The central theme in my work has been the integrated application of
biochemical, physical and immunological techniques to solve problems
in biological systems with particular relevance to medical applications.
My current research focuses on monitoring and diagnosis of transmissible
spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) diseases using a surrogate marker, 14-3-3
protein, and on the detection and destruction of TSE infectivity and
other residual biomolecules on medical devices.
Current research includes:
- The development of immunological methods of detection for monitoring
14-3-3 proteins in prion diseases.
- Developing an aptamer affinity assay for use as a surrogate marker
in the diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases.
- Developing decontamination methods, based on RF gas-plasma chemistry,
which allow destruction of surface biomolecules to levels 1000 to
10,000 fold better than current practice.
- Evaluation of the efficacy of decontamination systems using in vivo
- Evaluation of scanning technologies for monitoring decontamination
of protein residues on surgical instruments.
SELECTED RECENT PUBLICATIONS
- Immunolocalisation of 14-3-3 isoforms in normal and scrapie-infected
murine brain. Baxter HC, Liu WG, Forster JL, Aitken A, Fraser JR.
Neuroscience. 2002, 109, 5-14.
- Specificity of 14-3-3 isoform dimer interactions and phosphorylation.
Aitken A, Baxter HC, Dubois T, Clokie S, Mackie S, Mitchell K, Peden
A, Zemlickova E. Biochem Soc Trans. 2002, 30, 351-60
- Unchanged survival curves of 14-3-3 γ knock-out mice after
inoculation with pathological prion protein. Steinacker P, Schwarz
P, Reim K, Brechlin P, Jahn O, Kratzin H, Aitken A, Wiltfang J, Aguzzi
A, Bahn E, Baxter HC, Brose N, Otto M. Molecular & Cellular
Biology 2005; 25: 1339-1346
- Plasma cleaning of dental instruments. Whittaker AG, Graham EM,
Baxter RL, Jones AC, Richardson P, Meek G, Campbell GA, Aitken A,
Baxter HC. J Hosp Infection. 2004: 56: 37-41
- Towards fluorescence detection of protein residues on surgical instruments.
Richardson PR, Jones AC, Baxter RL, Baxter HC, Whittaker AG, Campbell
GA Proc SPIE. 2004; 5502: 291-294
- Elimination of TSE infectivity and decontamination of surgical instruments
using RF gas-plasma treatment. Baxter HC, Campbell GA, Whittaker AG,
Aitken A, Simpson AH, Casey M, Jones AC, Bountiff L, Gibbard L, and
Baxter R.L. J Gen Virol, 2005; 86: 2393-2399.
- The role of Radio frequency Gas-plasma treatment in the decontamination
of surgical equipment and the prevention of TSE infectivity. Baxter
HC & RL Baxter. Managing Infection Contro. 2005; 5:
- Surgical Instrument Decontamination: efficacy of introducing an
argon:oxygen RF gas-plasma cleaning step as part of the cleaning cycle
for stainless steel instruments. Helen C Baxter, Gaynor A Campbell,
Patricia C Richardson, Anita C Jones, Ian R Whittle, Mark Casey, A
Gavin Whittaker, & Robert L Baxter. IEEE Trans on Plasma Science.
2006: 34: 1337-1345.
- Application of epifluorescence scanning for monitoring the efficacy of protein removal by RF gas-plasma decontamination. HC Baxter, PR Richardson, GA Campbell, VI Kovalev, R Maier, JS Barton, AC Jones, G DeLarge, M Casey and RL Baxter. NJP 11 . 2009; 115028 (13)