Issue 17 - January 2013


Online version of this newsletter:

Welcome to the seventeenth issue of MetaboNews, a monthly newsletter for the worldwide metabolomics community. In this month's issue,
we feature an Initiative Spotlight article on the recently announced Global Metabolomic Initiative. As of the May 2012 issue, we introduced a new section called MetaboInterviews that features interviews with metabolomics experts from around the world. This issue includes an interview with Dr. Wei Jia, Professor and Co-Director, Center for Translational Biomedical Research, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Kannapolis, USA. This newsletter is being produced by The Metabolomics Innovation Centre (TMIC,, and is intended to keep metabolomics researchers and other professionals informed about new technologies, software, databases, events, job postings, conferences, training opportunities, interviews, publications, awards, and other newsworthy items concerning metabolomics. We hope to provide enough useful content to keep you interested and informed and appreciate your feedback on how we can make this newsletter better (

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1) Initiative Spotlight

Global Metabolomic

Global Metabolomic Initiative

Feature article contributed by Gary Siuzdak, Professor of Chemistry and Molecular Biology and Director of the Scripps Center for Metabolomics at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California

In November, investigators at Washington University and The Scripps Research Institute announced the "Global Metabolomic Initiative" or GMI. The GMI was designed to facilitate broad meta-analyses on metabolomic data across thousands of experiments on bacteria, yeast, plants, animals, and people, and was started as a part of the NIH's broad initiative for data sharing. The prime directive of the GMI, which is also consistent with the goals of the NIH metabolomic common fund, is to facilitate scientific discovery through public sharing of data with individual colleagues, other laboratories, and user groups. Washington University and Scripps have designed their effort around a metabolomic informatics platform called XCMS.
The GMI is driven by the cloud-based XCMS data processing software and METLIN database (Anal. Chem. 2006, Anal. Chem. 2012, Nature Biotechnology 2012) that was developed at the Scripps Research Institute as a public resource. XCMS Online ( currently has more than 50,000 metabolomic data files uploaded, and over 1800 registered users, with a user base that is growing daily. The introduction of an Online version of XCMS was created for three distinct reasons: i) to provide a public, user friendly platform that can be used by scientists with any type of mass spectrometry system, ii) to facilitate cloud-based data sharing among public users, and iii) to provide a large repository of metabolomic data files for meta-analyses across thousands of uploaded experiments (from consenting users).
Gary J. Patti, assistant professor of chemistry, genetics and medicine at Washington University in St. Louis, who is co-leading the XCMS Online meta-study, predicts that many discoveries will emerge from these analyses. In the initial stages, it will facilitate a broad mural of the types of metabolites that are commonly observed across all metabolomic experiments. "A lot of people suddenly are excited about metabolism again," Patti says. "People are seeing that metabolism provides a downstream signature of disease states which is complementary to that provided by genes and proteins. As a result, there has been a huge resurgence of interest in this area. A fundamental question, however, is what pathways are conserved across different biological systems and how the derangement of these pathways contributes to disease states such as chronic pain. We believe that these data may provide a first step in addressing this fundamental issue."
Beyond Metabolomics: Integrating metabolomics and genetics

Generally speaking, the introduction of the Internet has driven a new cultural paradigm. The ability to rapidly disseminate information to millions of individuals around the world has had a revolutionary impact in science. Yet, to date, the field of metabolomics has not fully leveraged modern capabilities of making data accessible worldwide. Instead, metabolomic data has largely been published only in a mined or filtered format, making it difficult to interpret by other investigators. The most notable challenge in increasing the accessibility of metabolomic data has been the introduction of a universal platform by which all data can be viewed and browsed. Siuzdak, Patti, and their colleagues have turned to XCMS as the answer. "XCMS is already used by thousands of metabolomic scientists around the world to process their data. Now, those scientists can easily share and compare files. This is a pretty obvious step in moving forward, but one that could have great impact," Patti explains.
As Siuzdak and Patti pointed out, the sharing of large 'omic datasets online is not a new concept. Resources to share genomic data are already in place and have enabled meta-analyses on datasets from laboratories all over the world. "It turns out, however, that it is harder to correlate genes with phenotype than was originally expected," Patti says. "So we've started to leverage new technologies, and one of the new technologies is metabolomics, which has already proven to be clinically diagnostic. By integrating global metabolomic and genomic data, we hope to get the best of both worlds." He explains that the ultimate objective of their efforts is to connect genotype to phenotype by integrating metabolomics into the already widely successful Genome Technology Access Center (GTAC) at the Washington University School of Medicine.
Since the announcement of the Global Metabolomic Initiative was sent to XCMS Online users, hundreds of research groups have agreed to participate in a meta-analysis to identify commonly detected metabolites across a range of biological specimens. Patti is betting his career that many startling discoveries will soon follow.

Please note: If you know of any metabolomics research programs, software, databases, statistical methods, meetings, workshops, or training sessions that we should feature in future issues of this newsletter, please email Ian Forsythe at


2) MetaboInterviews

MetaboInterviews, a new section as of May 2012, features interviews with prominent researchers in the field of metabolomics. The aim of these interviews is to shed light on metabolomics researchers around the world and give them an opportunity to share their metabolomics story. In this issue, we feature an interview with Dr. Wei Jia, Professor and Co-Director, Center for Translational Biomedical Research, University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Wei Jia
Professor and Co-Director, Center for Translational Biomedical Research, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Kannapolis, USA

Dr. Wei Jia 


Dr. Wei Jia is Professor and Co-Director of the Center for Translational Biomedical Research, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He also serves as Director of the Metabolomics Core Lab at the David H Murdock Research Institute, Kannapolis, North Carolina. Dr. Jia was previously Professor and Vice Dean, School of Pharmacy, Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China, and has worked nearly a decade on biochemical profiling of botanical preparations and metabolomics. Professor Jia's current research focuses on mass spectrometry (MS)-based metabolomics profiling technologies to investigate metabolic phenotypes and metabolic transformation in cancer and metabolic disorders.

Metabolomics Interview (MN, MetaboNews; WJ, Wei Jia)

MN: How did you get involved in metabolomics?

WJ: We started getting involved in metabolomics in 2003. At the time my group was doing research in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), involving multi-component medicinal plants and botanical drugs. Our pharmacological approaches, which are mainly single compound-based or single-target based, were challenged by the multi-component nature of the botanical agents, multi-targeting activity, complex drug metabolism and PK, as well as the complex drug-drug interaction among these components in vivo. Metabolomics approach, with a holistic and dynamic view and multivariate statistical tools targeting hundreds of compounds at one time, appears to be able to address these challenging issues in TCM and herbal medicine.

MN: What are some of the most exciting aspects of your work in metabolomics?

WJ: We used metabolomics technology in a number of applications. The most exciting aspects of our work in metabolomics are:
  1. Application of metabolomics approach in traditional and herbal medicine which is gradually changing the research paradigm of this holistic medical system. Our group was among the earliest who explored the use of metabolomics approach in TCM, and we are very glad to see that almost all of the major TCM institutions in China have adopted metabolomics technology as an important research tool in herbal drug characterization, preclinical pharmacology, and clinical studies. Work from our lab in collaboration with other scientists in the field has been highlighted in Nature for several times (below).
  2. Investigation and characterization of the metabolome in the axis of gut microbial-host co-metabolism that may have huge implications in diseases and novel treatment strategies. Representative publications in this area include:
  3. Collaboration with M.D.s and oncologists in clinical metabolomics studies, where we learned a lot on their needs and perspectives on disease diagnostics and biomarker discovery, and of course, aspects of our metabolomics technology to be improved to fit in the clinical and translational biomedical research.
    Representative publications in this area include:
MN: What key metabolomics initiatives are you pursuing at your research centre or institute? What is happening in your country in terms of metabolomics?

WJ: I worked in China for 10 years prior to my appointment at University of North Carolina at Greensboro in August, 2008. My group operates two metabolomics labs, one in Shanghai, China, and the other on the North Carolina Research Campus at Kannapolis.
  1. Currently, we work on methodologies using metabolomics approach to decipher the complex metabolic processes of multi-component agents, such as green tea, ginseng, and fruit-derived polyphenols, as well as their impact on human metabolic network including gut microbial-host co-metabolism.
  2. We are conducting research in gut-liver-brain axis to understand metabolic defects in the organ-organ interaction, and their implications in liver, brain conditions and cancer.
  3. We are developing quantitative metabolomics approaches and specific methods that utilize stable isotope labeled metabolites for targeted metabolomics and flux metabolomics studies.
With research in the US and China, we are working at a junction of Eastern and Western science and medicine where the benefit of such a combined approach may provide the strategies needed to usher in an era where metabolic disease pathways are better understood and natural, plant-based compounds are a new generation of effective preventatives and treatments for diseases like cancer.

MN: How do you see your work in metabolomics being applied today or in the future?

WJ: As I mentioned earlier, we were among the earliest labs that carried out metabolomics study of TCM, and published in Journal of Proteome Research in 2005 and 2006. There are hundreds of scientific publications worldwide in TCM and herbal medicine that utilize mass spectrometry-based metabolomics strategies and approaches that we initiated or developed. We are excited about this "paradigm shift" in the TCM and herbal medicine research resulting from a collective effort from multiple leading metabolomics and herbal medicine labs in Asia, North America, and Europe. We continue to collaborate with these scientists to help move the emerging field forward.
Additionally, we have worked extensively in cancer metabolomics with findings about mechanistic pathways and potential cancer diagnostic and prognostic markers. These studies were carried out using patient cohorts recruited in China and the US. I believe that some of the onco-metabolites and biomarkers discovered in our studies hold the potential for clinical applications in the future.

MN: As you see it, what are metabolomics' greatest strengths?

WJ: It is generally accepted that only a small portion (perhaps less than 30%) of all complex metabolic diseases, such as cancers, are hereditary, leaving the remaining (70 percent or more) to be triggered by environmental factors. Those factors are as varied as a person's mood, mental condition, physiological state, diet or exposure to heavy metals, viruses, pesticides or other toxins. As we know, metabolism is the downstream of the whole biological process, starting with genes regulating proteins that regulate metabolites. Metabolites are what we call footprints of biochemical regulation that take into account genetic differences and environmental factors. In other words, our metabolome is the closest representation of disease phenotype. Therefore, the greatest strength of metabolomics lies in the clinical applications on biomarker and target discovery and treatment evaluation. I believe that the clinical application of metabolomics technology will be a key driving force for the paradigm change in medical research, integrating conventional diagnostics and lab tests to multiparametric data and linking molecular information to global phenotypic changes.

MN: What do you see as the greatest barriers for metabolomics? What improvements, technological or otherwise, need to take place for metabolomics to really take off?

WJ: One of the greatest barriers for metabolomics is the different analytical platforms and software that are used among different labs which generate inconsistent findings, especially in clinical studies where different sampling protocols are used and a large degree of variability among the human subjects exist. Thus far, metabolomic phenotyping of many types of cancers, such as prostate cancer, breast cancer, and colorectal cancer, has provided important biomarker findings, which unfortunately are rarely replicated across similar studies primarily due to the different analytical and clinical protocols used. As a result, very few metabolic hallmarks in a given cancer type have been discovered, confirmed, or validated by use of this approach. This "factorĒ has become a major barrier, preventing the metabolomics field from advancing to the clinical field.

  1. Quantitative measurement of metabolites.
  2. Cross validation among metabolomics labs.
  3. Cross validation with other platforms, such as amino acid analyzer, immunoassay, and other analytical tools.
  4. Standardization of the sampling, preparation, and analytical protocols.
MN: How does the future look in terms of funding for metabolomics?

WJ: Future funding for metabolomics should steadily grow as long as the field continues to improve and move forward.

There are a growing number of funding bodies that are incorporating metabolomics into their repertoire including the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries, and the energy industry, in addition to the government funding agencies.

MN: What role can metabolomics standards play?

WJ: The important roles of metabolomics standards are: (1) to allow transition from semi-quantitative metabolite measurement to fully quantitative, and (2) to allow mechanistic studies utilizing targeted and/or flux metabolomics approaches.

MN: Do you have any other comments that you wish to share about metabolomics?

WJ: The human body is a system of complex and intricate interactions between organs and tissues, which can be detected at metabolic levels using metabolomics approach. The recent discovery of a gut-brain-liver axis [Nature 2008 Apr 24; 452(7190):1012-6] for regulating liver glucose homeostasis and the possible impact of insulin resistance opens a wide variety of new therapeutic options to treat obesity and diabetes mellitus. There is also growing awareness of the importance of the gut microbiome in health and disease, and recognition that the microbe to host metabolic signaling is crucial to understanding the mechanistic basis of their interaction. Metabolomics is playing an increasingly important role in the translational biomedical research due to its ability to capture the dynamic and multiparametric metabolic information in vivo. We believe that advances in both sequencing technologies and metabolic profiling platforms, coupled with mathematical integration approaches, herald a new era in characterizing the organ-organ interactions (by means of metabolic signaling) and have far reaching implications in deciphering complex mechanisms of diseases that currently lack therapeutic solutions.

Biomarker Beacon

3) Biomarker Beacon

Feature article contributed by Ian Forsythe, Editor, MetaboNews, Dept of Computing Science, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada

Metabolomics is an emerging field that is complementary to other omics sciences and that is gaining increasing interest across all disciplines. Because of metabolomics' unique advantages, it is now being applied in functional genomics, integrative and systems biology, pharmacogenomics, and biomarker discovery for drug development and therapy monitoring. A substantial number of biomarkers are small molecules or metabolites (MW <1500 Da), which can be used for disease testing, drug testing, toxic exposure testing, and food consumption tracking. While standard clinical assays are limited in the number and type of compounds that can be detected, metabolomics measures many more compounds. Since a single compound is not always the best biomarker (diagnostic, prognostic, or predictive), healthcare practitioners can use metabolomic information about multiple compounds to make better medical decisions. Global metabolic profiling is now being used to determine clinical biomarkers in assessing the pathophysiological health status of patients.

In the following two recent studies, metabolomic approaches were used to develop biomarker tools for the identification of biomarkers associated with obesity and metabolic syndrome, respectively.
  1. Szymańska E, Bouwman J, Strassburg K, Vervoort J, Kangas AJ, Soininen P, Ala-Korpela M, Westerhuis J, van Duynhoven JP, Mela DJ, Macdonald IA, Vreeken RJ, Smilde AK, Jacobs DM. Gender-dependent associations of metabolite profiles and body fat distribution in a healthy population with central obesity: towards metabolomics diagnostics. OMICS. 2012 Dec;16(12):652-67. doi: 10.1089/omi.2012.0062. [PMID: 23215804]

    In this paper, the research team sought to identify novel biomarkers for obesity and related metabolic disorders. The goal of this work was to look for associations between 28 phenotype parameters (included different body fat distributions, e.g., android (A), gynoid (G), abdominal visceral (VAT), subcutaneous (SAT) fat) and metabolite profiles (136 lipid components, 12 lipoprotein subclasses, 17 low-molecular-weight metabolites, 12 clinical markers). The investigators utilized nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, ultra-performance liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS), and statistical analysis methods to evaluate 215 plasma/serum samples from healthy overweight men (n=32) and women (n=83) with central obesity. The researchers observed the following gender-dependent association patterns: in men, VAT was associated with TG 50:1-5, TG 55:1, phosphatidylcholine (PC 32:0), and VLDL ((X)L); in women, insulin, cholesterol, VLDL, and certain triacylglycerols (TG 54:1-3) correlated to VAT. Interestingly enough, the investigators also discovered that VAT in men could only be predicted when they included the plasma metabolite data as part of the analysis; of all the plasma metabolites, PC 32:0 was most strongly associated with VAT. This study shows that metabolite profiling can play a role in the development of diagnostics for obesity and related metabolic disorders, and that gender-specific differences should be considered.
  1. Huang CF, Cheng ML, Fan CM, Hong CY, Shiao MS. Nicotinuric Acid: A potential marker of metabolic syndrome through a metabolomics-based approach. Diabetes Care. 2012 Dec 28. [Epub ahead of print] [PMID: 23275373]

    Metabolic syndrome involves many elements in a complex relationship that causes patients to progress toward atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes. In this study, the researchers aimed to identify a urine biomarker for metabolic syndrome. This group used high-performance liquid chromatography-time-of-flight mass spectrometry to profile urine samples from 99 patients who were overweight, had dyslipidemia, hypertension, or impaired glucose tolerance. The research team identified a single diagnostic biomarker, namely, nicotinuric acid, that was found at increased levels in patients with diabetes. Increased levels of nicotinuric acid also correlated with increased body mass index, blood pressure, total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triacylglycerol, high sensitivity C-reactive protein, and decreased levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. As this work demonstrates, nicotinuric acid could serve as a key biomarker for metabolic syndrome.
Metabolomics Current

4) Metabolomics Current Contents

Recently published papers in metabolomics:

5) MetaboNews

7 Jan 2013

Navigating by cloud atlas: Using cloud plots to visualize metabolomics data

Cloud plots should be the first port of call when analysing complex metabolomic datasets, says Gary Siuzdak at the Scripps Research Institute in California, US. As an early demonstration of their ability, Siuzdak has used them to uncover novel biomarkers for the onset of life-threatening sepsis.

Siuzdak and his colleagues came up with cloud plots when looking for an effective way to display the complex datasets produced when using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) to determine the metabolites in two related samples, such as healthy and diseased samples. They wanted to incorporate such a display technique into their new web-based MS data processing and analysis platform, known as XCMS Online (see Metabolomics for all), alongside more conventional data analysis techniques such as principal component analysis.

The need for such a display technique is driven by the complexity of metabolomic datasets, which often comprise thousands of different peaks. This complexity means that it is simply not practical to try to identify all the metabolites responsible for the thousands of peaks, as this often requires in-depth tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS). So scientists need a way to identify the most interesting peaks in these datasets and then focus their attention on them.

Cloud plots offer a way to do this. '[They] provide a statistical assessment of the global metabolomic data and ultimately allow a scientist to effectively decide which metabolites need to be confirmed with MS/MS analysis,' explains Siuzdak.

Article in press: Analytical Chemistry: "A view from above: Cloud plots to visualize global metabolomic data"

18 Dec 2012

Agilent Technologies' Thought Leader Award Supports Dr. Robert Gerszten's Work in Metabolomic Research at Massachusetts General Hospital

Agilent Technologies Inc. today announced that Dr. Robert Gerszten, a recognized leader in cardiovascular research and biomarker discovery, has received an Agilent Thought Leader Award.

Dr. Gerszten is the director of clinical and translational research at Massachusetts General Hospital's Institute for Heart, Vascular and Stroke Care. The award will provide his laboratory with funding for personnel. Agilent will also provide technical and scientific expertise in metabolomics, automation and integrated biology in support of Dr. Gerszten's metabolite profiling study of well-phenotyped human populations, including his work with the Framingham Heart Study.

"Our goal is to identify new metabolites and proteins that mark disease activity, signal disease progression, and ultimately provide targets for therapeutic intervention," said Dr. Gerszten. "We are grateful that Agilent supports our research and is helping us in our quest to advance translational cardiology."

"Agilent is proud to support Dr. Gerszten's research in this pivotal project and further advance progress in the important field of cardiometabolic diseases," said Agilent CTO Darlene Solomon, the executive sponsor of the award. "By providing support and cutting-edge technologies to leading translational researchers like Dr. Gerszten, we aim to facilitate innovative research and to progress the fields of metabolomics and integrated biology toward improved patient outcomes."

The Agilent Thought Leader Award program promotes fundamental advances by contributing philanthropic financial support, products and expertise to the research of thought leaders in the life sciences and chemical analysis. Information about previous recipients is available at

Source: MarketWatch
10 Dec 2012

Agilent Technologies' New Pathway Architect Software to Include SRI Internationalís BioCyc Pathway Database Collection

Agilent Technologies Inc. and SRI International today announced they have signed a licensing agreement to offer laboratory research customers a package that combines Agilentís latest release of GeneSpring GX, GeneSpring NGS, Mass Profiler Professional and Pathway Architect version 12.5 with SRI Internationalís complete BioCyc Pathway Database Collection. The integrated package will allow scientists to access, combine, visualize and analyze biological data sets across multiple "omics" experiments (genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics).

"We are pleased to join forces with SRI to provide this advanced product offering," said Nick Roelofs, president of Agilent's Life Sciences Group. "By combining SRI's rich BioCyc pathway content with our fully-integrated laboratory technologies, we are providing researchers with a complete solution for designing more informed experiments, free of the cumbersome technical challenges of traditional multi-omics research. We chose to work with SRI because of the companyís breadth of coverage of organisms and excellent curation."

The new software package will enable researchers to display biological pathway data generated by Agilentís suite of instruments, software and reagents. Agilent solutions include microarrays and next-generation sequencing technology, as well as LC/MS, GC/MS, ICP/MS and NMR systems. Agilent is the sole global provider of world-class instruments, consumables and software for all four "omics" disciplines.

"SRI's databases in the BioCyc Pathway collection will offer Agilent customers the high level of curation needed to accurately interpret their large-scale datasets," said Peter Karp, Ph.D., director of the Bioinformatics Research Group at SRI International. "Our EcoCyc and MetaCyc databases have been curated from 23,000 and 35,000 publications, respectively. Along with other BioCyc databases, they help speed research in myriad domains, including biofuels, agroscience, pharmaceuticals and consumer products."

SRI's BioCyc is a collection of 2,038 Pathway/Genome Databases including 497 complete bacterial genomes from the Human Genome Microbiome Project. Each of the databases in the collection describes the genome and metabolic pathways of a single organism. SRI continues to expand the BioCyc collection with new types of data, curation, genomes and associated pathway predictions.

"Researchers are excited about the extraordinary capabilities they will have with this pathway-driven technology," said Steven Fischer, Agilentís marketing manager for metabolomics and proteomics. "Some of them, for example, may be doing genomics experiments and then realize that their next step should really be a metabolomics experiment. Either way, Agilent's comprehensive suite of integrated technologies provides the hardware, software and consumables required to complete multiple cycles of experiments in multiple disciplines. As each experiment informs the next, they can quickly redesign, collect, measure and analyze new sets of data at a much faster rate than ever before."

Agilent's combined hardware/software and informatics solutions are fueling the next generation of pathway-centric multi-omics research and yielding valuable information about drug responses, drug resistance, diagnostic markers and fundamental disease/toxicity pathways. To learn more about Agilent's complete portfolio of integrated biology solutions, click here.

Source: Lab Manager Magazine

Please note: If you know of any metabolomics news that we should feature in future issues of this newsletter, please email Ian Forsythe (

Metabolomics Events

6) Metabolomics Events

27 Jan-1 Feb 2013

Gordon Research Conference on Plant Lipids: Structure, Metabolism & Function
Venue: Galveston, Texas, USA

The third Plant Lipids GRC is scheduled for Jan. 27 - Feb. 1, 2013 in Galveston, Texas. The program for the meeting has been assembled around the theme of "Emerging and advancing research areas in plant lipid metabolism and signaling". Presentations will focus on elucidation of lipid signaling and lipid metabolic mechanisms, strategies to enhance production of economically important plant products, and new lipid imaging strategies. The GRC on Plant Lipids will bring together experts working to create and disseminate new research tools, discovering fundamental paradigms for lipid-mediated regulation of development, physiology, and stress responses and developing new understanding of lipid storage and homeostasis. We are anticipating much discussion of basic and applied research on plant lipids.

For the first time, a pre-conference Gordon Research Seminar (GRS) , January 26-27, 2013 at the same location, is being organized by investigators at the graduate student and postdoctoral levels for investigators at the graduate student and postdoctoral levels. This seminar is intended to provide (1) background that will enhance understanding of science presented at the subsequent conference, (2) opportunities to share research and to network with peers and experts in the field, and (3) peer and expert feedback and supportive suggestions about ongoing research.

For more information, visit and

1 Feb 2013

Metabolic Determinants of Stem Cell Pluripotency and Cell Fate Commitments
Venue: The New York Academy of Sciences, New York, NY, USA

The metabolic needs of cells are determined by function and fate. Pluripotent cells must make the choice to either self-renew, or commit to alternative cell fates. What are the changes in metabolic programs and cell bioenergetics associated with this stem cell choice? Do cell fate decisions determine metabolic activity, or do metabolic switches trigger the commitment to alternative cell fates? How do rapidly proliferating cells signal their comprehensive needs for more ATP, reducing equivalents, and biosynthetic intermediates that provide for growth and division? Can small molecules be used to divert stem cells toward expansion of desired lineages for cell-based therapies? Speakers at this symposium will present their latest metabolomic findings on stem cell metabolism vs. lineage commitment ó and how this knowledge may be applied for future therapies.

*Reception to follow.

This event will also be broadcast as a webinar; registration is required.

*Please note: Transmission of presentations via the webinar is subject to individual consent by the speakers. The Introduction (Dr. Gross) and first Keynote Presentation (Dr. Peter Carmeliet) will not be included in the webinar transmission for this symposium, and the anticipated webinar start time is 10:30 AM Eastern Time. To access all speakers' presentations in full, we invite you to attend the live event in New York City.

For more information, visit

9-13 Feb 2013

MSACL 2013 - Mass Spectrometry Applications to the Clinical Laboratory
Venue: San Diego, California, USA

The MSACL Conference provides a forum for discussion of developments in the clinical application of mass spectrometry. While immunoassay methods have dominated clinical analyses, mass spectrometric methods are now providing analytical results more rapidly and with less-expense. MSACL brings together experts in the field with those driven to explore and understand clinical mass spectrometry, with the goal of facilitating mass spectrometry's adoption as a health care tool and accelerating the realization of improved patient care and reduced health care costs.

For more information, visit

25 Feb-1 Mar 2013

EMBO Practical Course on Metabolomics: Bioinformatics for Life Scientists
Venue: European Bioinformatics Institute, Cambridge, CB10 1SD, UK

Is it right for me?
This course is aimed at advanced PhD students and post-doctoral researchers who are planning to improve their ability or learn new techniques in metabolomics and applying optimal data analysis methods using various bioinformatics tools in their research. The aim of this course is to familiarize the participants with advanced data analysis and data fusion methodologies and provide hands-on training on the latest analytical approaches and abilities to visualized and map metabolic changes on the relevant pathways.

What will I learn?
Lectures will give insight into how biological knowledge can be generated from metabolomics experiments and illustrate different ways of analyzing such data using variety of open source and freely available tools. Practicals will consist of computer exercises that will enable the participants to apply statistical methods and different analytical and data processing software to the analysis of metabolomics data under the guidance of the lecturers and teaching assistants. Familiarity with the technology such as data acquisition with NMR and MS is required. Ideally also some experience with R/Bioconductor (basic understanding of the syntax and ability to manipulate R objects) and the Unix/Linux operating system.

What will it cover?
The course covers optimal study design for metabolomics experiments, various data analysis methods, usage of online databases and resource as well theoretical a practical approaches on data fusion. Other topics will include: visualization of metabolomics data on metabolic pathways, methods of identification of unknown compounds, differential expression, data quality and reproducibility assessment using statistical analysis and optimal experimental study design.

For more information, visit

8-10 Apr 2013

2nd International Conference and Exhibition on Metabolomics & Systems Biology
Venue: Hilton Suites Chicago/Northbrook, USA

OMICS Group invites you to attend the 2nd International Conference and Exhibition on Metabolomics & Systems Biology which is going to be held during April 08-10, 2013 at Hilton Suites Chicago/Northbrook, USA.

Metabolomics-2013 is a remarkable event which brings together a unique and International mix of large and medium pharmaceutical, biotech and diagnostics companies, leading universities and clinical research institutions making the conference a perfect platform to share experience, foster collaborations across industry and academia, and evaluate emerging technologies across the globe.

2nd International Conference and Exhibition on Metabolomics & Systems Biology will serve as a catalyst for the advances in the study of Metabolomics & Systems Biology by connecting scientists within and across disciplines at sessions and exhibition held at the venue, creates an environment conducive to information exchange, generation of new ideas, and acceleration of applications that benefit research in Metabolomics & Systems Biology.

For more information, visit

14-19 Apr 2013

54th ENC Conference
Venue: Asilomar Conference Grounds, Pacific Grove, California, USA

Come immerse yourself in cutting-edge NMR science at the beautiful Asilomar conference grounds by the sea!
  • Jan 11, 2013: Deadline for abstracts to be considered for short talks and early decision.
  • Jan 11, 2013: Deadline for student travel and Ritchey Award materials
  • March 8, 2013: Deadline for late poster abstracts
  • March 15, 2013: Deadline for Asilomar lodging and advance conference registration
General Information:
Preliminary Program:

For more information, visit

1-7 June 2013

GRC on Computational NMR and Associated Seminar on Metabolomic NMR
Venue: Mount Snow Resort, West Dover, Vermont, USA

The organizers of the Gordon Research Conference on Computational Aspects of Biomolecular NMR are pleased to announce that the GRC and a related Gordon Research Seminar (GRS) on Metabolomic NMR for graduate students and postdocs will be held at the Mount Snow Resort in Vermont from June 1-7, 2013.

The meeting is the eighth GRC on Computational NMR and the first to include a dedicated Seminar for graduate students and postdocs. The focus of the GRS is to discuss new contributions in computational Nuclear Magnetic Resonance to the growing field of metabolomics and will feature a keynote talk by David Wishart, University of Alberta, and discussions led by experts in metabolomic NMR as a complement to oral presentations by graduate students and postdocs.

For more information:

For registration:

We do hope that you will both consider attending and provide this information to your students and postdocs and encourage them join us in Vermont for what we anticipate will be an enjoyable and stimulating meeting.

1-4 Jul 2013

9th Annual International Meeting of the Metabolomics Society
Venue: Glasgow, Scotland

We are delighted to announce that the 9th Annual International Conference of the Metabolomics Society will be held in Glasgow, Scotland 1st Ė 4th July 2013 at the award-winning Scottish Exhibition & Conference Centre (SECC). This appealing combination of an excellent city location and the best scientific research will guarantee this a memorable conference.

We expect this to be the 'must attend' meeting in 2013 for researchers from around the world, where the best speakers in the world and rising stars of the future will present their work in a mixture of plenary and parallel sessions. The Metabolomics Society came into being with the development of the Metabolomics as a discipline and as a result provides a focus for the most varied aspects of the subject ranging from microbes to man. As a result of this it brings together a diverse mixture of scientists from many disciplines, which produces very stimulating meetings.

One of the main aims of the conference will be to create a unique platform for young scientists. Come and listen and talk to the top experts in the field.  Find out about the latest exciting technologies that can advance your own research, but most of all come and enjoy Scotland's largest and most vibrant city and the beautiful countryside around it.

We look forward to welcoming you to Glasgow in 2013!

Dave Watson
Chair, Local Organising Committee
Metabolomics Glasgow 2013

For more information, visit

13-17 Aug 2013

Metabolic Signaling & Disease: From Cell to Organism
Venue: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor, NY, USA

Abstract Deadline: May 31, 2013

Daniel Kelly, Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute
Mitchell Lazar, University of Pennsylvania
Susanne Mandrup, University of Southern Denmark

We are pleased to announce the first Cold Spring Harbor meeting on Metabolic Signaling & Disease: From Cell to Organism which will begin on Tuesday evening, August 13 and end at noon on Saturday, August 17, 2013.

Metabolic regulation is at the intersection of many scientific fields, ranging from basic biochemistry and molecular biology to physiology, to the study of disease pathogenesis. Currently, a major challenge for these diverse fields is to define commonalities and differences in metabolic pathways and their regulation, and determine the role of these processes for physiology and disease states. This meeting will fill an important gap by bringing together outstanding researchers focused on diverse pathways, cell types, or diseases with a common theme of understanding how metabolism is regulated in physiology and disease states.

For more information, visit

Please note: If you know of any metabolomics lectures, meetings, workshops, or training sessions that we should feature in future issues of this newsletter, please email Ian Forsythe (

Metabolomics Jobs

7) Metabolomics Jobs

This is a resource for advertising positions in metabolomics. If you have a job you would like posted in this newsletter, please email Ian Forsythe ( Job postings will be carried for a maximum of 4 issues (8 weeks) unless the position is filled prior to that date.

Jobs Offered

Job Title Employer Location Date Posted Source
Post-doctoral Position in Chemical Ecology/Metabolomics
University of Utah Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
Closes: 15-Feb-2013
Metabolomics Society
Postdoctoral fellowship in metabolomics of cancer models
UCSF San Francisco, CA, USA
4-Jan-2013 Metabolomics Society
Head of Metabolomics
MRC National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR)
London, UK
MRC National Institute for Medical Research
Post-doctoral Position in Lipidomics / Metabolomics
University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA, USA
14-Dec-2012 Metabolomics Society
Post-doctoral position in biostatistical methods
University of Calgary Calgary, Alberta, Canada
14-Dec-2012 Metabolomics Society

Jobs Wanted

This section is intended for very highly qualified individuals (e.g., lab managers, professors, directors, executives with extensive experience) who are seeking employment in metabolomics. We encourage these individuals to submit their position requests to Ian Forsythe ( Upon review, a limited number of job submissions will be selected for publication in the Jobs Wanted section.

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