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International award for Strathclyde chemistry lecturer

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A senior lecturer in Chemistry at the University of Strathclyde has won an international award for achievements in his field, including the development of techniques for diagnosing brain tumours.

Dr Matthew Baker has won the Emerging Leader in Molecular Spectroscopy Award from Spectroscopy magazine for outstanding research into real-life applications of analytical chemistry, including pioneering use of vibrational spectroscopy for clinical diagnostics. This has enabled the development of an accurate, efficient and clinically applicable method of brain tumour diagnosis.

The method is the subject of a prospective spin-out, ClinSpec Dx, from Strathclyde.

Dr Baker's research also has applications in clinical, biomedical, security and defence fields.

Dr Baker, who is from the Fylde district of Lancashire, was selected to receive the award by an independent scientific committee. It will be presented to him by Spectroscopy magazine at the SciX 2016 conference in Minneapolis, where he will also give a plenary lecture.

Dr Baker said: "It is a great honour to be chosen for this award by a committee of such prominent experts.

"There is need for new diagnostics for cancer and my main aim is to translate our spectroscopic technology to help patients."

Dr Baker recently co-formed the UK Clinical Infrared and Raman Spectroscopy (CLIRSPEC) Network. This has also produced a charitable organisation, the International Society for Clinical Spectroscopy, which aims to enable promising vibrational spectroscopy methods to be brought into the clinic. He has contributed to numerous key research papers in spectroscopy field, co-written an e-book for the Institute of Physics and guest edited issues of the journals Vibrational Spectroscopy, Journal of Biophotonics and Chemical Society Reviews. He has also developed the successful CLIRSPEC Summer School. This is now in its second year and further raises the profile and reach of clinical spectroscopy through providing an interdisciplinary education to a broad range of students interested in the field. Dr Baker's research was initially funded by Brain Tumour North West (BTNW), the Rosemere Cancer Foundation and the Sydney Driscoll Neuroscience Foundation.

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