Dr Marianne Defernez

Senior Researcher

Contact via email

Core Science Resources - methods development and innovation


I belong to the Analytical Sciences Unit (ASU) and the overall remit of my job is the handling and analysis of high-dimensional data. I work primarily in collaborative mode with science groups within Quadram Institute Bioscience who have mathematical, computing, or programming skill gaps. I also carry out development work of my own (ASU-led projects or external collaborations), and have responsibilities at a corporate level.

Within the context of collaborative projects, I strive to ensure the rigorous exploitation of complex data and facilitate biological interpretation in a multidisciplinary environment. I have had a long-standing involvement with metabolomics data, my own background being in analytical chemistry. However, I currently contribute to projects involving a broad range of data types, and develop tailored analyses e.g. in response to new technical advances (an example of this is the analysis of 16sRNA microbiota data, often collated alongside metabolomics data).

My expertise comprises the following: high-dimensional data analysis, chemometrics (e.g. eigenvector methods e.g. pca and pls, classification methods e.g. da,  ann, variable selections methods e.g. rfs and gas), programming with specialist software (e.g. Matlab, R) for implementing non-standard mathematical/ quantitative statistics approaches for data analysis, data visualization, metabolomics, spectroscopy, NMR, analytical chemistry.

Key Publications

Defernez M., Wren E., Watson A. D., Gunning Y., Colquhoun I. J., Le Gall G., Williamson D., Kemsley E. K. (2016) Low-field 1H NMR spectroscopy for distinguishing between arabica and robusta ground roast coffees Food Chemistry 216 106-113

Ballmer-Weber B., Fernandez-Rivas M., Beyer K., Defernez M., Sperrin M., Mackie A. R., Salt L. J., Hourihane J., Asero R., Belohlavkova S., Kowalski M., de Blay F., Papadopoulos N. G., Clausen M., Knulst A. C., Roberts G. C., Popov T., Sprikkelman A. B., Dubakiene R., Vieths S., van Ree R., Crevel R. W., Mills E. C. N. (2015) How much is too much? Threshold dose distributions for five food allergens Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 135 964-971

Armah C. N., Traka M. H., Dainty J. R., Defernez M., Janseens A., Leung W., Doleman J. F., Potter J. F., Mithen R. F. (2013) A diet rich in high-glucoraphanin broccoli interacts with genotype to reduce discordance in plasma metabolic profiles by modulating mitochondrial function American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 98 712-722

Defernez M., Colquhoun I. J (2003) Factors affecting the robustness of metabolite fingerprinting using H-1 NMR spectra Phytochemistry Pergamon-Elsevier Science Ltd, Oxford 62 1009-1017

Defernez M., Kemsley E. K. (1997) The use and misuse of chemometrics for treating classification problems. Trends in Analytical Chemistry 16 216-22

Gunning Y., Jackson A., Colmer J., Taous F., Philo M., Brignall R., El Ghali T., Defernez M., Kemsley K.. (2020)

High-throughput screening of argan oil composition and authenticity using benchtop 1H NMR

Magnetic Resonance in Chemistry

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Modasia A,Parker A,Jones E,Stentz R,Brion A,Goldson A,Defernez M,Wileman T,Blackshaw LA,Carding S. (2020)

Regulation of enteroendocrine cell networks by the major human gut symbiont Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron

Frontiers in Microbiology, Unknown

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McDowell D., Defernez M., Kemsley E. K., Elliott C., Koidis A.. (2019)


LWT - Food Science and Technology

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Traka M., Melchini A., Coode-Bate J., Al-Kadhi O., Shikha S., Defernez M., Troncoso Rey P., Kibblewhite H., O'Neill C., Bernuzzi F., Mythen L., Hughes J., Needs P., Dainty J., Savva G., Mills R., Ball R., Cooper C., Mithen R.. (2019)

Transcriptional changes in prostate of men on active surveillance following a 12-month glucoraphanin-rich broccoli intervention – results from the ESCAPE randomized controlled trial


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Kemsley E. K., Defernez M., Marini F.. (2019)

Multivariate statistics: considerations and confidences in food authenticity problems

Food Control, 105, 102-112

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Kellingray L., Le Gall G., Defernez M., Beales I. L., Franslem-Elumogo N., Narbad A.. (2018)

Microbial taxonomic and metabolic alterations during faecal microbiota transplantation to treat Clostridium difficile infection

Journal of Infection

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Hollands W. J., Tapp H., Defernez M., Perez-Moral N., Winterbone M. S., Philo M., Lucey A. J., Kiely M. E., Kroon P. A.. (2018)

Lack of acute or chronic effects of epicatechin-rich and procyanidin-rich apple extracts on blood pressure and cardiometabolic biomarkers in adults with moderately elevated blood pressure: a randomized, placebo-controlled crossover trial.

The American journal of clinical nutrition, 108, 1006-1014

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Duszka K., Ellero-Simatos S., Ow G. S., Defernez M., Paramalingam E., Tett A., Ying S., König J., Narbad A., Kuznetsov V., Guillou H., Wahli W.. (2018)

Complementary intestinal mucosa and microbiota responses to caloric restriction.

Scientific reports, 8, 11338

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