Brian M. Ross, Ph.D.
Northern Ontario School of Medicine
Lakehead University Campus
955 Oliver Road
Thunder Bay ON P7B 5E1
NOSM - Professor of Pharmacology
Adjunct Professor, Department of Biology,
Adjunct Professor, Faculty
of Education, Lakehead University
Education and Training
BSc (Hons) in Biochemistry from Glasgow University, Glasgow, UK.
Ph.D. in Molecular Pharmacology and Biochemistry from Glasgow University, Glasgow, UK.
MEd in Medical Education from Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, Ontario.
Post doctoral fellow, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, Ontario,
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry and the Institute of Medical
Science, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Managing Director, Pan Diagnostics Ltd., Inverness, UK.
Research Director, Highland Psychiatric Research Foundation, University of the
Highlands and Islands, Drumnadrochit, UK.
My lab is interested in the biology
of lipids, the biomediators the produce and their participation in the process
of oxidative stress. I am also investigating the production of volatile lipid
metabolites in disease as well as other applications involving volatile
compounds. I carry out both lab-based and clinic based studies. The lab has
recently acquired an analytical selected ion flow tube mass spectrometer to aid
in the analysis of volatile compounds.
Diet and behaviour. Diet has been
implicated as playing a role in both depression and childhood attentional
deficits. My lab aims to examine how dietary supplementation can alter mood and
behaviour, and why some people appear to be more prone to dietary
insufficiencies than others. We are currently testing this hypothesis in
children with reduced attention.
Breath analysis for medical diagnosis.
The lab is developing non-invasive health screening tests using volatile
compounds present in human breath. We have recently acquired an Instrument
Science analytical Selected Ion Flow Tube Mass Spectrometer (SIFT-MS) and a
Markes Unity Automated Thermal Desorber for this purpose. Currently we have the
only SIFT-MS of this type an academic setting in North America. The research
work is based on my study of oxidative stress and lipid peroxidation using
breath markers. This technology will be used to determine whether breath
analysis can be used to aid the early detection of cancers, in particular lung
cancer, various other disorders, and how volatile chemical measurements can
assist with reducing environmental pollution and work place health and safety.
Applications of volatile chemical
analysis in microbiology. SIFT-MS can determine volatile compound levels down
to single digit PPB in real time. Various organisms and chemical compounds
produce unique mass spectrum ‘signatures’. Using the technique we can determine
bacterial growth via ‘head space’ analysis. The project will determine whether
pathogenic organisms produce signatures which can aid in their detection.
In addition to my lab-based
research, I am also an active researcher in the field of place-based and medical
education. I am interested in finding
out how place and professional training interacts and how to use that
information to design better and more effective educational programs.
Ross, B.M., Browning, S.L., McKee, A. (2016)
Polymerisation and oxidation of docosahexaenoic acid. American Journal of Biochemistry and
Biotechnology, 12, 20-25.
Malik, I., Babay, S., Ross, B.M. (2015) Brain and
liver headspace aldehyde concentration following dietary supplementation with
omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Lipids,
Zou, L., Ross, B.M., Hutchison, L.J., Lew, C.,
Decker, R.H., & Malek, L. (2015)
Fungal demethylation of craft lignin. Enzyme
and Microbial Technology, 73-74, 44-50.
(2015) Critical pedagogy as a means to achieving social accountability
in medical education. International
Journal of Critical Pedagogy, 6, 169-186.
Gibson, A., Malek, L., Decker, R.F., & Ross,
B.M. (2015) Detecting volatile compounds from Kraft lignin degradation in the
headspace of microbial cultures by selected ion flow tube mass spectrometry
(SIFT-MS). Journal of
Microbiological Methods, 112, 40-45.
Ross, B.M. (2014) Sustainability
and social accountability. Sustainability across the curriculum, Thunder
Ross, B. M. (2014)
Use of community-engaged and
place-contextualised medical education to build resilient healthcare systems. Proceedings of Prince Mahadol Award
Conference, Bankok, Thailand
Ross, B.M., Daynard, K., Greenwood, D. (2014) Medicine for somewhere: the
emergence of place in medical education.
Educational Research and Reviews, 9, 1250 – 1265.73.
Wondimu T., Wang, R, Ross, B.M. (2014) Hydrogen sulphide in human nasal air
quantified using thermal desorption and selected ion flow tube mass
spectrometry. Journal of Breath
Research, 8 03600271.
Ross, B.M., Glen, I. (2014) Breath ethane
concentrations in healthy volunteers correlate with a systemic marker of
lipid peroxidation but not with omega-3 fatty acid availability. Metabolites, 4, 572-579. (invited contribution to special issue
regarding breath analysis)
Malek, L., Gibson, A., Dekker, R., Ross, B.M. (2014) SIFT-MS analysis of methanol
chemically and biologically generated methanol. Journal of Science & Technology for
Forest Products and Processes, 4:6
Ross, B. M., Puukila, S., Lecours, M., Agostino, A.,
Khaper, N. (2013) The use of selected
ion flow tube mass spectrometry to investigate headspace aldehydes as markers
of lipid peroxidation. Current
Analytical Chemistry, 9: 600 – 613
(invited contribution to special issue regarding SIFT-MS)
Wondimu, T., Wang, R., Ross, B. M. (2013) A
comparison of moisture removing strategies for breath samples spiked with
trace concentrations of hydrogen sulphide, Current Analytical Chemistry,
9: 312 - 318.
Amadei, G., Ross, B.M. (2012).
Quantification of character-impacting compounds in Ocimum basilicum
and 'Pesto alla Genovese' with selected ion flow tube mass spectrometry. Rapid Communication in Mass
Spectrometry, 26: 219-255.
Ross, B.M. (2011) Changes in oral air volatile
compounds following orthognathic surgery and intermaxillary fixation: a
selected ion flow tube mass spectrometry study. International Journal of Oral Science., 3:
Wang, P., Zhang, G., Wondimu, T., Ross, B.M, Wang,
R. (2011). Hydrogen sulphide and asthma. Experimental Physiology, 96:
Amadei, G., Ross, B.M. (2011) The reaction of a series of
terpenoids with H3O+, NO+ and O2+
studied using Selected Ion Flow Tube Mass Spectrometry. Rapid communications in mass
Ross, B.M., Glen, I.
(2011) Increased levels of breath ethane and butane in patients with
schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are unrelated to erythrocyte omega-3 fatty
acid abundance. Progress in
Neuropsychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry, 35:446-453.
Hrynuik, A., Ross, B.M. (2010).
A preliminary investigation of exhaled breath from patients with
celiac disease using Selected Ion Flow Tube Mass Spectroscopy. Journal of Gastrointestinal and Liver
Diseases, 19: 15-20.
Iachetta, L., Malek L., Ross, B.M. (2010)
The reactions of H3O+, NO+ and O2+
with several flavourant esters studied using Selected Ion Flow Tube Mass
Spectrometry. Rapid Communications
in Mass Spectrometry, 24:815-822.
Ross, B.M., Babay, S., Ladouceur, C (2009) The use
of selected ion flow tube mass spectrometry to detect and quantify polyamines
in headspace gas and oral air. Rapid
Communications in Mass Spectrometry, 23:3973-82.
(2009) Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and anxiety disorders. Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and
Essential Fatty Acids, 81:309-12.
Hrynuik, A., Ross, B.M. (2009) Detection of acetone and isoprene in
human breath using a combination of thermal desorption and selected ion flow
tube mass spectrometry. International
Journal of Mass Spectrometry, 283: 78-83.
Ross, B.M., Dadgostar N., Bloom M., McKeown L. (2009) The analysis of oral air using
selected ion flow tube mass spectrometry in persons with and without a
history of oral malodour. International
Journal of Dental Hygiene, 7: 136-143.
Ross, B.M. (2008) Sub-parts per
billion detection of trace volatile chemicals in human breath using Selected
Ion Flow Tube Mass Spectrometry. BMC Research Notes, 1:41. http://www.biomedcentral.com/1756-0500/1/41
Puri, B.K., Treasden I.H., Cocchi
M., Tsaluchida S., Tonello L., Ross B.M.
(2008) A comparison of oxidative stress in smokers and non-smokers: an
in vivo human quantitative study of n-3 lipid peroxidation. BMC Psychiatry, 8:S4 (http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-244X/8/S1/S4)
Ross, B.M. (2008)
The emerging role of eicosapentaenoic acid as an important
psychoactive natural product: some answers but a lot more questions. Lipid Insights, 2: 89-97. http://www.la-press.com/the-emerging-role-of-eicosapentaenoic-acid-as-an-important-psycho-a1071
Ross B.M. and Vermeulen, N. (2007) The use of Selected Ion Flow Tube
Mass Spectrometry in combination with Thermal Desorption for the analysis of
xylene and toluene in air. Rapid
Communications in Mass Spectrometry, 21: 3608-12.
Young, J., McKinney, S.B., Ross, B.M., Wahle,
K.W.J., and Boyle, S.P. (2007)
Investigation of DNA damage in lymphocytes derived from male and female
schizophrenic subjects using the Comet assay.
Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids, 76:73-85.
Ross, B.M., Seguin, J., and
Sieswerda, L. (2007) Omega-3 fatty
acids in mental illness – a review of the clinical trial literature. Lipids in Health and Disease, 6: 21.
(2007) Omega-3 fatty acid deficiency in major depressive disorder is
caused by the interaction between diet and a genetically determined
abnormality in phospholipid metabolism.
Medical Hypothesis, 68:515-524.
Obajimi, O., Black K., Glen, I., and Ross B.M.. (2005) Differential effects of the n-3 fatty
acids eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acid upon arachidonic uptake and
release in U937 cells, Pharmacology Research. 52:183-191.