Dr Nicholas James Demarais

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Research Fellow


I am a Research Fellow in the School of Biological Sciences|Te Kura Mātauranga Koiora. Prior to joining the University of Auckland|Te Whare Wānanga o Tāmaki Makaurau in 2014, I received my BSc in Chemistry from Minnesota State University, Mankato (2009), and PhD in Physical Chemistry from the University of Colorado, Boulder (2014).

At heart I am a mass spectrometry geek, with a passion for utilizing, developing and advancing mass spectrometry technologies to investigate new biological systems, especially using ultra-high resolution Fourier transform-ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry and mass spectrometry imaging. I proselytize the wonders of Mass Spectrometry in my course lectures and as the Academic Lead for the ShaRE Mass Spectrometry Centre, a member of the Mass Spectrometry Hub, and an executive committee member of the Australian and New Zealand Society for Mass Spectrometry.

Research | Current

My current research combines Proteomics, MALDI Mass Spectrometry Imaging and Protein Hydrogen/Deuterium Exchange:

1. to investigate the spatial distribution and flexibility of proteins in the lens of the human eye, in order to understand lens aging and the pathologies Presbyopia and Cataract.

2. to map the spatial distribution of crystallin protein proteoforms in the lens of the New Zealand Hoki fish.

Teaching | Current

BIOSCI 350: Protein Structure and Function

BIOSCI 746: Molecular Machinery of the Cell

Postgraduate supervision


  • Emily MacFarlane (PhD candidate; 2020-): Presbiopia and Water Regulation in the Human Lens: An Investigation into the Relationship Between Syneresis and Protein Structure (joint supervisor: Gus Grey)
  • Ali Zahraei (Ph candidate; 2018-): Mapping and manipulation of lens redox metabolites to develop an anti-cataract therapy (main supervisor: Gus Grey)
  • Mikala Cooper (MSc candidate; 2021-): Characterising Lens Crystallin Proteins in the Lens of New Zealand Hoki Fish Eyes to Inform High-Value Biomaterials from Waste Products


  • Anna Radionova (PhD): Theta-Channel Emitters for Nano-Electrospray
    and Mass Spectrometry. Current position: Research Fellow, University of Adelaide

Areas of expertise

Mass Spectrometry

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.
  • Ogilvie, O., Roberts, S., Sutton, K., Domigan, L., Larsen, N., Gerrard, J., & Demarais, N. (2020). Proteomic modelling of gluten digestion from a physiologically relevant food system: A focus on the digestion of immunogenic peptides from wheat implicated in celiac disease. Food chemistry, 33310.1016/j.foodchem.2020.127466
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Laura Domigan, Juliet Gerrard
  • 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 matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation imaging mass spectrometry method. Journal of mass spectrometry : JMS10.1002/jms.4666
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Gus Grey, Paul Donaldson, George Guo
  • Ogilvie, O., Larsen, N., Sutton, K., Domigan, L., Gerrard, J., Demarais, N., & Roberts, S. (2020). A targeted mass spectrometry method for the accurate label-free quantification of immunogenic gluten peptides produced during simulated digestion of food matrices. MethodsX, 7.10.1016/j.mex.2020.101076
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Juliet Gerrard
  • 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: Gus Grey
  • 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: Gus Grey
  • 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: Gus Grey, Paul Donaldson
  • Sun, Y., Keown, J. R., Black, M. M., Raclot, C., Demarais, N., Trono, D., ... Goldstone, D. C. (2019). A Dissection of Oligomerization by the TRIM28 Tripartite Motif and the Interaction with Members of the Krab-ZFP Family. Journal of molecular biology, 431 (14), 2511-2527. 10.1016/j.jmb.2019.05.002
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: David Goldstone
  • 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, Gus Grey, Richard Faull


Contact details

Primary office location

Level 3, Room 3004
New Zealand

Web links