Macfarlane Research Group  

Moore, D.V., McNeal, C.J., Macfarlane, R.D., Isoforms of apo C-1 associated with individuals with coronary artery disease. Biochem. Biophysical Res. Com. 2011; 404: 1034-1038.

Johnson, J.D., Henriquez, R., Tichy ,S.E. Russell, D.H., McNeal, C.J. Macfarlane, R.D., UC/MALDI-MS analysis of HDL; evidence for density-dependent post-translational modifications. Int.  J.  Mass Spectrom, 2007; 268: 227-233.

Chandra, R.,  Macfarlane, R.D., Remnant Lipoprotein Density Profiling by CsBiEDTA Density Gradient Ultracentrifugation Anal.  Chem.  2006; 78, 680-685.

Espinosa, L. McNeal, C.J. Macfarlane, R.D., A Method for Lipoprotein(a) Density Profiling by BiEDTA Differential Density Lipoprotein Ultracentrifugation. Anal.Chem.2006; 78, 438-444.

Hosken, B.D., Cockrill, S.L., Macfarlane, R.D., Metal Ion Complexes of EDTA: A new solute system for density gradient ultracentrifugation analysis of lipoproteins Anal. Chem.2005; 77, 200-207.

Farwig, Z.N., McNeal, C.J.,  Macfarlane, R.D., Novel truncated forms of constitutive serum amyloid A detected by MALDI mass spectrometry. Biochem. Biophys. Res.  Com.2005; 352-356.

Johnson, J.D.,  Bell, N.J.,  Donahoe, E.L. Macfarlane, R.D., Metal Ion Complexes of EDTA as Solutes for Density Gradient Ultracentrifugation:  Influence of Metal Ions. Anal. Chem. 2005; 77, 7054-7061.

Mine-Yine Liu, McNeal, C.J., Macfarlane, R.D., Charge density profiling of circulating human low-density lipoprotein particles by capillary electrophoresis, Electrophoresis 2004; 25: 2985-2995.

Farwig, Z.N.,  Campbell, A., Macfarlane, R.D., Analysis of High Density Lipoprotein Apolipoproteins Recovered from Specific Immobilized pH Gradient Gel pI Domains by Matrix-assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry. Anal. Chem. 2003; 75: 3823-3830.


Dear Prospective Students,

            A significant fraction of your generation who have chosen chemistry for their career  also want to serve others as a chemist.  What this means is that as a chemist, you also will be participating in other fields, translating your chemistry expertise to other areas of application.  After all, Nature operates as a translational endeavor blending the principles of chemistry, physics, biology …. into the wonderful biosphere that is our planet earth.  I am interested in attracting a few motivated young people into my research program who share this vision.  Most of you want to be involved in a well-established, defined research program and I respect that.  But that has not been my interest, even when I was a first-year graduate student.  I enjoy the challenge of exploring the unknown, and letting Nature tell me something that had never been known before.

            The strategy that I have followed for the past several decades in academic research is to first develop a new technology and then apply that technology to a problem of interest.  The advantage of this strategy is that there is no competition (at least for a while) and I always come in first in the academic race, because I’m the only one in the race.  I have pulled off this strategy three times now, in completely different fields.  The present field which I entered 20 years ago has been the most challenging:  the analytical chemistry of cardiovascular disease.  The goal:  to identify young people in the beginning stages of cardiovascular disease and monitor the effectiveness of treatment to stop further development of the disease using modern methods of analytical chemistry

            A Laboratory for Cardiovascular Chemistry was established in the chemistry department at Texas A&M in 1994.  Three analytical methods were selected: analytical ultracentrifugation, capillary electrophoresis, and mass spectrometry.  My research group consists mainly of undergraduates and graduate students who were attracted to the idea of adventure and discovery in a research project. My role is to establish a menu of topics of interest, and provide guidance when called upon.  The motivated student generates the ideas and strategies and develops the study realizing that they are the first ones to carry out the study with the new technology and to be sensitive to surprises that Nature might reveal. 

            Listed in the left margin are some of the articles that have been published in recent years that are derived from the creativity of the undergraduate or graduate student.  The first author on all of these papers are students who have developed the study.  I’ve selected a few of these articles to illustrate students “thinking out of the box”.  The article by a graduate student, B.D. Hosken (2005) introduces the concept of using metal ion chelates for analytical ultracentrifugation, a break through in applying this method to clinical studies where we compare the lipoprotein density profile of people with cardiovascular disease and those who don’t.  There are differences.  This evolution of this method was continued by an undergraduate, J.D. Johnson in an article published in 2005.  Most recently, graduate student, D.V. Moore, made an unexpected discovery of a protein associated with cardiovascular disease (2011) for which a patent application has been made.

            Students who have graduated from my group have all gone into fields related to healthcare.  A chemist with clinical research experience is a rare but valuable commodity as the future direction of healthcare in the US is giving more emphasis to early detection, to augment treatment.  My goal is to give chemistry students a higher education experience that allows them to participate in this 21st century endeavor.