A newsletter published in partnership between
TMIC and the Metabolomics Society

Issue 31 - March 2014


Online version of this newsletter:

Welcome to the thirty-first issue of MetaboNews, a monthly newsletter published in partnership between The Metabolomics Innovation Centre (TMIC, and the international Metabolomics Society (, 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. MetaboNews represents the one-stop-shop for the very latest and most critical news about the science of metabolomics. In this issue, we feature a Software Spotlight article on BATMAN, an R package for automated quantification of metabolites from 1D NMR spectra using a Bayesian Model, and a metabolomics interview with Vidya Velagapudi of the Metabolomics Unit at the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland.

This issue of MetaboNews is supported by:

Biocrates --
                                Standardized Metabolic Phenotyping  
Chenomx --
                                Metabolite Discovery & Measurement
Biocrates Life Sciences AG

Chenomx Inc.

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Metabolomics Society Logo

Metabolomics Society News

Metabolomics journal, Vol. 10, Issue 2, April 2014
See the latest issue of our journal at:
In addition to the many excellent research papers, this issue contains the following contributions on the Metabolomics Society pages:

10th Annual International Conference of the Metabolomics Society
Location: Tsuruoka, Japan
Date: June 23rd to 26th 2014
Scientific themes include:
Important dates:
We would like to take this opportunity to remind the metabolomics community that this is the official annual conference of the international Metabolomics Society. It builds upon the outstanding success of the Metabolomics Society's annual conference in Glasgow last year (, Washington in 2012 (, and seven earlier conferences. The Society's conference series thereby represents the best established, most attended and longest running conference program in the field of metabolomics and metabonomics globally. It should not be confused with any other conferences that brand a similar name.

FINAL REMINDER for 'Analytical Tools for Cutting-edge Metabolomics' conference
Early-bird registration and abstract submission close on 14th March 2014!!!

The first in a new series of shorter, science topic-focused Metabolomics Society organised, or jointly organised, meetings kicks off soon. The first, jointly organised with the UK’s Royal Society of Chemistry, will be focused on analytical metabolomics.
Location: Chemistry Centre, Burlington House, London, UK
Date: 30th April 2014

Analytical chemistry has been one of the driving forces behind the development of metabolomics research over the past decade. The conference will bring together exceptional scientists for a program consisting of plenary and invited talks, posters, as well as an oral session devoted to early career researchers. It will be an excellent opportunity for analytical chemists to learn more about metabolomics and its application, and for metabolomics scientists to improve their knowledge of cutting-edge bioanalytical tools.

We have a fantastic line up of speakers including:
•    Professor Jeremy Nicholson (Imperial College, London, UK)
•    Professor Roy Goodacre (University of Manchester, UK)
•    Dr Julian Griffin (MRC Human Nutrition Research, Cambridge, UK)
•    Dr Steffen Neumann (Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry, IPB Halle, Germany)
•    Professor Paul Thomas (Loughborough University, UK)
•    Professor Jean-Luc Wolfender (University of Geneva, Switzerland)
•    Plus 4 contributed presentations from early career scientists

Please visit the website above to learn more, including about the Metabolomics Society Travel Awards that are available.

Early-Career Members Network (EMN)
The EMN is dedicated to, and run by early-career scientists who are members of the Metabolomics Society and are from either academia, government or industry. The network aims to provide a forum for metabolomics researchers at the start of their professional career.

Analytical Tools for Cutting-edge Metabolomics—a joint meeting of the Analytical Division of the RSC and the International Metabolomics Society
Many of you will already be aware that in April there will be an exciting 1-day conference in London, UK, hosted jointly by the Metabolomics Society and Royal Society of Chemistry. As part of our initial drive towards establishment, and our ultimate goal to serve early-career members, we are delighted to announce that the EMN will be present—and prepared to make the most of the occasion. So throughout the day, EMN committee members will be looking to engage, connect and publicise to all—so please come and say hello. We couldn’t think of a more enticing warm up to Tsuruoka 2014.

10th Annual International Conference of the Metabolomics Society
We cannot wait to see you at the 10th Annual International Conference of the Metabolomics Society in Tsuruoka. The EMN will host two workshops tailored for the needs of the early career members. To attend the conference and workshops, you can apply for the Metabolomics Society Travel Awards and Prizes. If you are a student, there are some great student travel bursaries on offer but please note that you MUST be a student member of the Society for 3 months to be eligible. Do not forget to join or renew your membership soon!

Please follow us on Twitter (@MetabolomicsSoc) and Facebook (Metabolomics Society) to stay up-to-date on all news and upcoming events.


The early-bird discount has ended for membership renewals as of March 1st, but renewing your membership now still allows you to enjoy the full benefits of the membership year including conference discounts, access to Metabolomics and discounted registration for the official Metabolomics Society annual meeting in Tsuruoka, Japan! Students who renew now will also be eligible to apply for the student awards for Metabolomics 2014. To join the society or renew your membership go to

Status of Data Standards
This section is contributed regularly by Christoph Steinbeck (Chair of the Society’s Data Standards Task Group) and Reza Salek ( from the EMBL-EBI, Cambridge UK.

Development of nmrML format: Currently, the most widely used data exchange format for NMR data is JCAMP-DX version 6.0 by the Joint Committee on Atomic and Molecular Physical Data (Davies and Lampen, 1993), but the specification is not very rigorous and many different flavors exist in the wild, which can lead to incompatibilities between different software packages. It is also not easily extendable to capture supplementary information.

The MSI workgroups have provided detailed suggestions about the minimum information metadata to be captured for a NMR experiment. In particular, the MSI, had put forth recommendations to report instrument descriptions and configurations, instrument-specific sample preparation and data acquisition parameters (Rubtsov, Jenkins et al., 2007), which resulted in a first round of NMR XML data standard development, focusing on raw and processed one- and two-dimensional NMR experiments and associated metadata (Ludwig, Easton et al., 2012). 

Inspired by the huge success of mzML in mass spectrometry,  the COSMOS COordination Of Standards In MetabOlomicS ( consortium has joined forces with other groups and has now merged and adopted existing schemata into a new nmrML format ( The format consists of the XML schema that defines the structure of an nmrML file. This structure is deliberately kept simple to ease the task of implementation, and avoid the need for frequent changes when the terminology needs to accommodate upcoming new technologies and parameters. Instead, these will be annotated in the nmrML file using the second component of nmrML, the controlled vocabulary terms from the nmrCV ontology. The nmrCV is based on earlier work at the EMBL-EBI (Sansone, Schober et al., 2007) and efforts at The Metabolomics Innovation Centre (David Wishart Group). The nmrCV contains nearly 600 terms and partly relies on external sources like ChEBI for chemical information, thus making it an integrative resource. Term request can be channeled through the issue tracker/mailing list.

We also provide early prototypes for file converters from vendor formats to nmrML, as well as parser libraries for Java, R and python, which can be used by open NMR processing and analysis software.

The development of nmrML is taking place on Github (, where the specification documents, more detailed descriptions of our use cases, examples files and the parser libraries can be found.

We are now providing a first nmrML release candidate at for public consultation and feedback.

Stay abreast of the latest metabolomics news via the Twitter feed on the front page of the website. Also you can follow us on Twitter: Metabolomics Society @MetabolomicsSoc and Metabolomics journal @Metabolomics. And you can visit us on Facebook.


Software Spotlight

Software Spotlight


BATMAN—an R package for automated quantification of metabolites from 1D NMR spectra using a Bayesian Model

Feature article contributed by Tim Ebbels and Jie Hao, Computational & Systems Medicine, Department of Surgery & Cancer, Imperial College London

One dimensional NMR is a widely used technique in metabolomics, generating complex and information-rich spectral profiles which can reveal a wealth of information about the biological system under study. Analysis of these NMR profiles is, however, impeded by strong overlap between resonance peaks and small but significant shifts in peak positions between spectra. Current approaches to data analysis include alignment of peaks across a sample set, binning techniques, and peak fitting. The latter technique can take account of both overlap and peak shift, but is often a slow and manual process. To address this problem we have developed the Bayesian AuTomated Metabolite Analyser for NMR spectra (BATMAN) [1], an R package which deconvolves peaks from 1D NMR spectra of complex mixtures and obtains concentration estimates for the corresponding metabolites automatically.

BATMAN uses a Bayesian approach to model the characteristic 1H NMR signature of each metabolite as defined by relative intensities, chemical shifts, J-couplings, and line widths. It applies a Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) algorithm [2] to sample from the joint posterior distribution of the model parameters and obtains estimates of relative concentrations of a target set of metabolites specified by the user. The concentration estimates have been shown to have reduced error compared with conventional binning approaches and are comparable to manual deconvolution and quantitation by experienced spectroscopists [2,3].

Figure 1 shows a schematic of the BATMAN workflow. As input BATMAN takes the NMR spectra, a library of standard compound ‘templates’, a list of target metabolites, and algorithm parameters. Figure 2 shows screen shots of the main input files. Each entry in the template library defines the chemical shifts, multiplet types, J-couplings, and relative intensities of a resonance pattern for a given metabolite. By default these are taken from the HMDB but users should check and adjust the parameters to suit the particular conditions applicable to their own spectra. The output of BATMAN is a set of relative concentrations for the target metabolites, a wavelet-based model of the remainder of the spectrum, plus various diagnostic plots and visualizations to aid interpretation of the model.

Schematic of the inputs and outputs of BATMAN

Figure 1. Schematic of the inputs and outputs of BATMAN.

Batman input files
        showing algorithm parameters, target list, and template library

Figure 2.
Batman input files showing algorithm parameters (batmanOptions.txt), target list (metabolitesList.csv) and template library (multi_data.csv).

Detailed instructions for installation and testing of BATMAN can be found here. As with many Bayesian methods, the algorithm is computationally intensive. However, because of parallel processing, several tens of spectra can easily be processed overnight on a modern multi-core desktop machine. Figure 3 shows a typical BATMAN fit (with parameters set to their mean posterior values) for a section of a 1H NMR spectrum of normal rat urine. In this example several peaks are deconvolved (e.g., trimethylamine N-oxide and taurine at 3.28 ppm) and there is relatively little intensity absorbed by the wavelet part of the model.

Example BATMAN
        fit for rat urine
Figure 3.
Example BATMAN fit for rat urine.

One of the main difficulties in obtaining a satisfactory peak fit with BATMAN or other software is to estimate the correct positions of peaks which shift significantly between spectra. Recently we have demonstrated that sorting spectra according to the shift of a given resonance can allow the user to more accurately specify starting estimates of chemical shift parameters, leading to a quicker and more accurate solution with BATMAN [3]. Figure 4 shows an example of this spectral sorting approach using the splineFitBATMAN tool in MATLAB to estimate the approximate positions of strongly shifting peaks.

Tracking shifting peaks using the SplineFit tool

Figure 4. Tracking shifting peaks using the SplineFit tool.

Automated deconvolution and quantitation of complex mixture NMR spectra is a considerable challenge. BATMAN attempts to encode some of the knowledge used by expert spectroscopists within its Bayesian model, allowing an ‘intelligent’ approach to the problem. It produces a matrix of annotated metabolites, relative concentrations, and associated uncertainties, which can then be used in further statistical analysis. Overall, we believe BATMAN constitutes a useful new component in the NMR metabolomic toolbox and encourage metabolomics enthusiasts to give it a try. The software and supporting documents are freely available from the BATMAN R-Forge website (

  1. Hao, J., et al., BATMAN--an R package for the automated quantification of metabolites from nuclear magnetic resonance spectra using a Bayesian model. Bioinformatics, 2012. 28(15): p. 2088-90. [PMID: 22635605]
  2. Astle, W., et al., A Bayesian Model of NMR Spectra for the Deconvolution and Quantification of Metabolites in Complex Biological Mixtures. Journal of the American Statistical Association, 2012. 107(500): p. 1259-1271. [Link]
  3. Liebeke, M., et al., Combining spectral ordering with peak fitting for one-dimensional NMR quantitative metabolomics. Analytical Chemistry, 2013. 85(9): p. 4605-12. [PMID: 23521721]

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



MetaboInterviews 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 Vidya Velagapudi.

Vidya Velagapudi

Adjunct Professor, Head of the Metabolomics Unit, FIMM Technology Centre, Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland, Helsinki, Finland

 Vidya Velagapudi


Dr. Vidya Velagapudi obtained her Ph.D in Applied Biochemistry from University of Saarland in collaboration with the Max-Planck Institute for Informatics, Saarbrucken, Germany in 2005. Later on Dr. Velagapudi moved to VTT Technical research centre of Finland as a post-doctoral fellow and continued as a Research Scientist and Project Manager during 2006-2009. In 2010, Dr. Velagapudi has taken up the role as Head of the Metabolomics Unit at Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM), a Nordic EMBL partner institute. From 2012 onwards Dr. Velagapudi is also affiliated with the University of Helsinki as an Adjunct Professor teaching clinical metabolomics. Dr. Velagapudi has been acting as editorial board member and reviewer for several international journals in the field of metabolomics.

Metabolomics Interview (MN, MetaboNews; VV, Vidya Velagapudi)

MN: How did you get involved in metabolomics?

VV: I first got an opportunity to work in a metabolomics-related field during my Ph.D back in 2003. I studied the gene-environment effects, mainly focusing on phenotypic and metabolic flux profiling of about 60 different S.cerevisiae single knockouts grown on different carbon sources. I have utilized high-throughput, miniaturized, isotopically-labeled yeast cultures, and used GC-MS and MALDI-ToF-MS technologies. I was also extensively collaborating with a bio-informatician at the Max-Planck Institute to develop computational methods for the analysis of metabolomics data.

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

VV: The most exciting and interesting aspect of my work in metabolomics is to engage in a wide variety of scientific projects for the past 10 years ranging from metabolic flux analyses in microorganisms to comprehensive metabolomics analyses and identification of early biomarkers in clinical cohort studies. Another exciting thing is to work directly with clinicians, who are actually treating the patients in many ongoing clinical metabolomics projects in our lab.

MN: What key metabolomics initiatives are you pursuing at your research centre or institute?

VV: The Metabolomics Unit at FIMM was launched in 2011. Our first initiative was to develop a mass spectrometry (MS) based method for high-throughput targeted quantitative metabolomics mainly focusing on polar metabolites. In 2012, we successfully developed and validated our method. We use liquid handling systems for automated sample extraction and can quantify about 100 polar metabolites from 16 different metabolite classes in a single 17 min run. For this purpose, we employed a hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography (HILIC) technique and multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) strategy. The second initiative was to implement the method for as many sample types both from animal models and humans as possible (i.e., biofluids, cells, tissues, and also microorganisms). Another initiative in our lab is to continuously increase the coverage of metabolites by developing new analytical methods.

MN: What is happening in your country in terms of metabolomics?

VV: In Finland, for sure, there is growing interest in Metabolomics. Biocenter Finland (BF), a distributed national research infrastructure (, had promoted the restructuring of the infrastructure networks and technology platform services nationwide in 2010. The Metabolomics Unit was established as one of ten national infrastructure facilities offering research services in the life sciences and biomedicine to the Finnish and international research communities. Thanks to BF and FIMM for their financial support to launch our Metabolomics Unit in 2011 ( The support from BF has been extended until 2016 and there is continuous support from FIMM to promote metabolomics services in Finland and abroad. Our consortium partners are also offering services in plant and microbial metabolomics.

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

VV: Our Metabolomics core facility has been fully up and running since late 2012. We have already completed many clinical metabolomics projects that are related to drugs or nutritional intervention studies. Based on the quantitative metabolomics results, our findings have already enabled us to propose and validate new research hypotheses in animal and/or cellular models, and we were also able to show similar findings in humans. In the future, we will focus more on predicting early biomarkers in complex human diseases and also going beyond, trying to explore the biological meaning of metabolite dysregulations.

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

VV: Metabolomics is dynamic, sensitive, and closest to the cellular phenotype compared to other “omics”. Moreover, it also offers high-throughput capabilities, thus enabling the analysis of thousands of clinical samples in population cohorts in a reasonable amount of time. It also enables one to do unbiased exploratory analyses using an untargeted metabolomics approach, allowing one to generate new research hypotheses. Comprehensive metabolomics serves as one of the key tools for systems biology and provides a great way to understand any biological system. When combined with other “omics” data, accompanied by advanced mathematical modeling and appropriate statistical methods, one can get rich information at a systems level in an integrated manner. Since metabolomics has the above-mentioned strengths and provides cellular readout, it could be considered as a gateway to personalized medicine.

MN: What do you see as the greatest barriers for metabolomics?

VV: The complexity of the metabolome; the greatest challenge in metabolomics is to extract, separate, identify (in untargeted approaches), and quantify (in targeted approaches) the diversity of metabolites in a given biological sample. A major complaint that we hear often in metabolomics is the lack of reproducibility among different labs. This scenario is mainly due to the unavailability of all the standards; very expensive isotope-labeled internal standards, use of different sampling, extraction, chromatography, ionisation, and MS protocols, and no standard operating conditions (SOPs). Other significant barriers are due to unavailability of complete metabolite libraries, no standardization protocols to combine the metabolomics data coming from different technology platforms.

MN: What improvements, technological or otherwise, need to take place for metabolomics to really take off?

VV: To overcome the above-mentioned bottlenecks, a collective effort should come from different metabolomics laboratories across the globe to standardize the protocols and to share the metabolite annotations. User-friendly software for big data management systems and bioinformatics solutions for integrated analyses needs to be developed. In order to interpret the data at a systems level, an inter-disciplinary team is a must.

MN: How does the future look in terms of funding for metabolomics?

VV: The funding, at the moment, not only for metabolomics but in general, is very tight due to heavy budget cuts for research. However, I am optimistic about the funding for metabolomics, be it in research or infrastructure. I can already see positive signs as researchers and clinicians assign funding for metabolomics analyses in their projects and also actively collaborate with us to apply for new national and EU-level funding.

MN: What role can metabolomics standards play?

VV: As I mentioned, one of the main reasons for the lack of reproducibility among different labs is due to unavailability of all the standards and very expensive isotope labeled internal standards. Hence, standards play a crucial role, especially in targeted quantitative analyses. Thus, it is extremely important to do inter-laboratory and also inter-platform validation of developed analytical methods. For instance, we have sent our quality control sample to another lab, which uses NMR-based technology and to a metabolomics company, and also checked with commercial kits to validate our method. We achieved very good agreement for matched metabolites. We would be happy to collaborate for inter-laboratory comparisons of all our metabolites.

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

VV: Metabolomic analyses should be done properly and validated thoroughly before making any sense out of the data. Otherwise one might end up misinterpreting mediocre quality data and making false conclusions.

Biomarker Beacon

Biomarker Beacon

This section is supported by:

LECO Corporation

Feature article contributed by Ian Forsythe, Editor, MetaboNews, Department 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 tools for the identification of biomarkers associated with colorectal cancer and major depressive disorder, respectively.
  1. Qiu Y, Cai G, Zhou B Dept Of Mo, Li D, Zhao A, Xie G, Li H, Cai S, Xie D, Huang C, Ge W, Zhou Z, Xu L, Jia W, Zheng S, Yen Y, Jia W. A distinct metabolic signature of human colorectal cancer with prognostic potential. Clin Cancer Res. 2014 Feb 13. [Epub ahead of print] [PMID: 24526730]

Increasingly, researchers are relying on metabolomics to uncover sensitive disease biomarkers. In this paper, the investigators utilized metabolomic profiling to identify colorectal cancer (CRC) biomarkers. Using gas chromatography-Time-of-Flight mass spectrometry (GC-TOFMS), they sought to identify metabolite markers that would allow them to differentiate between CRC and non-CRC specimens. They analyzed 376 surgical specimens from CRC patients from hospitals in China and the US. As a result of this study, they identified a panel of 15 significantly altered metabolites. Despite the fact that samples were from different geographical locations, they shared a common metabolic signature with great prognostic potential.

  1. Zheng P, Chen JJ, Huang T, Wang MJ, Wang Y, Dong MX, Huang YJ, Zhou LK, Xie P. A novel urinary metabolite signature for diagnosing major depressive disorder. J Proteome Res. 2013 Dec 6;12(12):5904-11. doi: 10.1021/pr400939q. Epub 2013 Nov 26. [PMID: 24224655]

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a debilitating and widespread mental disorder. There is a need for reliable biomarkers for the diagnosis of MDD. In this study, the researchers used gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) to analyze urine samples from 126 MDD and 134 healthy subjects. Combined with orthogonal partial least-squares discriminant analysis (OPLS-DA), they identified 23 urine metabolites that allowed them to differentiate between the two patient groups. The research team narrowed the candidate diagnostic metabolites for MDD from 23 down to 6 (sorbitol, uric acid, azelaic acid, quinolinic acid, hippuric acid, and tyrosine). By adding a previously identified urine biomarker (N-methylnicotinamide), they were able to increase the accuracy of the biomarker panel. This work represents a promising start to the development of a urine-based diagnostic test for MDD.

Metabolomics Current

Metabolomics Current Contents

Recently published papers in metabolomics:


26 Feb 2014

Understanding the fundamental metabolic workings of a cell in a changing environment

Fungal geneticist Scott Baker rifles through a stack of petri dishes housed in a small refrigerator at EMSL. He selects a plate dotted with white cauliflower-shaped colonies of fungus, punctuated by one brazen smudge that stands out from the rest. "This one is red. Not sure why," Baker says.

Each colony on the plate is a different mutant of Yarrowia lipolytica, an oil-producing yeast that Baker and his collaborators at MIT, UCLA and Sweden's Chalmers University hope to coax into pumping out biofuel. The small room where the mutants reside contains only basic equipment for growing and looking at the microbes. But Baker, the Science Theme Lead for Biosystem Dynamics and Design at EMSL, knows that just down the hall a whole slough of instruments awaits the mutants. "This is only the staging area," Baker says.

Metabolomics may have a long way to go before it catches up to proteomics, Metz says, but EMSL's progress is in full swing. The world-class mass spectrometry facility that has driven EMSL's leadership in proteomics is now being tweaked to accommodate metabolomics as well. Chemists in the NMR facility are developing methods to sample living cultures as they grow, and systems biologists are employing supercomputers to run simulations of the metabolic cycles that drive the cell. Metz and his colleagues are in the throes of developing a custom metabolomics facility that will unite many of these diverse capabilities into a common space, streamlining experiments and giving top priority to users interested in metabolomics

"The Holy Grail in all of these 'omics approaches is to make a predictive model of how the cell works, and we're still a long way from doing that," says EMSL scientist and PNNL Laboratory Fellow H. Steven Wiley. "The whole idea about systems biology is to understand how the whole organism works so you can engineer it. To do that you really need a predictive model, and you need a way to test the model. And unless you can measure a lot of the metabolites and intermediates, there's no way you can test these predictive models."

The challenges of metabolomics may be vast, but EMSL scientists, users and collaborators are all in.

The Yarrowia lipolytica biofuels project, funded by the Department of Energy's Office of Biological and Environmental Research, is a prime example of how scientists will draw on several techniques to yield metabolomics results. For most of the samples the team analyzes, a simple methanol/chloroform extraction can transform one "tube of goo" (as Metz puts it) into three layers, each containing its own unique slurry of compounds: polar metabolites (such as carbohydrates, amino acids and some vitamins), lipids or proteins. Each of these layers can then be analyzed using specialized instruments to get a snapshot of cellular metabolism.

The polar metabolites, which rise to the top, are amenable to analysis by gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry, or GC-MS. "GC-MS is one of the best methods for identifying polar metabolites with high confidence," says Metz, who specializes in mass spectrometry and participates in the Yarrowia project with Baker. As opposed to liquid chromatography, in which molecules interact with both the column and liquid mobile phase in various (and sometimes mysterious) ways, GC requires a chemical derivatization step that levels the playing field. Once derivatized, the molecules interact with only the GC column in a consistent way, yielding a reproducible separation together with a mass spectrum that can be compared between instruments at different facilities. This consistency has yielded the construction of useful GC-MS spectral reference libraries that scientists can use to identify chemical species in a mixture. Metz often draws on Agilent's library, which contains both retention indices and mass spectra for 700 metabolites.

The ultimate goal of the Yarrowia project is to coax the microbe to produce biofuels in the form of lipids such as triacylglycerides. The yeast shunts lipids into storage chambers called "lipid bodies," and project scientists plan to analyze the types of lipids produced in response to different environmental and genetic modifications. But complex lipids aren't amenable to analysis by GC-MS (or NMR), so the lipid fraction of each sample gets analyzed by liquid chromatography-MS. Unfortunately, reference libraries of lipids don't exist to the same extent as those for polar metabolites amenable to GC-MS. So PNNL scientists are in the process of putting together their own lipid library. "We must rely on MS data to inform us what the most likely identification is, then we pick the corresponding retention time and m/z and put it in the database," Metz says. This "lipidomics" capability is a major contribution PNNL scientists are making to the greater Yarrowia project, which spans multiple institutions and incorporates genomics, computational models and eventually re-engineering of the microbe.

Meanwhile, Baker takes different approaches to study the movement of lipids throughout yeast cells. Drawing on flow cytometry, microscopy and MS imaging techniques, Baker's team analyzes how lipid storage changes with yeast development. "We would like to see metabolomics go beyond just the 'omics part," Baker says. "We want to see metabolomics in time and space." That means looking at the way metabolites get shuttled in between different compartments of the cell, and in between different microbes in a community. Understanding metabolism on both an intra- and intercellular level will be a necessary step in engineering microbes to produce certain products. After all, Baker says, "We're asking a lot of these microbes."

18 Feb 2014

Patti wins Sloan Research Fellowship

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation announced Feb. 17th that WUSTL’s Gary Patti has been awarded a 2014 Sloan Research Fellowship. He is among 126 outstanding U.S. and Canadian researchers selected as fellowship recipients this year. Awarded annually since 1955, the fellowships are given to early-career scientists and scholars whose achievements and potential identify them as rising stars, the next generation of scientific leaders.

“For more than half a century, the Sloan Foundation has been proud to honor the best young scientific minds and support them during a crucial phase of their careers when early funding and recognition can really make a difference,” said Dr. Paul L. Joskow, President of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. “These researchers are pushing the boundaries of scientific knowledge in unprecedented ways.”

” I am pleased and excited that Gary has been named a Sloan Fellow,” said William Buhro, PhD, professor and chair of chemistry. “Patti is a pioneer in the rapidly developing field of metabolomics, in which the wide arrays of small-molecule metabolites in biological systems are profiled. Metabolomics presents a massive data-analysis challenge, to which Gary is contributing new technologies. He is also applying his new metabolomics technologies to study the biochemistry of disease states, which will advance medical therapies.”

“The goal of metabolomics is to take a urine, blood or tissue sample, analyze it with an instrument called a mass spectrometer, and acquire a complete profile of all of the small molecules in the sample,” said Patti, PhD, assistant professor in the departments of chemistry, genetics and medicine. The profile might reveal whether the sample donor is ill, at risk of developing a disease, has been exposed to a toxin, or is unable to tolerate a drug therapy.

Metabolomics has already provided unparalleled insight into previously opaque illnesses, such as chronic pain. “We identified a molecule that, prior to our studies, was not known to be a naturally occurring compound. We have demonstrated that this molecule is an important player in mediating chronic pain, and this has opened up new avenues for therapies that could help millions of people,” Patti said.

His lab is also hot on the trail of sarcopenia, the muscle wasting that occurs in some elderly patients and leads to “frailty” that has also resisted scientific inquiry in the past. They identified six small molecules associated with aging in Caenorhabditis elegans, a worm that scientists use as a model system. Two of these compounds change as a function of age in healthy human skeletal tissue and may be involved in sarcopenia. In the meantime the group is establishing a library of metabolite levels in long-lived model organisms.

Past Sloan Research Fellows include physicist Richard Feynman and game theorist John Nash. Since the beginning of the program in 1955, 42 fellows have received a Nobel Prize in their respective field, 16 have won the Fields Medal in mathematics, 13 have won the John Bates Clark Medal in economics, and 63 have received the National Medal of Science.

Scientists in eight scientific and technical fields—chemistry, computer science, economics, mathematics, evolutionary and computational molecular biology, neuroscience, ocean sciences, and physics—are eligible for the awards.

The fellowships are awarded through close cooperation with the scientific community. Candidates must be nominated by their fellow scientists, and winning fellows are selected by an independent panel of senior scholars on the basis of a candidate’s independent research accomplishments, creativity, and potential to become a leader in his or her field.

17 Feb 2014

US launch carries great expectations

CORK firm Metabolomic Diagnostics is preparing to launch the world’s first test for pre-eclampsia in early pregnancy on the US market next year.

The long-term aim is to sell the test to every country in the world and the expectation of company founder and chief executive Charles Garvey is that the company could earn revenues of tens of millions of euro within five years.

Set up to commercialise technology developed at UCC, Metabolomic Diagnostics is based at Little Island, where it employs a team of five scientists.

Participating in a €6m EU-funded research project on biomarkers in pregnant women, the company raised venture capital funding of €750,000 last month, which is being used to advance commercialisation of the research.

According to Mr Garvey, the pre-eclampsia test has the potential to transform maternal and fetal care globally, improving quality of care and reducing costs.

“Between 70,000 and 80,000 women die every year from pre-eclampsia and around 500,000 infants die annually as a direct result of the condition,” he reveals.

The commercial potential of the test is indicated by the fact that in the US alone, $7bn (€5.1bn) is spent annually on prenatal care associated with pre-eclampsia.

The formation of Metabolomic Diagnostics came about as a result of an introduction which took place through the Enterprise Ireland Business Partners programme.

Mr Garvey, a serial entrepreneur with experience in growing Irish technology companies internationally, met UCC professor of obstetrics Louise Kenny, who had been researching pre-eclampsia since 2007.

He saw global potential in the early detection test she had been working on.

“The company was set up in 2011 specifically to license the research which had been patented by UCC,” says Mr Garvey, who was joined by two other experienced entrepreneurs, Paul Hands and Diarmuid Cahalane in establishing the new venture.

Prof Kenny, who was awarded an Enterprise Ireland Life Science & Food Commercialisation award for developing the test, became a member of the company’s advisory board.

Since 2011 the company’s researchers have been involved in validating the research and commercialising the test. Participation in the EU study will provide the firm with blood samples from 5,000 pregnant women to assist in this work.

In December last year the company secured €750,000 through a syndicate of investors, which included SOSventures Ireland Fund, AIB Seed Capital Fund and Enterprise Ireland — which had identified Metabolomic Diagnostics as a High Potential Start-Up in 2013.

Mr Garvey expects the first version of the test, which is called PrePsia, to be ready for launch in the US market in 2015.

“We have chosen to launch in the US first because of its population size and the market spend,” he says, explaining that many life-science companies start with a US launch.

The aim is to partner with a major US laboratory, which will help speed up the process of getting regulatory approval for the new test there. Getting regulatory approval for every country is a time-consuming and expensive process.

“It makes sense to start with a market with a population of 310m. We can use revenues generated in the US market to help fund the roll-out in other countries.”

Mr Garvey has already had discussions with potential US partners and has engaged with the Food and Drugs Administration.

He says the company has also looked at regulatory requirements in other markets with a view to expanding.

In the future, it hopes to develop tests to detect other complications of pregnancy such as gestational diabetes, pre-term delivery and underdeveloped foetuses.

For now, the focus is on finalising the research and producing the first version of the test in readiness for commercial launch.


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

Metabolomics Events

2 March 2014

Introduction to Metabolomics course at the upcoming Pittcon conference
Venue: Chicago, USA

This course will provide an introduction to various global and targeted metabolomics approaches using liquid chromatography – mass spectrometry (LC-MS). The course will briefly cover practical and fundamental aspects of sample preparation, LC-MS analysis, experimental design, quality control, data processing, statistical interpretation including multivariate statistical analysis and metabolite identification strategies in the context of global metabolomics. Examples from various fields including biomedical, clinical, life sciences will be highlighted throughout the course. Strategies to enhance metabolite coverage and data quality for a given application will be discussed in detail. Practical examples and critical discussion will be incorporated throughout the course to deepen the participants’ understanding of the field of metabolomics and understand current advantages and limitations of various metabolomic approaches.

For further information, please visit the Pittcon website.

4 March 2014

Bruker Metabolomics Canada Spring Tour 2014
Venue: University of Alberta Campus, Edmonton, Canada

Three presentations: two on metabolomics using LC-MS, NMR and GC-MS; one on microbial identification by MALDI-TOF

Whisky, Coffee, and the Resulting Effects: Combining food with clinical metabolomics based on high resolution GC-MS and LC-MS
Aiko Barsch, Ph.D., Metabolomics Marketing Manager, Bruker

Metabolomics is an integral part of the whole OMICS picture. In the final step of the omics cascade, the metabolome changes as a result of the genome, transcriptome and proteome. These changes in the small molecule profile most closely express the phenotype. In consequence, metabolomics has gained major attention in human health, food and nutrition, and many other diverse areas of research. This presentation will cover several topics of interest to food and clinical researchers, based on high resolution LC-MS and GC-MS analysis.

The first is on the intensity of coffee blends as determined by the concentration of specific small molecules. The second describes a diabetes biomarker research study in which the identification of a single metabolite explained an unexpected trend in the data. Finally, in food authenticity, whisky types correlated with geographic regions.

The typical workflow involves 1) non-targeted profiling using high resolution LC-MS or GC-MS; 2) differentiation of the profiles by statistics; 3) identification of sources of grouping and differentiation; followed by 4) validation of putative biomarkers using targeted approaches.

In particular, the identification of the sources of grouping and differentiation will be discussed. Compounds analyzed by LC-MS were tentatively identified by generating unique molecular formulas, based on accurate mass and isotopic patterns. Subsequent in-silico fragmentation and exploration generated single candidate structures. The reliable identification of these compounds saved analysis time and the acquisition of multiple reference materials to confirm the identity of the target compounds.

NMR in Metabolomics: Applications to Human Disease, Food and Botanicals
Kim Colson, Ph.D., Business Development Manager/R&D, Bruker

MALDI-TOF Applications for Food Science
Shannon Cornett, Ph.D., Applications Research Manager, Bruker

The latest revolution in microbiology uses MALDI-TOF mass spec. Bacteria and fungi are identified within minutes, frequently to the species level. There are many other applications with the same technology.

Some additional applications include:

  • Rapid (<1min) sequence information from intact pure proteins even when the N-terminus is blocked
  • Characterization of post-translational modifications
  • Quantitation by stable-isotope immunoassay
  • Molecular imaging

This presentation will introduce you to current technologies from Bruker, the world leader in MALDI systems that are driving these application. You will see examples of the most common applications as well as have an opportunity to learn more in a question and answer round-table discussion following the presentation.
RSVP to Jim Kapron by email to or by phone at 780-243-4926.

For more information, see the event flyer.

6 March 2014

MzTab for Metabolomics Workshop
Venue: Tübingen, Germany

On 6th of March 2014, COSMOS members together with the PSI community are holding the first “mzTab for metabolomics” workshop in Tübingen, Germany. Our aim is to drive reporting of metabolomic results further using a standardized, open, easy accessible and human readable tabular format. MzTab (version 1.0) already provides basic support for reporting small molecules that we plan to extend and harmonize with the more advanced reporting scheme for proteins and peptides available in MzTab.

General information:

This will be a joint MSI and PSI workshop to improve the representation of Metabolomics and Small-Molecule Identification and Quantification in mzTab. The workshop is another step towards coordination of standards between the proteomics and metabolomics communities and we would like to invite the interested individuals to join in our effort.

  • mzTab can be used for reporting both metabolite identification and metabolomics quantification. After extensive research and discussions within the consortium and members of the MSI and PSI community, we are convinced that mzTab is the medium of choice for capturing and reporting such metabolomics results.
  • To test and evaluate the standard, the mzTab development is accompanied by early implementations, e.g., in development versions of the OpenMS (, or separate export functions for XCMS and CAMERA ( software tools.
  • In addition, the MetaboLights metabolomics database ( accepts the quantification and identification of metabolites in a subset of mzTab, soon to be updated to the full compatible version, once the final discussions on the mzTab format for small molecules are completed.
For more information, visit

17-21 Mar 2014

EMBO Practical Course on Metabolomics Bioinformatics for Life Scientists
Venue: The European Bioinformatics Institute, Hinxton, UK (See map: Google Maps)

Date: Monday, March 17, 2014 - Friday, March 21, 2014


Reza Salek, EMBL-EBI & Cambridge University, UK
Laura Emery, EMBL-EBI, UK

Registration Opens:
Thursday, August 1, 2013
Registration Deadline:
Friday, January 17, 2014 (12:00 midday GMT)
Acceptance Notification Date: Friday, January 31, 2014
Participation: Open application with selection

This course will provide an overview of key issues that affect metabolomics studies, bioinformatics tools, and procedures for the analysis of metabolomics data. It will be delivered using a mixture of lectures, computer-based practical sessions and interactive discussions. The course will provide a platform for discussion of the key questions and challenges in the field of metabolomics.

This course is aimed at PhD students and researchers with a minimum of one year’ s experience in the field of metabolomics who are seeking to improve their skills in metabolomics data analysis. Participants must have experience using R (including a basic understanding of the syntax and ability to manipulate objects) and the UNIX/LINUX operating system.

For more information, visit

18-21 Mar 2014

5th International Singapore Lipid Symposium
Venue: National University of Singapore

Organizer: A/Prof. Markus R Wenk

The Singapore Lipid Symposium (biennial, since 2006) has rapidly evolved into a key event to keep up to date for novel developments in lipidomics in Asia Pacific. Based on past experience, we are expecting participation of approximately 150-200 from around the world and representation from a wide range of areas in the life sciences across academia and industry. The official launch of a new network dedicated to deciphering lipidomics variations will be a major first highlight, followed by community building workshops and the main symposium session.

For more details, please visit

19 Mar 2014

Prospects and Pitfalls in Metabolomics: From Study Designs to Interpreting Data in Biomedical Applications
Live Webcast: Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at 8:00 AM PDT/10:00 AM CDT/11:00 AM EDT

Editors’ Series: Prospects and Pitfalls in Metabolomics: From Study Designs to Interpreting Data in Biomedical Applications

In this web seminar, Professor Oliver Fiehn of UC Davis will explain the importance of different steps in the metabolomic workflow and how to avoid the most dramatic pitfalls along the way. Key topics covered will include defining a suitable hypothesis, designing a study, preparing biological specimen for comprehensive chemical analysis, choosing the most suitable analytical platforms, analyzing raw data including identification of metabolites, using quality controls and validations, and interpreting the data on the background of biomedical questions. Examples will be given from published work using blood plasma in human cohort studies and animal models.

Laura Bush
Editorial Director
LCGC and Spectroscopy

Prof. Oliver Fiehn, PhD
Director, West Coast Metabolomics Center
UC Davis Genome Center
University of California, David

This is a FREE streaming audio Webcast and does not require a phone line. If you have any questions regarding this Webcast, please contact Kristen Moore,

Register for this FREE Webcast! 

For details, visit the event website.

7-11 Apr 2014

Leiden University: Workshop Metabolomics 2014
Basics and Applications to Plant Sciences
Venue: Leiden, The Netherlands

April 7 - 11, 2014, workshop
April 14 - 18, 2014, hands-on (optional)
April 21 - 25, 2014, wrapping up of workshop and hands on (optional)

Description and aim of the workshop
Metabolomics has become an important tool in life sciences, including studies of plant interaction with its environment and studies on the activity of medicinal plants. The workshop is organized by the Institute of Biology, Leiden University. The workshop is particularly aimed at researchers experienced with the isolation and identification of natural products but do not have experience yet with metabolomics.


  • Primary and Secondary Metabolism in Plants
  • Analytical Techniques: Chromatography, MS, NMR
  • Basics of Multivariate Data Analysis
  • Applications in Plant Sciences

    800 Euro for the workshop.
    Including handout, lunches (April 7-11), drinks and one workshop dinner
    (hotel accommodation is not included)

    200 Euro for the hands-on.
    Including supervision and use of the laboratory equipment
    (hotel accommodation is not included)

    25 Euro for the wrapping up.
    Including supervision
    (hotel accommodation is not included)

Maximum number of participants
(First come first served)
    For the workshop, April 7-11: 25 participants
    For the hands-on, April 14-18: 10 participants
    For wrapping up, April 21-25: 10 participants

Organized by Young Hae Choi, Jos Frantzen, and Rob Verpoorte
. For more information, email

Registration deadline
: 31 March 2014

The workshop flyer is available here. For more details, please visit

30 Apr 2014

Analytical Tools for Cutting-edge Metabolomics - a joint meeting of the Analytical Division of the RSC and the international Metabolomics Society
Venue: Chemistry Centre, Burlington House, London, UK (Google Map Location)

Date: 30 April 2014, 09:30-16:45

Analytical chemistry has been one of the driving forces behind the development of metabolomics research over the past decade. The conference will bring together exceptional scientists for a program consisting of plenary and invited talks, posters, as well as an oral session devoted to early career researchers. It will be an excellent opportunity for analytical chemists to learn more about metabolomics and its application, and for metabolomics scientists to improve their knowledge of cutting-edge bioanalytical tools.

Deadline for submission of abstracts: 14 March 2014

Speaker Information:
Prof. Jeremy Nicholson, Imperial College, London UK - Plenary speaker
Dr Julian Griffin, MRC Human Nutrition Research, Cambridge, UK
Prof. Roy Goodacre, University of Manchester, UK
Prof. Jean-Luc Wolfender, University of Geneva, Switzerland
Dr Steffen Neumann, Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry, IPB Halle, Germany
Prof Paul Thomas, Loughborough University
For more details, please visit the event website.

19-21 May 2014

8e Journées Scientifiques du Réseau Français de Métabolomique et Fluxomique (RFMF)
Venue: Lyon, France

The French Metabolomics and Fluxomics Network (RFMF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the development of metabolomics and fluxomics, and the promotion of the presentation of research achievements in these domains, in France. Since 2005, RFMF has organized a total of 7 congresses in France (Toulouse 2005, Saint Sauves d’Auvergne 2006, Bordeaux 2008, Marseilles 2010, Paris 2011, Nantes 2012 and Amiens 2013). The number of laboratories and attendees has grown steadily over the years. In October 2013, the RFMF and the international Metabolomics Society form an international affiliation.

The Amiens RFMF Congress (7 JS RFMF) took place in 2013 due to the generous support of Picardie Jules Verne University and various corporations. This event featured three keynote speakers, Age Smilde, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Joachim Kopka, Golm-Postdam, Germany and Reza Salek, Cambridge, UK presenting state-of-the-art topics for metabolomics. This event was very successful, with 162 attendees from 75 public and private laboratories, 59 high-quality scientific presentations, 4 workshops and 6 industrial seminars. Four conferences, one workshop and one industrial seminar were held in English. The 2013 event gave an opportunity to gauge the strength and dynamic qualities of the French or French-speaking metabolomics and fluxomics community.

The 8th RFMF Congress will take place in Lyon (Eastern France) in May 19-21, 2014. The Metabolomic Community of the Lyon and Rhône-Alpes Region laboratories is the local organizer of the 2014 edition.

The key topics, chosen by Lyon metabolomics community, for the 8th RFMF Congress are:
  • Applications of Metabolomics and Fluxomics in the areas of the Health (clinical applications, epidemiology, cohort study, neurosciences)
  • Applications of Metabolomics and Fluxomics in the areas of Environment and Chemical ecology
The event will include invited plenary lectures, oral presentations, short presentations, and a poster session. The conference languages are French and English. Most of the abstracts and slide presentations will be written in English. Confirmed invited speakers include Miroslava Cuperlovic-Culf, from Moncton, Canada, Emmanuel Gacquerel, from Jena, Germany, Thomas Illig, from Hannover, Germany and Mark Viant, from Birmingham, UK.

The 8th RFMF Congress will include several workshops, one of them dealing with the Galaxy platform (workflow for metabolomics), one dealing with “Sample preparation for metabolomics study”, and a third one with “MetaboLights and COSMOS initiative”.

RFMF is generously supporting the attendance of students or post-docs (under 35 years old) at The 8th RFMF Congress Lyon 2014 through the provision of travel grants (up to €1000 for overseas applicants).

For more information on the 8th RFMF Congress, please visit
22-23 May 2014

Metabolomics Conference - Advances & Applications in Human Disease
Venue: Hyatt Regency Cambridge, Cambridge, USA

The Metabolomics – Advances & Applications in Human Disease conference will focus on the clinical aspects in the metabolomics field such as advances in metabolite markers for use in personalized medicine, novel computational approaches for metabolome assessment and discuss developments in clinical assay standardization/qualification for the implementation of metabolite markers in clinical development of drug candidates.

Special offer for Metabolomics Society Members and MetaboNews Subscribers:
Receive 30% off Registration with discount Code: meta30

Distinguished Speakers
  • Richard Beger, Director, Biomarkers and Alternative Models Branch, Division of Systems Biology, National Center for Toxicological Research, FDA
  • Susan Cheng, Associate Physician, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Instructor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School
  • Robert H. Weiss, Professor & Chief of Nephrology, Sacramento VA Medical Center, University of California, Davis
  • David Wishart, Professor, Computing Science & Biological Sciences, University of Alberta
  • View the full list of speakers
Agenda Highlights

Keynote Presentations:
  • Metabolomics of Acetaminophen Overdose in Rodents and Children
  • Quantitative Metabolomics & Medical Biomarkers: Challenges & Opportunities
  • Metabolite Identification – Targets and Hits & Pathways
  • Standardization & Validation
  • Computational Approaches to Assessing the Metabolome
  • Advances in Metabolite Markers for Personalized Medicine
  • Technological Advances
  • Clinical Assays for Metabolite Markers
  • View the detailed agenda
This conference is co-located with the Drug Discovery Summit 2014, which includes the conferences:
To register, click here.

For more information, see the event flyer or visit
16-17 Jun 2014

Informatics and Statistics for Metabolomics (2014)
Venue: Vancouver, BC, Canada

Course Objectives
A poster announcing this workshop can be found here.

The workshop will cover many topics ranging from understanding metabolomics technologies, data collection and analysis, using pathway databases, performing pathway analysis, conducting univariate and multivariate statistics, working with metabolomic databases and exploring chemical databases. Participants will be given various data sets and short assignments to assist with the learning process.

Target Audience
This course is intended for graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, clinical fellows and investigators who are interested in learning about both bioinformatic and cheminformatic tools to analyze and interpret metabolomics data.

Prerequisite: Your own laptop computer. Minimum requirements: 1024x768 screen resolution, 1.5GHz CPU, 1GB RAM, recent versions of Windows, Mac OS X or Linux (Most computers purchased in the past 3-4 years likely meet these requirements). If you do not access to a laptop, you may loan one from the CBW. Please contact for more information.

Pre-Readings: You are expected to have completed the following tutorials in R beforehand. The tutorial should be very accessible even if you have never used R before. Please complete the following: R Tutorial
For more information, visit

23-26 Jun 2014

Metabolomics 2014: 10th Annual International Conference of the Metabolomics Society
The Official Joint Conference of the Metabolomics Society and Plant Metabolomics Platform
The Official Annual Meeting of the Metabolomics Society
Venue: Tsuruoka, Japan

Health, medical, pharmaceutical, nutritional, agricultural, microbial, bioenergy, environmental and plant sciences meet biochemical, analytical and computational technologies.

We are delighted to host the 10th Anniversary of the International Conference of the Metabolomics Society (Metabolomics2014) at Keio University in Tsuruoka City, where the very first meeting of the society was held in 2005. Since then, Tsuruoka has grown to “a city of metabolomics”; various additional research buildings have been built, and two spin-out companies established. Tsuruoka is a pretty city located 500 km north of Tokyo (about 1 hour flight), and surrounded by beautiful Japanese nature, historic spots, and exotic culture. You will also enjoy the best authentic Japanese food and sake (rice wine), as well as hot springs. So, come celebrate the 10th anniversary of the society, and enjoy high-quality scientific presentations by top-notch researchers around the world.

Early registration and abstract submission due March 31, 2014.

For detailed information about Metabolomics 2014, visit

10-12 Sep 2014

Metabomeeting 2014
Venue: The Royal Institution, London, UK

SELECTBIO are delighted to announce that we are partnering with the Metabolic Profiling Forum (MPF) to host Metabomeeting 2014. The MPF will focus on the conference program while SELECTBIO will take care of logistics, promotion and exhibition/sponsorship activities.We are expecting up to 300 attendees offering a unique opportunity to network with key researchers who are making innovative discoveries within this field.

Call for Papers
If you would like to be considered for an oral presentation at this meeting, Submit an abstract for review now!
Oral Presentation Submission Deadline: 31 January 2014

Call for Posters
You can also present your research on a poster while attending the meeting. Submit an abstract for consideration now!
Poster Submission Deadline: 27 August 2014

Agenda Topics
Applied Metabolomics
Drug Discovery and Pharma
Human Disease
Human Health and Nutrition
Microbial, Invertebrate and Environmental Applications
Data Analysis and Integration with Systems Biology
Metabolite Identification

For more details, please visit the conference website.

29-30 Oct 2014

Clinical Applications of Mass Spectrometry
Venue: Barcelona, Spain

With the ability to measure multiple analytes with high sensitivity, often faster and more cheaply than other methods, mass spectrometry is becoming an attractive method of analysis for the clinic. Featuring an array of leading researchers and clinicians, SELECTBIO’s Clinical Applications of Mass Spectrometry conference aims to provide you with an insight into the latest developments in this area.

As the analytical power of mass spec is realised, the range of applications using this technology continues to expand. Focus at this meeting will be given to both traditional & emerging uses of MS in the clinic. Hot topics to be covered include developments of MS in applications ranging from vitamin D detection to newborn blood spot analysis. Attending this event will provide you with excellent opportunities for networking with like minded peers, helping you to build new relationships and optimise your workflow.

Running alongside the conference will be an exhibition covering the latest technological advances and associated services from leading solution providers within this field. Registered delegates will also have access to the co-located Food Analysis Congress, ensuring a cost effective trip.

Keynote Speakers:
  • Donald Hunt, Professor, University of Virginia
  • Haroun Shah, Head, Molecular Identification Services, Department for Bioanalysis and Horizon Technologies, Public Health England

For more details, please visit

29-30 Oct 2014

Food Analysis Congress
Safety, Quality, Novel Technologies
Venue: Barcelona, Spain

SELECTBIO’s inaugural Food Analysis Congress aims to present the latest developments in food analysis technologies, in response to the increasing demand for rapid and efficient food safety and quality testing.

Focus will be given to advances in both the analysis of natural food allergens and toxins, as well as contaminants introduced through processing and packaging. Points for discussion will also include the ongoing issue of food traceability and efforts to reduce food fraud. Attending this event will provide you with excellent opportunities for networking with like minded peers, helping you to find solutions and build collaborations.

Running alongside the conference will be an exhibition covering the latest technological advances and associated services from leading solution providers within this field. Registered delegates will also have access to the co-located Clinical Applications of Mass Spectrometry track, ensuring a cost effective trip.

For more details, please visit

28 Jun to 2 Jul 2015

Metabolomics 2015: 11th Annual International Conference of the Metabolomics Society
The Official Annual Meeting of the Metabolomics Society
Venue: San Francisco, USA

Details to follow.

Stay abreast of the latest Metabolomics Society news via the Twitter feed on the front page of the website ( Also you can follow us on Twitter: Metabolomics Society @MetabolomicsSoc and Metabolomics journal @Metabolomics. And you can visit us on Facebook.

Please come back later for detailed information about Metabolomics 2015 by visiting

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

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 Posted Closes Source
Director of Computational Biology Dynamic Biomarker Company

FPC Cambridge
Metabolomics Faculty Position Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine Baltimore, USA
Metabolomics Society
PhD CASE studentship in Development of metabolomics tools for clinical metabolomics University of Birmingham Birmingham, UK 13-Feb-2014 14-Mar-2014 Metabolomics Society
PhD CASE studentship in Development of metabolomics tools for environmental metabolomics University of Birmingham Birmingham, UK 13-Feb-2014 14-Mar-2014 Metabolomics Society
PhD in Identifying metabolomic contributions to disease mechanisms in dwarfisms caused by extracellular matrix gene defects University of Manchester Manchester, UK 3-Feb-2014 1-May-2014
University of Manchester

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.
  • Jobs Wanted in Germany: [Candidate's CV]
  • Research or Lab Manager Position Sought (Candidate has extensive NMR metabolomics experience and knowledge including NMR instrumentation maintenance): [Candidate's CV]

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