Dr Gus Grey

BTech(Hons, Biomedical Science) University of Auckland, PhD (Physiology) University of Auckland


I completed a Bachelor of Technology (Hons) in Biomedical Science at the University of Auckland, and continued on to complete a PhD in the Department of Physiology. During my doctoral studies I investigated the changing sub-cellular distribution patterns of membrane proteins in the ocular lens, and the functional consequences of these dynamic distributions.

Following my PhD, I took up a post-doctoral position at the Medical University of South Carolina with Prof Kevin Schey developing matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation (MALDI) imaging techniques to investigate the distribution of soluble and integral membrane proteins in the lens and other tissues, including brain, heart, lung and kidney.

I then moved to the mass spectrometry research centre at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee to continue my post-doctoral studies using spatially-resolved proteomic techniques.

I am now a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Physiology, direct the Biomedical Imaging Research Unit, and coordinate the University of Auckland Mass Spectrometry Hub.

Research | Current

My group is focused on applying spatially resolved imaging technologies, such as MALDI imaging mass spectrometry and fluorescence microscopy, to investigate the molecular basis of ocular diseases and therefore advance our efforts to treat these diseases. Our current research utilises imaging mass spectrometry to detect endogenous molecules such as glutathione in the lens, and its transport and regeneration pathways in order to better understand how the age-related deficiency of this primary lens antioxidant in specific lens regions may lead to lens cataract. Uptake and metabolism pathways of other nutrients, such as glucose, and drug molecules are also being tracked by introducing stable isotopic labels to ex vivo tissue. Finally, with strong collaborative links we apply mass spectrometry to study other major human diseases such as cancer and neurodegeneration to discover novel disease biomarkers, therapeutic targets, and therapeutic agents.

Teaching | Current

MEDSCI 312 - Endocrinology of Growth and Metabolism

MEDSCI 720 - Biomedical Research Techniques

MEDSCI 733 - Advanced Methods in Cell Physiology (Light Microscopy Module)

PHARMACY 751 - Pharmaceutical Techniques


Sir Charles Hercus Health Research Fellow


Director, Biomedical Imaging Research Unit

Principle Coordinator, University of Auckland Mass Spectrometry Hub

Areas of expertise

Recent Publications:

Hunter, M., Demarais, N.J., Faull, R.L.M., Grey, A.C., Curtis, M.A., 2021. An imaging mass spectrometry atlas of lipids in the human neurologically-normal and Huntington’s disease caudate nucleus. Journal of Neurochemistry, 10.1111/jnc.15325.

Grey, A.C., Tang, M., Zahraei, A., Guo, G., Demarais, N.J., 2021. Applications of stable isotopes in MALDI imaging: Current approaches and an eye on the future. Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry 413, 2637-2653, 10.1007/s00216-021-03189-8.

Zahraei, A., Guo, G., Perwick, R.D., Donaldson, P.J., Demarais, N.J., Grey, A.C., 2020. Mapping Glucose Metabolites in the Normal Bovine Lens: Evaluation and Optimisation of a MALDI Imaging Mass Spectrometry Method. Journal of Mass Spectrometry 56, e4666, 10.1002/jms.4666.

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Lim, J. C., Grey, A. C., Zahraei, A., & Donaldson, P. J. (2020). Age-dependent changes in glutathione metabolism pathways in the lens: New insights into therapeutic strategies to prevent cataract formation-A review. Clinical & experimental ophthalmology10.1111/ceo.13801
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Paul Donaldson, Julie Lim
  • Boughton, B. A., Thomas, O. R. B., Demarais, N. J., Trede, D., Swearer, S. E., & Grey, A. C. (2019). Detection of small molecule concentration gradients in ocular tissues and humours. Journal of mass spectrometry : JMS10.1002/jms.4460
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Nicholas Demarais
  • Heikkinen, E. M., Auriola, S., Ranta, V.-P., Demarais, N. J., Grey, A. C., Del Amo, E. M., ... Ruponen, M. (2019). Distribution of Small Molecular Weight Drugs into the Porcine Lens: Studies on Imaging Mass Spectrometry, Partition Coefficients, and Implications in Ocular Pharmacokinetics. Molecular pharmaceutics, 16 (9), 3968-3976. 10.1021/acs.molpharmaceut.9b00585
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Nicholas Demarais
  • Demarais, N. J., Donaldson, P. J., & Grey, A. C. (2019). Age-related spatial differences of human lens UV filters revealed by negative ion mode MALDI imaging mass spectrometry. Experimental eye research, 184, 146-151. 10.1016/j.exer.2019.04.016
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/50083
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Nicholas Demarais, Paul Donaldson
  • Hunter, M., Demarais, N. J., Faull, R. L. M., Grey, A. C., & Curtis, M. A. (2018). Subventricular zone lipidomic architecture loss in Huntington's disease. Journal of neurochemistry, 146 (5), 613-630. 10.1111/jnc.14468
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Maurice Curtis, Nicholas Demarais, Richard Faull
  • Hunter, M., Demarais, N. J., Faull, R. L. M., Grey, A. C., & Curtis, M. A. (2018). Layer-specific lipid signatures in the human subventricular zone demonstrated by imaging mass spectrometry. Scientific reports, 8 (1)10.1038/s41598-018-20793-4
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Richard Faull, Maurice Curtis, Nicholas Demarais
  • Karunasinghe, R., Grey, A., Telang, R., Vlajkovic, S., & Lipski, J. (2017). Differential spread of anoxic depolarization contributes to the pattern of neuronal injury after oxygen and glucose deprivation (OGD) in the Substantia Nigra in rat brain slices. Neuroscience, 340, 359-372. 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2016.10.067
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/32713
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Janusz Lipski, Ravi Telang, Srdjan Vlajkovic, Rashika Karunasinghe
  • Grey, A., Demarais, N., West, B., & Donaldson, P. (2017). A quantitative map of glutathione in the aging human lens. International Journal of Mass Spectrometry10.1016/j.ijms.2017.10.008
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Nicholas Demarais, Paul Donaldson


Contact details

Primary office location

M&HS BUILDING 502 - Bldg 502
Level 4, Room 420
New Zealand

Web links