Issue 15 - November 2012


Online version of this newsletter:

Welcome to the fifteenth issue of MetaboNews, a monthly newsletter for the worldwide metabolomics community. In this month's issue,
we feature a Software Spotlight article on IROA™, an accurate quantitative biochemical profiling tool. 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. Robert Hall, Cluster Leader Metabolic Regulation within the Business Unit Bioscience at Plant Research International. 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 (

Note: Our subscriber list is managed using Mailman, the GNU Mailing List Manager. To subscribe or unsubscribe, please visit

Current and back issues of this newsletter can be viewed from the newsletter archive (


1) Software Spotlight

NextGen Metabolomics Logo

IROA™: An Accurate Quantitative Biochemical Profiling Tool

Feature article contributed by Felice de Jong, CEO, NextGen Metabolomics, Inc., Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA

IROA™ (Isotopic Ratio Outlier Analysis) is a semi-automated metabolic profiling tool developed by NextGen Metabolomics, Inc. ( to assist the researcher in the identification and quantitation of biochemical metabolites. Current mass spectral techniques used in metabolomics make it difficult to identify and characterize the peaks, and differentiate valid biological peaks from artifacts. Often the researcher cannot easily obtain enough information to accurately identify and name compounds, and less abundant spectral signals get buried in the noise and discarded. The IROA protocol and software side-step many of these problems making it easy to remove confounding artifacts and noise from the dataset and readily calculate the number of carbons for each identified metabolite in order to verify the identity of each molecule. Metabolite identification and quantitation is based on creating a full complement of internal standards for the metabolome under study, providing triply redundant information and maximizing quality control in the process. Users can perform metabolomic analyses with either in vitro generated experimental samples or with samples collected from bodily fluids or tissues.

The basic principle of IROA

IROA is an unbiased biochemical profiling protocol that relies on differential labeling of the carbon-backbone of two groups of samples. This is achieved by growing cells in media made specifically for the IROA protocol in which all carbon sources have been appropriately labeled so they are chemically identical, but isotopically different. Briefly, a homogenous cell population is divided into two groups, "control" and "experimental", and each group is labeled with a distinct specific isotopic ratio, namely 95% 13C: 5% 12C and 5% 13C: 95% 12C, respectively (Figure 1). After sufficient growth, at least five cell divisions, the original carbon content of each of these cell populations is fully diluted and replaced with the isotopic balance of the media. In an experiment, the experimental population is treated with a stressor, and the control population is treated with vehicle. After the experiment is complete, a single experimental sample and a control sample are combined, prepped as a composite sample, and analyzed using LC-MS. Software algorithms written for the IROA protocol are employed to identify all the different isotopic patterns, sort the biological signals, remove artifacts, normalize, and quantitate the relative ratios of experimental to control analytes in each sample. The software reduces the complexity of the entire mass spectrum into a list of biochemicals identified in the sample and reports how each metabolite deviates from its common internal control.

IROA Method for determining the biological response to
        drugs, toxins, or other stressors

Figure 1. IROA Method for determining the biological response to drugs, toxins, or other stressors. IROA isotope ratios of 12C/13C 95%/5% and 5%/95% allow for control and experimental samples to be run simultaneously, eliminating sample-to-sample variability.

Highlights of the IROA protocol

The isotopic signature created in all biological molecules during the IROA labeling process imparts additional analytical advantages compared with standard isotopic labeling. One of the biggest advantages is that when using the IROA protocol, since both groups of biological molecules (control and experimental) are labeled with distinct biochemical signatures, the origin of every peak in the composite sample can be readily determined and artifacts and noise can be easily distinguished as they contain only natural abundance carbon.

IROA metabolites derived from control and experimental samples have enhanced M-1 and M+1 peaks, respectively, which can be used to calculate the number of carbons in each analyte (Figure 2). The M-1 and M+1 peak heights relative to the base peak of each molecule can be effectively calculated by the binomial expansion of the expression: (12C% +13C%)N where N equals the number of carbons, and 12C% and 13C% equals the relative isotopic abundances. This is not sufficiently accurate when all atoms are present at their natural abundance, but at 5% and 95%, the M+1 and M-1 peaks are diagnostic and indicate where the paired mate will be located. The number of carbons in a biological molecule can be determined by the distance between the two base peaks, 12C and 13C, and the relative height of the M+1 and M-1 provide confirmation of the fact, providing triply redundant information. The number of carbons in a molecule together with the accurate mass of the C12 and C13 monoisotopic peaks constrain the number of potential formulae so that the identification of the peaks for almost all metabolites is accurately made to the unique formula.

The IROA Peaks

Figure 2. The IROA Peaks. In the case of arginine, the 12C M+ located at 175.1190 and its 13C mate at 181.1396 clearly indicate a 6 carbon molecule. The corresponding M+1 and M-1 peaks are a mass difference of 1.00335 amu (the mass difference between a 13C and 12C isotope). Natural abundance peaks from exogenous sources do not have a 13C counterpart and are not considered in the analysis.

Similar to other protocols including SILAC, the IROA control sample is embedded into the IROA experimental sample prior to sample preparation and analysis, thereby removing sample-to-sample variance and also reducing the total number of samples to be analyzed. Perhaps the most important of the sample-to-sample variances controlled for by IROA, is ion suppression. This happens because the control and experimental, analyzed as a single sample, assure that the control and experimental quantification for every compound is measured simultaneously.

The IROA Phenotyping approach for bodily fluids and tissues

Where it is not possible to isotopically label experimental samples, the IROA Phenotyping protocol can be applied (Figure 3). Natural carbon abundance experimental samples are mixed with a fully predefined IROA "Standard" that has been isotopically labeled at 95% 13C. Although they do not carry any isotopic label, the exact mass and position of compounds in the experimental samples are established relative to the fully-defined Standard. Artifacts and noise can be identified as they have no match. Whereas in a basic IROA dataset the ratio of the peak areas represents the relative deviation of the metabolic pool sizes brought about by the experimental condition, in a Phenotyping experiment the overall pattern of deviations from the standard will define phenotype by difference from the Standard. A Phenotyping experiment is considered a complex targeted analysis relative to the unbiased analysis of the full basic IROA experiment. An ideal Standard is one that represents the entire metabolome of the fluid or tissue under study and could be generated by the use of IROA grown cell lines (the IROA Standard) to achieve accurate quantitation.

        Phenotyping Application

Figure 3. The IROA Phenotyping Application. The material to be phenotyped is mixed with 13C (IROA) cells and/or standard compounds which allow one to find and pair all peaks. The deviation from the standard is diagnostic of the sample's biochemical phenotype.

IROA data processing and output

The IROA peaks are all mathematically calculable and each group (12C and 13C) of carbon isotopomers will reliably and accurately account for the other group providing a redundant quality control checkpoint. The IROA software algorithms written in Java (ClusterFinder) achieve a data reduction of complex raw data to concise, high value information, in the following steps:
  1. Characterization of all peaks according to source; artifact, experimental (12C), control (13C), or Standard
  2. Removal of all artifacts
  3. Alignment and pairing of all remaining peaks across all scans
  4. Normalization and identification of all pairs
  5. Review/curation of the entire data set
  6. Determination of the relative 12C/13C ratios of analytes in each sample
  7. Determination of the statistical variance of the sample ratios
Experimental compounds that have a ratio that is a significant deviation (greater than two standard deviations) from the average ratio of the control group have been affected by the experimental stressor. Figure 4 shows representative IROA peaks for the compound glutathione from the application of IROA in a biological system, Saccharomyces Cerevisiae S288C, grown in an aerobic culture during a 72-hour time course.

A Characteristic
        IROA Compound

Figure 4. A Characteristic IROA Compound. Glutathione exhibits characteristic IROA peaks; namely enhanced M+1, M+2, etc. that are paired with enhanced M-1, M-2, etc. peaks. At the 48 hour time point shown here, glutathione levels have increased relative to the 24 hour control.

Availability and future directions

NextGen Metabolomics, Inc. is working with collaborators interested in testing the IROA technology to address a biochemical profiling/metabolomics problem and welcomes inquiries.  ClusterFinder and IROA media are expected to be available for researchers in 2013.

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. Robert Hall, Cluster Leader Metabolic Regulation within the Business Unit Bioscience at Plant Research International.

Robert Hall

Cluster Leader Metabolic Regulation within the Business Unit Bioscience at Plant Research International, Wageningen, Netherlands



Robert Hall was awarded a PhD in plant biotechnology and enzymology by the University of Edinburgh, UK. He has circa 28 years experience in research and (project) management, focusing mainly on crop plants. He is currently Cluster Leader Metabolic Regulation within the BU Bioscience at Plant Research International, Wageningen, The Netherlands and is also Managing Director of the Centre of Biosystems Genomics. He was Coordinator of the EU project META-PHOR which was focused on developing novel metabolomics technologies and bioinformatics strategies for plants. He was co-organizer of the International Metabolomics Congress, Amsterdam 2010 and is past President of the International Metabolomics Society. His primary research activities are centred on developing metabolomics technologies for applications in plants to benefit both science and industry.

Metabolomics Interview (MN, MetaboNews; RH, Robert Hall)

MN: How did you get involved in metabolomics?

RH: My first metabolomics experiment was at the age of 3 when my mother first gave me a wood sorrel leaf to eat and then a clover leaf. My analysis resulted in enjoying the acidity of the former and spitting out the latter with great haste. Her message being that, while plants may look the same, the chemicals within can be very different (and hence don’t eat what you don’t know!). Joking aside, we (Plant Research International) got into metabolomics quite early—around 2001, the reason being that crop metabolic composition is central to most of the reasons why we use plants—as sources of nutrition, drugs, fragrances, raw materials, etc. I had been involved in establishing first transcriptomics and then proteomics facilities and it was a logical development to add metabolomics to these platforms. Interestingly, of the three it was metabolomics which was the fastest and most widely adopted by the biologists. It quickly became evident to them how relevant and innovative metabolomics data could be.

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

RH: The excitement comes from the challenges. In our case we have established generic technology platforms for broad application within collaborative initiatives with colleagues. This means we work on a huge diversity of organisms—from single-celled algae; to fruits like melons and tomatoes; to staples like rice and potatoes and even on to completely wild, uncharted species. This is a stimulating challenge but at the same time it is clearly a potential weakness and risk in that we are continually faced with the 'unknown(s)'. The second exciting challenge is the multidisciplinary aspect. Metabolomics is team work. We need biologists with challenging, well-defined questions; (analytical) biochemists who can perform the analyses; computer scientists and bioinformaticians to develop tailor-made tools for data management and not to mention the biostatisticians! Bringing these people together and finding common ground, and indeed a common language, on which to collaborate and communicate in order to succeed remains hugely exciting and challenging. We also work closely together with industry—that is also always challenging! But for me all the exciting aspects ultimately relate to the biology and not to the technology per se.

MN: What key metabolomics initiatives are you pursuing at your research centre or institute? What is happening in your country in terms of metabolomics?

RH: We have been very lucky in the Netherlands in that we have had a major financial boost to support omics research over the last 10 years. This has been used to create new, virtual centres of excellence within which groups from different academic institutions can collaborate in joint programs. My own centre, CBSG ( has made major early investments to establish our technology platforms and expertise specifically for plant metabolomics. Later the Netherlands Metabolomics Centre ( was also initiated through the same funding mechanism to establish a centre of excellence in metabolomics technology. I believe both have been very successful in bringing the technologies and their applications forward. On a broader field we are regular partners in multinational projects funded by the European Union where we are the metabolomics partner within predominantly biological consortia. I have also been actively involved in the Metabolomics Society ( since its initiation and recently stepped down as President. I see the society as having a hugely important role to play in bringing the community together to enable greater cooperation and the establishment of common goals and practices to help the technology become even more widely embedded and accepted.

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

RH: Practically everything we do is a direct application or is done purely as a step towards future application in an area we know has a need.

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

RH: While the hard core analytical chemists among us might see this as a weakness, I consider the non-targeted nature of high-throughput analyses as a very powerful tool for hypothesis generation. Metabolomics can provide a hugely valuable step towards defining logical research approaches to tackle problems where we initially may only have limited knowledge. I am convinced that the successful identification of multiple biomarkers in both the plant and medical sciences will have great influence on how we approach aspects of disease diagnostics, food quality, personalised medicine, etc.

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?

RH: We continue to struggle to keep our data management capacity (in all its aspects) up to the level of our growing capacity for data generation. Metabolite annotation is also a major challenge which demands a united approach. This is especially the case in the plant world where we don’t have the 'luxury' of being able to work on just one species.

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

RH: While we still have some way to go I believe that metabolomics has already proved its value and that the approaches have become firmly establishedat least in a research context. Establishment of a routine, applied (e.g., diagnostic) context will come for sure and once this is the case the field will become self-generating. Personally, and nationally, in the short term, I have grave concerns as the combination of the international financial crisis and being between governments does not inspire confidence in being able to establish a stable, long-term strategy for enabling technology development.

MN: What role can metabolomics standards play?

RH: An essential one. It is of major importance that the community continues to work together to established accepted standards, best practices, minimal reporting standards, etc. The Metabolomics Society has been involved in this and has facilitated some white papers—but metabolomics is an evolving technology and standards and best practices need to be continually reassessed and fine-tuned to meet new needs.

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

RH: I see a bright future in many application areas and our science has great potential to make a huge impact on both fundamental and applied research. Technologies are always means and not ends
perhaps we should make even greater efforts to integrate with the biologists and reach out and listen better to their needs and limitations.
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. More than 95% of today's 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 childhood obesity and major depressive disorder, respectively.
  1. Wahl S, Yu Z, Kleber M, Singmann P, Holzapfel C, He Y, Mittelstrass K, Polonikov A, Prehn C, Römisch-Margl W, Adamski J, Suhre K, Grallert H, Illig T, Wang-Sattler R, Reinehr T. Childhood Obesity Is Associated with Changes in the Serum Metabolite Profile. Obes Facts. 2012 Oct 4;5(5):660-670. [Epub ahead of print] [PMID: 23108202]

    In this paper, the research team sought to identify candidate biomarkers of childhood obesity and shed light on some of its biological mechanisms. The investigators utilized a mass spectrometry-based metabolomics approach to target 163 serum metabolites in 80 obese and 40 normal-weight children between the ages of 6 and 15 years old. This study uncovered 14 metabolites (glutamine, methionine, proline, nine phospholipids, and two acylcarnitines) whose concentrations were significantly altered in obese children. The identified metabolites are ones that are associated with oxidative stress, sphingomyelin metabolism, β-oxidation, and energy expenditure pathways. These identified metabolites could serve as biomarkers of childhood obesity and offer greater understanding as to its underlying biological mechanisms.

  1. Zheng P, Wang Y, Chen L, Yang D, Meng H, Zhou D, Zhong J, Lei Y, Melgiri N, Xie P. Identification and validation of urinary metabolite biomarkers for major depressive disorder. Mol Cell Proteomics. 2012 Oct 30. [Epub ahead of print] [PMID: 23111923]

    In this study, the researchers aimed to identify metabolites associated with major depressive disorder (MDD). This group used nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy-based metabonomic approach to profile urine samples from 82 first-episode drug-naive depressed subjects and 82 healthy controls. They used this first set of samples to develop a training set of diagnostic biomarkers for MDD. To validate the training set, the investigators then tested a set of 44 unselected depressed subjects and 52 healthy controls. As a result, the research team narrowed their set of diagnostic biomarkers for MDD down to five urinary metabolites: malonate, formate, N-methylnicotinamide, m-hydroxyphenylacetate, and alanine. These newly identified metabolites could serve in the development of a urine-based diagnostic for MDD.
Metabolomics Current Contents

4) Metabolomics Current Contents

Recently published papers in metabolomics:


5) MetaboNews

6 Nov 2012

Global metabolomic initiative announced

Investigators at Washington University and The Scripps Research Institute have announced the launch of a "Global Metabolomic Initiative" to facilitate meta-analyses on studies of the metabolism of bacteria, yeast, plants, animals and people.

The announcement of the Global Metabolomic Initiative was sent to more than 1,600 registered XCMS Online users who have uploaded a total of more than 35,000 files of metabolomic data to a web-based processing platform called XCMS Online.

XCMS Online is a public resource developed by Gary Siuzdak and colleagues at The Scripps Research Institute. Siuzdak, PhD, director of the Scripps Center for Metabolomics, is a pioneer in the systematic study of metabolites (metabolomics).

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. 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.

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 groundbreaking discoveries will emerge from these analyses.

"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."

5 Nov 2012

International Consortium Awarded €6M to Validate Pre-Eclampsia Early Detection Tests

The European Union has awarded 6 million euro of research funding under the FP7-health framework to a consortium which is working to bring a predictive test for pre-eclampsia to market. The consortium is coordinated by Prof Louise Kenny at University College Cork, Ireland and driven by two companies, Pronota NV of Belgium and Metabolomic Diagnostics Ltd. of Ireland, both at the forefront in the discovery and development of novel blood-borne biomarkers for disease prediction.

The IMPROvED (IMproved PRegnancy Outcomes via Early Detection) project will establish a multicentre clinical study to assess and refine two innovative prototype screening tests for this common late pregnancy complication. These tests are based on proteomic and metabolomic profiles developed by the two companies.

Prof Louise Kenny, co-ordinating principal investigator of IMPROvED commented: "Pre-eclampsia is a very serious condition. It affects almost one in 20 first time mothers and globally causes approximately 70,000 maternal deaths each year. We were therefore extremely pleased to see that researchers from different fields, centres and countries were enthusiastic about the IMPROvED project. Our ultimate goal is to develop a robust predictive test for pre-eclampsia and to improve the outcome of pregnancy for both mothers and their babies."

Katleen Verleysen, CEO of Pronota says: "A predictive test for pre-eclampsia, and in particular for preterm pre-eclampsia, will significantly improve maternal and fetal health. We are excited to be part of the consortium. The IMPROvED clinical trial will allow Pronota to progress its proteomics based risk stratification test."

Charles Garvey, CEO of Metabolomics Diagnostics added: "Metabolomic Diagnostics, is delighted to be involved in this innovative consortium. We believe that an early pregnancy-screening test can make a major contribution to maternal safety and this project, once completed, will help accelerate its adoption."

The four-year IMPROvED project will establish a high quality pregnancy biobank with blood samples collected from 5,000 first-time pregnant women recruited from at least five countries including Ireland, the United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands. All recruitment centres involved (University College Cork, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Klinikum der Universität zu Köln, The University of Liverpool, Karolinska Institute, University of Keele) are major obstetric centres with a proven track record in the research and management of pre-eclampsia. The scientific value of the biobank will be enhanced by the collection and storage of comprehensive clinical data along with the samples (Medscinet AB, Sweden). Dedicated and independent teams of statisticians (Region Hovedstaden, Denmark) and economics (University of Groningen) will ascertain clinical and health economical validity of the developed proteomics and metabolomics tests.

Prof Phil Baker (Keele University), co-principal investigator, added: "An effective screening test will allow antenatal care to be tailored to an individual woman's risk, such that at risk women receive the best possible care – so diminishing the burden of this potentially devastating disease. The approval of IMPROvED is a strong endorsement of European researchers and is recognising the importance of enhancing maternal and fetal health."

31 Oct 2012

Agilent Technologies and Spain's Centre for Omic Sciences to Collaborate on Integrated Systems Biology Research

Agilent Technologies, Inc., and Spain's Centre for Omic Sciences announced that they will collaborate on mass spectrometry and NMR-based metabolomics, and automation applied to research in integrated systems biology.

The Centre for Omic Sciences, or COS, was established by the Rovira i Virgili University, in collaboration with the Technological Centre of Nutrition and Health. COS opened in September and is equipped with the latest instrumentation from Agilent, including the 6550 iFunnel Quadrupole Time-of-Flight LC/MS, 7200 Quadrupole Time-of-Flight GC/MS, 6490 iFunnel Triple Quadrupole LC/MS, Bravo automated liquid handling systems, and the SureScan DNA microarray scanner, software, consumables and services.

"Agilent is an ideal partner because many of their workflow solutions are an excellent fit for our approach to integrating data from different omics techniques," said Oscar Yanes, principal investigator at the COS. "The ability to generate data using mostly Agilent instrumentation will facilitate the interpretation and integration of results from the different techniques." The COS will also serve as a center of excellence where Agilent will demonstrate integrated biology workflows to customers in such disciplines as genomics, proteomics, transcriptomics, lipidomics and metabolomics in search of biological breakthroughs.

"This is a very strategic association between two organizations with similar goals," said Gustavo Salem, Agilent vice president and general manager, Biological Systems Division. "Both are committed to driving advances in medicine by developing better ways to integrate data from multiple biological disciplines. We share this vision."

The COS will perform its collaborative research programs and services with the Technological Centre of Nutrition and Health and with private companies and research groups that take a special interest in the fields of diabetes and metabolic diseases, nutrition and health, and other biomedical research areas.


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

7-9 Nov 2012

29th LC/MS Montreux Symposium
Venue: Montreux, Switzerland

Short Courses: November 5-6, 2012
The Montreux LC/MS 2012 conference: Special highlights on Metabolomics and Clinical Chemistry

The field of LC/MS is continuously growing as is reflected by the participation of over 30 nationalities and by scientific contributions from a variety of research and development domains such as pharmaceutical, biotechnological, food, environmental and research on novel instrumentation and new LC/MS fields such as nanotechnology and microfluidics, UPLC, low flow rate spray techniques, proteomics, and systems biology.

In collaboration with the Metabolomics Society, a special joint parallel program for this rapidly emerging field is organized addressing the technology as well as novel systems-based biology approaches in pharma, nutrition, clinical chemistry, plant sciences, and medical biology. A parallel program is organized together with various Clinical Chemistry societies focusing on current and future LC/MS options in clinical diagnosis. Accreditation by related societies for the program as well as the short course has been applied for.
For more information, visit

9-11 Nov 2012

Workshop on Holistic Analytical Technologies for BioMedical, Food and Plant Sciences
Venue: Hellenic Pasteur Institute, Athens, Greece

The Workshop will be held on November 9-11, 2012 at the Hellenic Pasteur Institute, Greece. The theme of the workshop will highlight the recent advances in bioanalytical methodologies for Metabolomics/metabonomics in Systems Biology Analytical Technologies for Metabolite Profiling: LC-MS, GC-MS, NMR Biomarker Discovery for Disease Diagnosis, Drug Toxicity Assessment and Efficacy, PharmacoMetabonomics, Nutrimetabonomics, Plant Metabolomics, Informatics, Chemometrics and Validation Methodologies in Untargeted Profiling.

Keynote speakers will comprise renowned scientists from academia and industry who will describe the remarkable advancement of analytical technologies (LC-MS, GC-MS, NMR) and data mining tools used for metabolomics research.

Preliminary list of Keynote speakers:
Dr. Toby J. Athersuch (Imperial College London)
Prof. Soren B Engelsen (University of Copenhagen)
Prof. Elaine Holmes (Imperial College London)
Prof. Ian Wilson (AstraZeneca UK)
Prof. Robert Verpoorte (Leiden University)
Dr. John Shockor (Waters)
Prof. Hermann Stuppner (University of Innsbruck)
Dr. Maria Klapa (FORTH)
Dr. Liz Want (Imperial College London)
Prof. Jean-Luc Wolfender (University of Geneva)

A poster session will provide the means for on-site open discussion to exchange ideas, and experiences. The workshop should provide an excellent learning opportunity, as well as a venue for the exchange of ideas among a highly interdisciplinary group of scientists.  A special issue of Journal of Chromatography B will cover the works of the meeting.

For more information, visit the workshop website.

12-13 Nov 2012

Duke University Department of Medicine Metabolomic Talks

Mon., Nov. 12 at 4:30 p.m. in 103 Bryan
A second partnership hires candidate for the metabolic flux position is Jurre Kamphorst, PhD, from the Lewis-Sigler Institute of Integrated Genomics at Princeton. Dr. Kamphorst has been training there in the lab of Josh Rabinowitz, who leads one of the very best metabolomics groups in the country. Dr. Kamphorst will give a lecture entitled "Metabolomic analysis of human pancreatic tumors reveals scavenging of albumin and lysolipids: opportunities for novel therapeutic strategies."

Tues., Nov. 13 at 5:00 p.m. in the Stedman Auditorium (Center for Living campus)
Finally, our regular Stedman Metabolism Forum lecture will be given by Darryl Quarles, MD, director of nephrology and associate dean for research at the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center. His talk is entitled "Multiligand specificity and wide tissue expression of GPRC6A reveals new endocrine networks." Dr. Quarles is an expert in vitamin D metabolism, and also studies the relationship between bone-derived factors and metabolic regulation and kidney function. He is of a long-time "Dukie" so please join us in welcoming Daryl back to campus.

For more information, visit

3-6 Dec 2012

Metabonomics Shortcourse 2012 - Metabolic Phenotyping in Disease Diagnosis & Personalised Health Care
Venue: Imperial College London, South Kensington Campus, London, UK

We are organising a metabolic phenotyping short course at Imperial College London. The course will be held on the 3rd-6th Dec, 2012.

Course Features:
  • Hands-on data analysis workshops
  • Panel discussions with experts from academia and industry
  • Lectures on topics including
    • NMR spectroscopic tools
    • Mass spectrometry approaches
    • QC strategies and study design
    • Data analysis and interpretation
Short Course Programme 2012 Dec [PDF]

  • Academics: £475
  • Industry: £975
  • Students: £295
Online Booking
  • Available NOW here.
For more information, please contact:
For more information, visit

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

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

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 – 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

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
Director of Laboratory Operations
Durham, NC, USA 29-Oct-2012 Metabolomics Society
Postdoctoral positions in Advanced Metabolomics
NIH West Coast Metabolomics Center, UC Davis Davis, CA, USA
22-Oct-2012 Metabolomics Society
Postdoctoral Position in Metabolomics
Georgetown University Washington, DC, USA
22-Oct-2012 Metabolomics Society
Biomarkers of Inflammation and Malnutrition Using Metabolomics - Open Rank Position
The Pennsylvania State University University Park, PA, USA
22-Oct-2012 Metabolomics Society
Assistant Professor of Biology
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA, USA
27-Sep-2012 Metabolomics Society
Associate Professor – Professor (Director of Metabolomics)
Beaumont Health System and the Beaumont Research Institute Royal Oak, MI, USA 21-Sep-2012 Beaumont Health System
Internship or Research Project in Bioanalysis/ Metabolomics
Metabolomic Discoveries GmbH Potsdam, Germany 20-Sep-2012 BioTOP Berlin-Brandenburg

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.
There are no postings at this time.

Free Subscription

To subscribe/unsubscribe, simply visit Please forward this newsletter to any interested colleagues or collaborators. Send your comments and feedback about this newsletter to

Back issues of this newsletter can be viewed from the newsletter archive (