Nathan J Edwards


Associate Professor


Biochemistry and Molecular and Cellular Biology
General profile


+1 202-687-7042




1217 Harris Building


Dr. Edwards joined the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular & Cellular Biology in 2007. With a background in computer science, applied probability and statistics, scientific computing, and computer algorithms, Dr. Edwards has worked in proteomics informatics, particularly the analysis of spectral data from discovery-focused proteomics workflows, since 2000.

Active projects include the Rapid Microorganism Identification Database, which characterizes unknown bacteria by matching protein sequences with biomarker peaks in MALDI mass-spectra; and NCI funded tool development for the discovery and characterization of known, novel, unexpected, and poorly annotated alternate splicing and cSNP protein isoforms, as potential cancer biomarkers.

At Celera Genomics, Dr. Edwards was a lead developer of SCOPE, one of the first sequence database search engines to use sequence dependent probabilistic scoring to match peptides to tandem mass-spectra for protein identification for high-throughput proteomics workflows. At Applied Biosystems, Dr. Edwards lead and co-developed an exploratory software product "Biomarker Toolbox" for the analysis of protein profiling mass-spectra. For the USDA, Dr. Edwards worked to identify characteristic biomarker tandem mass-spectra which could reliably identify soy-bean pathogens using spectral matching. For DARPA, Dr. Edwards lead an informatics-directed biomarker strategy for the detection of genetic engineering in otherwise benign microorganisms.

Publicly available tools include the Rapid Microorganism Identification Database, the PepArML meta-search tandem mass-spectrometry search infrastructure and result combiner, the PepSeqDB sequence database of putative peptide sequences enabling the discovery of novel and unexpected peptides, and the PeptideMapper web-service for mapping peptides to the UCSC genome browser.


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  • Ph.D. (2001) Cornell University, Operations Research
  • M.S. (1998) Cornell University, Operations Research
  • B. Sc (Hons) (1992) University of Western Australia, Mathematics & Computer Science