 Dr. Kelleher gave the keynote address at World HUPO (Human Proteome Organization), where he described a “Cell-Based” version of the Human Proteome Project viewable at this URL (  The project would involve measuring ~1Billion protein molecules in all the cells and fluids of the human body.  With more than 220 papers published over the course of his career and teaching duties in two departments, Dr. Kelleher is a trans-disciplinary investigator with visible streaks of international impact in mass spectrometry-based proteomics and the discovery of new natural products from the microbial world.  Validation of protein-based biomarkers in organ transplantation and cancers of the blood are among the focused areas currently being pursued in clinical research at Northwestern to validate the Top-Down strategy as a disruptive technology worthy of a big science initiative to establish it at large scale and low cost.