Glycoscience Group

Cluster leader: Professor Lokesh Joshi

The Glycoscience Group is an interdisciplinary team with a focus on the development of novel high throughput glycoanalytical technologies and application of glycans, lectins and their mimics in biomedical and industrial research.

Key Research Areas Publications

Peer-reviewed publications

1.    Kavanaugh D, Kane M, Joshi L, Hickey RM. 2013. Detection of Galectin-3 interaction with commensal bacteria. Applied and Environmental Microbiology . Accepted

2.  Cunningham S, Brennan-Fournet M, Ledwith D, Byrnes L, Joshi L. 2013. Effect of nanoparticle stabilisation and physicochemical properties on exposure outcome: Acute toxicity of silver nanoparticle preparations in zebrafish (Danio rerio) Environmental Science & Technology. Accepted.

3.    *Cunningham S, Starr E, Shaw I, Glavin J, Kane M, Joshi L. 2013. Development of a convenient competitive ELISA for the detection of free and protein-bound non-human Gal-alpha-(1,3)-Gal epitope based on novel highly specific chicken scFvs. Analytical Chemistry. 85(2):949-955.

4.    *Kilcoyne M, Gerlach JQ, Kane M, Joshi L. 2012. Evaluation of surface chemistry and linker effect on lectin-carbohydrate recognition for glycan microarrays. Analytical Methods. 4:2721-2728.

5.    Kilcoyne M, Sharma S, McDevitt N, O'Leary C, Joshi L, McMahon SS. 2012. Neuronal glycosylation differentials in normal, injured and chondroitinase-treated environments. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. 420(3):616-22.

6.    Liu Y, Liu Y, Feng H, Wu Y, Joshi L, Zeng X, Li J. 2012. Layer-by-layer assembly of chemical reduced graphene and carbon nanotubes for sensitive electrochemical immunoassay. Biosens Bioelectron. 15;35(1):63-8.

7.    *Kilcoyne M, Gerlach, JQ, Gough R, Gallagher M, Kane M, Carrington S, Joshi L. 2012. Construction of a natural mucin microarray for biologically relevant glyco-epitopes. Analytical Chemistry. 84(7):3330-8.

8.    *Gerlach JQ, Kilcoyne M, Farrell M, Kane M, Joshi L. 2012. Differential release of high mannose structural isoforms by fungal and bacterial endo-beta-N-acetylglucosaminidases. Molecular Biosystems. 8(5):1472-81.

9.    *Kilcoyne M, Gerlach JQ, Farrell MP, Bhavanandan VP, Joshi L. 2011. Periodic acid-Schiff's reagent assay for carbohydrates in a microtiter plate format. Anal Biochem. 416 (1): 18-26.

10.    *Gerlach JQ, Kilcoyne M, Eaton S, Bhavanandan V, Joshi L. 2011. Non-carbohydrate-Mediated Interaction of Lectins with Plant Proteins. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2011; 705:257-69.

11. Nandakumar V, Bishop D, Alonas E, LaBelle J, Joshi L, and Alford TA. 2011. A Low-Cost Electrochemical Biosensor for Rapid Bacterial Detection. IEEE Sensors Journal. Vol 11 (1), 210-216

12.*La Belle JT, Shah M, Reed J, Nandakumar V, AlfordTA, Wilson JW, Nickerson CA, Joshi L. 2009. Label-Free and Ultra-Low Level Detection of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium Using Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy. Electroanalysis. 21(20): 2267-71.

13.*Bhavsar K, Fairchild A, Alonas E, Bishop DK, La Belle JT, Sweeney J, Alford TL, Joshi L. 2009. A Cytokine Immunosensor for Multiple Sclerosis Detection Based Upon Label-Free Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy Using Electroplated Printed Circuit Board Electrodes. Biosensors and Bioelectronics. 25(2): 506-9.

14.*Gerlach JQ, Bhavanandan VP, Haynes PA,Joshi L. 2009. Vicilin family glycoprotein from Nicotiana sylvestris: characterization as a potential allergen. Journal of Botany Vol 2009, 1-12.

15.*Kilcoyne M, Shah M, Gerlach JQ, Bhavanandan VP, Nagaraj VJ, Smith AD, Fujiyama K, Sommer U, Costello CE, Joshi L. 2009. Mucin-type O-glycosylation and O-GlcNAc modification on rice alcohol soluble proteins. Journal of Plant Physiology. 166(3):219-32.

16. *Nandakumar V, La Belle JT, Reed J, Shah M, Cochran C, Joshi L, and Alford TL. 2008. A methodology for rapid detection of Salmonella typhimurium using label free electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. Biosensors and Bioelectronics. 1;24(4):1045-8.

17. Foley KJ, Forzani ES, Joshi L and Tao NJ. 2008. Detection of lectin-glycan interaction using high resolution-surface plasmon resonance. Analyst. 2008 Jun; 133(6):744-6.

18.Wilson JW, Ott CM, Honer Zu Bentrup K, Ramamurthy R, Quick L, Porwollik S, Cheng P, McClelland M, Tsaprailis G, Radabaugh T, Hunt A, Fernandez D, Richter E, Shah M, Kilcoyne M, Joshi L, Nelman-Gonzalez M, Hing S, Parra M, Dumars P, Norwood K, Bober R, Devich J, Ruggles A, Goulart C, Rupert M, Stodieck L, Stafford P, Catella L, Schurr MJ, Buchanan K, Morici L, McCracken J, Allen P, Baker-Coleman C, Hammond T, Vogel J, Nelson R, Pierson DL, Stefanyshyn-Piper HM, Nickerson CA. 2007. Space flight alters bacterial gene expression and virulence and reveals a role for global regulator Hfq. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 104(41):16299-304

19.*La Belle JT, Bhavsar K, Fairchild A, Das A, Sweeney J, Alford TL, Wang J, Bhavanandan VP, Joshi L. 2007. A cytokine biosensor for multiple sclerosis detection based upon label-free electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. Biosensor and Bioelectronics. 23(3):428-31

20.*La Belle JT, Gerlach JQ, Svarovsky S, Joshi L. 2007. Label-free real-time impedimetric detection of carbohydrate-lectin interactions. Analytical Chemistry. 79(18):6959-64.

21.*Dai Z, Kawde A-N, Xiang Y, La Belle JT, Gerlach JQ, Bhavanandan VP, Joshi L*, Wang J*. 2006. Nanoparticle-based bioelectronic sensing of glycan-lectin interactions. J Am Chem Soc. 128: 10018-10019. * Corresponding authors

22.*Tangkuaram T, Gerlach JQ, Xiang Y, Kawde A-N, Dai Z, Bhavanandan VP, La Belle, JT Veerasai W, Joshi J*, Wang J*. 2006. Sensitive and rapid electrochemical bioassay of glycosidase activity. The Analyst. 131: 889-891. * Corresponding authors

23.Bogani F, McConnell E, Joshi L, Chang Y, Ghirlanda G.2006. A designed glycoprotein analogue of Gc-MAF exhibits native-like phagocytic activity. J Am Chem Soc. 128(22):7142-3.

24.*Tran, N., Baral, C., Nagaraj, V.J. and Joshi, L. 2005. Knowledge-based framework for hypothesis formation in cellular biochemical networks. Bioinformatics. 21 (Suppl 2):ii213-ii219.

25.*Flynn CR, Brophy CM, Furnish EJ, Komalavilas P, Tessier D, Thresher J, Joshi L. 2005. Transduction of phosphorylated heat shock-related protein 20, HSP20, prevents vasospasm of human umbilical artery smooth muscle. J Appl Physiol. 98(5):1836-45.

26.Lopes LB, Brophy CM, Furnish E, Flynn CR, Sparks O, Komalavilas P, Joshi L, Panitch A, Bentley MV. 2005. Comparative study of the skin penetration of protein transduction domains and a conjugated peptide. Pharm Res. 22(5):750-7.

27.Dreiza CM, Brophy CM, Komalavilas P, Furnish EJ, Joshi L, Pallero MA, Murphy-Ullrich JE, von Rechenberg M, Ho YS, Richardson B, Xu N, Zhen Y, Peltier JM, Panitch A. 2005. Transducible heat shock protein 20 (HSP20) phosphopeptide alters cytoskeletal dynamics. FASEB J. 19(2):261-3.

28.Fletcher SP, Geyer BC, Smith A, Evron T, Joshi L, Soreq H, Mor TS. 2004. Tissue distribution of cholinesterases and anticholinesterases in native and transgenic tomato plants. Plant Mol Biol.; 55(1):33-43.

29.Tessier DJ, Komalavilas P, Liu B, Kent CK, Thresher JS, Dreiza CM, Panitch A, Joshi L, Furnish E, Stone W, Fowl R, Brophy CM. 2004.Transduction of peptide analogs of the small heat shock-related protein HSP20 inhibits intimal hyperplasia. J Vasc Surg. 40(1):106-14.

30.McConnell EJ, McLemore EC, Talac R, Joshi L, Nelson H. 2004. Depletion of activated Vbeta8+ T cells disrupts bispecific antibody directed antitumor immunity. J Surg Res.;122(1):103-12.

31.McLemore EC, Tessier DJ, Flynn CR, Furnish EJ, Komalavilas P, Thresher JS, Joshi L, Stone WM, Fowl RJ, Brophy CM. 2004. Transducible recombinant small heat shock-related protein, HSP20, inhibits vasospasm and platelet aggregation. Surgery. 136(3):573-8.

32.*Shah, MM, Fujiyama, K, Flynn, CR and Joshi, L. 2003. Presence of sialylated endogenous glycoconjugates in plant cells. Nature Biotechnology. 21(12):1470-1471.

33.Tessier D, Komalavilas P, Panitch A, Joshi L, Brophy CM. 2003. The small heat shock protein (HSP) 20 is dynamically associated with the actin cross-linking protein actinin. J Surg Res. 111(1):152-7.

34.Flynn, CR, Komalavilas, P, Tessier, D, Thresher, J, Niederkofler, EE, Parmiter, C, Nelson, RW, Panitch, A, Joshi, L, Brophy, CM.  2003.  Transduction of biologically-active motifs of the small heat shock-related protein, HSP20, leads to relaxation of vascular smooth muscle.  Faseb J Express. 17(10):1358-60.

35.*Joshi, L, Shuler, MJ and Wood, HA. 2001. Production of a sialylated N-linked glycoprotein in insect cells. Biotechnology Progress. 17, 822-827.

36.Kalidas, C, Joshi, L and Batt, C. 2001. Characterization of glycosylated variants of beta-lactoglobulin expressed in Pichia pastoris. Protein Engineering. 14(3), 201-7.

37.*Joshi, L, Davis, TR, Mattu, TS, Rudd, PM, Dwek, RA, Shuler, ML, and Wood, HA. 2000. The influence of baculovirus ? host cell interaction on glycosylation of a recombinant protein. Biotechnology Progress. 16, 650-656.

38.*Joshi, L and St. Leger, RJ. 1999. Cloning, functional expression and substrate specificity of carboxypeptidase. A secreted by the pathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 274 (14), 9803-9811.

39.St. Leger, R.J., Joshi, L. and Roberts, D.W. 1998. Ambient pH is a major determinant in the expression of cuticle degrading enzymes and hydrophobin by Metarhizium anisopliae. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 64 (2), 709-713.

40.*Joshi, L, St. Leger, RJ and Roberts, DW. 1997. Isolation of a cDNA encoding a novel subtilisin-like protease (Pr1B) from the entomopathogenic fungus, Metarhizium anisopliae using differential display-RT-PCR. Gene. 197, 1-8.

41.St. Leger, RJ, Joshi, L and Roberts, DW. 1998. Adaptation of proteases and carbohydrates of saprophytic, phytopathogenic and entomopathogenic fungi to the requirements of their ecological niches. Microbiology. 143, 1983-92.

42.St. Leger, RJ, Joshi, L, Bidochka, MJ and Roberts, DW. 1996. Construction of an improved mycoinsecticide overexpressing a toxic protease. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. (USA). 93, 6349-6354.

43.St. Leger, RJ, Joshi, L, Bidochka, MJ, Rizzo, NW and Roberts, DW. 1996. Characterization and ultrastructural localization of chitinases from Metarhizium anisopliae, M. flavoviride, and Beauveria bassiana during fungal invasion of host (Manduca sexta) cuticle. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 62 (3), 907-912.

44.St. Leger, RJ, Joshi, L, Bidochka, MJ, Rizzo, NW and Roberts, DW. 1996. Biochemical characterization and ultrastructural localization of two extracellular trypsins produced by Metarhizium anisopliae in infected insect cuticles. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 62(4),1257-64.

45.Bidochka, MJ, St. Leger, RJ, Joshi, L and Roberts, Donald W. 1995. A novel inner cell wall protein (cwp1) from conidia of the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana. Microbiology. 141, 1075-1080.

46.*Joshi, L, St. Leger, RJ and Bidochka, MJ. 1995. Cloning of a cuticle-degrading protease from the entomopathogenic fungus, Beauveria bassiana. FEMS Microbiology Letters. 125, 211-218.

47.St. Leger, RJ, Joshi, L, Bidochka, MJ and Roberts, DW. 1995. Protein synthesis in Metarhizium anisopliae growing on host cuticle. Mycological-Research. 99 (9), 1034-40.

48.St-Leger, RJ, Shimizu, S, Joshi, L, Biodochka, MJ and Roberts DW. 1995. Co-transformation of Metarhizium anisopliae by electroporation or using the gene gun to produce stable GUS transformants. FEMS Microbiology Letters. 131 (3) 289-294.

49.St-Leger, RJ, Joshi, L, Biodochka, MJ, and Roberts DW. 1995. Multiple aminopeptidases produced by Metarhizium anisopliae. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology. 65 (3) 313-314.

Invited review articles

1.    Kavanaugh D, Kane M, Joshi L, and Hickey RM 2013 Nutritional and microbial factors which modulate the human intestinal glycome. International Journal of Food Microbiology. Accepted.

2.    *Gupta A, Moran AP, Joshi L. 2011. Sweet-Talk: role of host glycosylation in bacterial pathogenesis of the gastrointestinal tract. Gut. 60(10): 1412-25.

3.    *Gerlach JQ, Cunningham S, Kane M, Joshi L. 2010. Glycobiomimics and glycobiosensors. Biochem Soc Trans. 38(5):1333-6.

4.    *Cunningham S, Gerlach JQ, Kane M, Joshi L. 2010. Glyco-biosensors: recent advances and applications for the detection of free and bound carbohydrates. Analyst. 135(10): 2471-80.

5.    *Cunningham, S, Gerlach JQ and Joshi L. GlycoSensors: Current Status and Potential. In ?Biosensors: Properties, Materials and Applications.' NovaSciences. 2009.

6.    *Kilcoyne M and Joshi L. 2007. Carbohydrates in therapeutics. Cardiovasc Hematol Agents Med Chem. 5(3):186-97.

Book chapters

1.    *Gerlach JQ, Sharma S, Leister KJ, Joshi L. 2012. A tight-knit group: protein glycosylation, endoplasmic reticulum stress and the unfolded protein response. In Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress in Health and Disease, Agostinis, P and Samali A. (Eds.) Springer, pp23-40.

2.    *Kilcoyne M, Gerlach JQ, Spillane C, Joshi L. Biotechnology Crops ? Applications for Biopharmaceutical Production. Springer Series on Biotech Plants ?2010.

3.    *Cunningham S, Joshi L. Marine Algae/Plant Biotechnology. Springer Series on Biotech Plants ?2010.

4.    *Cunningham, S, Gerlach JQ and Joshi L. GlycoSensors: Current Status and Potential. In ?Biosensors: Properties, Materials and Applications.' NovaSciences. 2009.


Primary Research Focus Phone Number 

Professor Lokesh Joshi


Iain Shaw


Michael Cairns


Heidi Annuk

Aileen Creavin

Michelle Kilcoyne Glycoanalysis 091-495885
Stephen Cunningham Glycotechnology/Nanosensors 091-495885
Jared Gerlach Glycosensors/Glycotechnology 091-495885
Marie Le Berre

Tinaig Le Costaouec Glycoanalysis/Purification 091-494309
Yiorgos Patsos

Hsien-Yu Tsai

Marta Utratna


Catherine Glynn-Loughrey Lectin profiling 091-492090
John Glavin

Samantha White


Linda Connor

*Shane Feeney

Satbir Gill

Siobhan Glavey

Benoit Houeix Probiotic glycobiology
*Devon Kavanagh

Anja Krueger

Anup Oommen

*Noelle Riordan

*Sarah Ross

Shashank Sharma Glycobioinformatics 091-492090
Rajesh Sharma

Lakshmi Priyadharisini Sivakumaran

Aislinn Slater

Senior Research Fellow
Michael Cairns Marine glycobioinformatics 091-492094
* These students are Teagasc Walsh fellows based in Moorepark Food Research Centre, Co. Cork.


News and Events

The first TEDxGalway was held on Friday June 11th 2010 on the campus of NUI Galway and attendees were treated to a range of fascinating presentations and performances spanning aspects of Irish culture to the latest scientific research, celebrating the diversity of intellectual and cultural life in this small but vibrant city.

Prof. Lokesh Joshi was one of the speakers and presented on "Glycoscience - the sweet and sticky language of biology".  All the presentations were recorded and uploaded to the TEDxTalks youtube site and can be accessed from the TEDxGalway Web site.

Projecting the sweet smell of research - October 2009
Full PDF Artlicle as published in The Irish Times.

Lenihan Launches Science Foundation Ireland-funded Alimentary Glycoscience Research Cluster at NUI Galway - October 2009
Mr Conor Lenihan T.D., Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation, Thursday, October 1st 2009, officially launched the Alimentary Glycoscience Research Cluster (AGRC) at NUI Galway. AGRC is an NUI Galway-led collaboration of research institutions and industry partners and was established following a grant earlier this year of €5.2million from Government through Science Foundation Ireland (SFI).

Launching the Strategic Research Cluster, Minister Lenihan said: "The AGRC is dedicated to conducting invaluable study into key research areas that impact enormously on each of us, directly or indirectly at some point in our lives. Its multi-disciplinary team of 36 researchers, together with industry partners and Government agencies, is the physical manifestation of the Government's 'Smart Economy' aspiration, and over the next five years will work steadfastly towards unearthing ground-breaking discoveries of benefit to wider society. The participation of leading Industry and government agency partners - Agilent Technologies Ireland Ltd, Alimentary Health, Biomining Inc. and Bristol Myers-Squibb, Teagasc and NBRT - illustrates the ambition and pharmaceutical expertise that the cluster possesses from the outset.
AGRC is one of 18 SFI Strategic Research Clusters around the country involving unprecedented engagement between higher education institutions, commercial enterprises and a variety of agencies. 

GlycoScience Ireland Hosts Annual International Conference in NUI Galway - April 2009 
Full Press Release Word document.

Tánaiste announces establishment of 5 New Science Foundation Ireland ?Strategic Research Clusters' - February 2009
Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Mary Coughlan T.D., announced the establishment of 5 new Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Strategic Research Clusters (SRCs), representing a €23.9million investment in ground-breaking, collaborative research activities involving seven academic institutions and 22 companies.
Full Press Release

Tánaiste, Mary Coughlan T.D., Director General, SFI, Frank Gannon and the AGRC Team.

NUI Galway researchers launch GlycoScience Ireland - April 2008
Glyco scientists at NUI Galway will play a leading role in the newly formed GlycoScience Ireland group launched today in the new Science Museum in Trinity College Dublin (Tuesday, 8 April). Glycoscience is the study of the glycans (complex sugars) that surround all cells including human cells. GlycoScience Ireland brings together scientists working in this field in order to apply their expertise to the Biopharmaceutical and Food industries.

GlycoScience Ireland will encourage inter-disciplinary collaboration between glycoscientists, biologists, chemists, engineers, information scientists and clinicians. The Group will also provide a forum for communication and interaction between Irish glycoscientists and industry representatives for the translation of glycoscience discoveries into commercial realities.

NUI Galway's involvement is being led by Professor Lokesh Joshi, who recently joined the University's National Centre for Biomedical Engineering as Stokes Professor of Glycosciences.

Professor Joshi explained "Glycans play crucial roles in almost all biological interactions at molecular and cellular levels, including fertilization, immune regulation, cancer and infectious diseases. Despite their underpinning role in biological processes, study in this area has lagged behind genomics and proteomics. With the global competition in biotechnology and biopharmaceutical research continually shifting, Ireland needs to harness the synergy of existing skills to remain in the leadership position in this emerging research frontier".

GlycoScience Ireland Launch was being co-sponsored by The National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT) and the Centre for BioAnalytical Sciences (CBAS), of which Professor Joshi is Associate Director. For further information visit

Making scientific strides - April 2008
Irish Independent, Ireland 2020 Innovation & Research, 3 April 2008

Glycoscience Ireland Initiative - 2008
Journal of Proteome Research, Editorial, Vol. 7 No. 7, 2008

NUI Galway receives Stoke Professhorship and Lectureship Awards - January 2008
Engineers Journal, 30 January 2008

Administrator: Maria Brady
AGRC Alimentary Glycoscience Research Cluster,
NCBES National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science,
Orbsen Building,
National University of Ireland, Galway

Phone: +353 (0)91 495737
Fax: +353 (0)91 494596