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In forensics, accurately establishing a person’s time of death can often make the difference between a conviction and an acquittal. However, standard methods of post mortem interval (PMI) estimation are easily confounded by extenuating circumstances and/or environmental factors. Therefore, a panel of PMI markers is often necessary to definitely establish time of death. Glycosylation is highly affected by its biochemical environment, and numerous studies have linked changes in glycosylation to diseases and other changes in the body’s metabolism. The AGRS is developing a novel way of estimating time of death for a potential new source of PMI markers using MS-based glycomics approach.

Research highlights:
  • Development of glycan extraction from the trace amount samples found in crime scene
  • Glycome profiling of human fluids & tissues
  • Glycomics based PMI marker discovery
  • Paleo glycomics : Mummy glycosylation
Relevant publications:
  • Maixner, F., Turaev, D., Cazenave-Gassiot, A., Janko, M., Krause-Kyora, B., Hoopmann, M. R., Zink, A., “The Iceman’s last meal consisted of fat, wild meat, and cereals”, Current biology, 2018, 28(14), 2348-2355.
  • Kim, B.J. and An, H.J., “Monitoring of post-mortem changes of saliva N-glycosylation by nano LC/MS”,  Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, 2018, 410, 45-56
  • Ozcan, S., Kim, B.J., and An, H.J., “Glycosylated Proteins Preserved Over Millennia: N-glycan Analysis of Tyrolean Iceman, Scythian Princess and Warrior”, Scientific Reports, 2014, 4 : 4963 | DOI: 10.1038/srep04963.
  • Ozcan, S., An, H.J., Vieira, A.C., Park, G.W., Kim, J.H., Mannis, M.J., and Lebrilla, C.B., “Characterization of Novel O‑Glycans Isolated from Tear and Saliva of Ocular Rosacea Patients”, Journal of Proteome Research, 2013, 12, 1090−1100.
  • Vieira, A.C., An, H.J., Ozcan, S., Kim, J.H., Lebrilla, C.B., and Mannis, M.J., “Glycomic Analysis of Tear and Saliva in Ocular Rosacea Patients: The Search for a Biomarker”, The Ocular Surface, 2012, 10, No. 3.
  • “Mummy Sugar Shock”, Chemical & Engineering News, 2012, 90(26), 42-43.
  • Patent: An, H.J., Kim, J.H., Kim, B.J.,​ ​​Method for human saliva identification, ​29 May 2018, KR10-1864161, patented.
  • Patent: An, H.J., Kim, J.H., Kim, B.J., Choi, J.S., Lee, D.G., Kwon, J., Verifying method for human saliva using human saliva-specific glycan, 17 Nov 2016, KR10-1672717, patented.