Issue 14 - October 2012


Online version of this newsletter:

Welcome to the fourteenth issue of MetaboNews, a monthly newsletter for the worldwide metabolomics community. In this month's issue,
we feature a Competition Spotlight article on CASMI, a new small molecule identification contest series. 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. Chris Beecher, Chief Scientific Officer of NextGen Metabolomics. This newsletter is being produced by The Metabolomics Innovation Centre (TMIC,, and is intended to keep metabolomics researchers and other professionals informed about new technologies, software, databases, events, job postings, conferences, training opportunities, interviews, publications, awards, and other newsworthy items concerning metabolomics. We hope to provide enough useful content to keep you interested and informed and appreciate your feedback on how we can make this newsletter better (

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1) Competition Spotlight

The CASMI Logo

Critical Assessment of Small Molecule Identification: A new contest series

Feature article contributed by Emma Schymanski, Postdoctoral Researcher, Eawag: Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, and Steffen Neumann, Researcher, Dept. of Stress and Developmental Biology, Institute for Plant Biochemistry Halle, Germany

The identification of unknowns is the major challenge in metabolomics, environmental sciences and other fields, yet the exchange of ideas between fields is limited and a systematic evaluation is challenging given the current rate of progress and change.

In CASMI (, we publish spectral information for a set of compounds, and invite everyone involved with mass spectrometry to have a go at identifying these with their favourite methods (or a mix!).

We have categories for LC/MS and GC/MS, split into molecular formula calculation and the actual molecular structure. Participants can submit entries for as many or as few "challenges" as they like by January 31, 2013. The evaluation will be automatic (given submission in the specified format) and we invite participants to submit an article detailing their methods after the competition to a special issue of the journal Metabolites. CASMI is inspired by the CASP contest series, the "critical assessment of (protein) structure prediction," initiated almost 20 years ago—with over 100 participating expert groups in 2010.

Spectrum in, answer out

Figure 2.
Spectrum in, answer out—see how your favourite identification method compares with others! (Source:

With CASMI, we aim to bring the computational mass spectrometry, metabolomics, and environmental (and other) communities together and show off their different methods on a common data set. Thus, although this is a competition, all participants should benefit and the real winner is the field of small molecule identification. Check out to find news, the rules, download the challenge spectra, and subscribe to the mailing lists.

We look forward to YOUR participation!


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. Chris Beecher, Chief Scientific Officer of NextGen Metabolomics.

Chris Beecher

Chief Scientific Officer of NextGen Metabolomics and President of Metabolic Analyses, Inc.

Dr. Chris Beecher 


After completing his Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences/Natural Products Chemistry (University of Connecticut), Dr. Beecher began his research into the high-throughput chemical characterization of complex mixtures at the University of Illinois where he held the position of Associate Professor. He was editor of the NAPRALERT database from 1990 to 1998, Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Pharmacognosy, and served as a founding member of the Functional Foods Program of the University of Illinois. Dr. Beecher’s research continued at Bristol-Myers Squibb and Ancile Pharmaceuticals, where his focus shifted from secondary metabolism to primary metabolism with the establishment of the first Metabolomics platform in America at Paradigm Genetics from 2000 to 2002. In 2003, he founded two metabolomics-based companies: Metabolon, Inc. (platform technologies on human healthcare) and Metabolic Analysis, Inc. (informatics issues associated with metabolomics). Dr. Beecher compiled the first human metabolome in 2002 at Metabolic Analysis, and has been working toward the integration of metabolomic, proteomic, transcriptomics and genomic data. In addition to his primary appointment at the University of Michigan, Dr. Beecher serves as an Adjunct Professor at George Mason University, and is an Affiliate of the National Institute of Statistical Sciences. He holds many patents and publications in the areas of Metabolomics and Natural Products chemistry. (Source:

Metabolomics Interview (MN, MetaboNews; CB, Chris Beecher)

MN: How did you get involved in metabolomics?

CB: In the mid-1990s I was a Natural Products chemist working on drug discovery using mass spec to characterize all of the secondary metabolites in a crude extract. In 1999 someone asked if this technique could be used on primary metabolites. My response, "Why would anyone want to do something so trivial?" (After all there were hundreds of thousands of secondary metabolites and only a few thousand primary metabolites.) I have worked on metabolic profiling or metabolomics ever since. Today's Metabolomics techniques are now very advanced and focused on small molecules thanks to the work of many investigators.

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

CB: The discovery of sarcosine as a biomarker for aggressive prostate cancer, and uncovering the biology that surrounds it was a "most significant" event. In addition to the medical implications, I have always been pleased when people use this as a validation for metabolomics, in general. There are two additional discoveries that I think will be as important, but the work to support them is not yet published.

The discovery of IROA (Isotopic Ratio Outlier Analysis), illustrated below, was equally important but for a very different reason. I was trying to deal with suppression at the time, but as I started working with the concepts I realized it solved a lot of other problems, made metabolic profiling easier, and reduced overall error dramatically.

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

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

CB: Without a doubt the most important research activity at the moment is the work on IROA. We have yet to have an experiment fail, and the software just keeps making it easier. I have begun to believe that IROA may help bring metabolomics into the healthcare mainstream.

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

CB:  Like many of the omics sciences, Metabolomics is very useful in both basic and applied research, and extends quite nicely into the healthcare arena, especially diagnostics, toxicology, and personalized medicine. It has the unique advantage of being very straightforward, being based on old-fashioned, very stable analytical chemistry. The metabolomic dataset is small, well defined and well founded in biochemistry. Especially with IROA, the data points are clear and accurate. I believe that we will eventually see blood chemistry done in a doctor's office on the majority of compounds in the bloodstream in real time. There are no current technical difficulties to this vision. It could be done today, but will not be entirely realized until the doctor can use the wealth of information to the patient's benefit. Building the databases to support the interpretability is what I hope metabolomics can achieve in the next ten years.

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


Metabolomics' greatest strength is that it is founded on a background of pure biochemistry, a science which was considered so completely understood that it had, in the recent past, been considered "done". (Biochemistry departments are now having a resurgence due, in part, to the strength of metabolomics.)  One of the implications of its biochemical base is that the vast majority of the compounds involved are well known, and common across all living taxa. Unlike, the other omics sciences this universality is a huge advantage, both in analytical and interpretive space.

In addition to its biochemical foundation, it is based on the very solid technical foundation of analytical chemistry, which has been driving error out of its measurements for over two centuries.

Another strength, not as obvious, is that people have been trying to do metabolomics under the name metabolic profiling since the middle of the last century. At that time, the underlying technology was very immature. In 1974 Robinson and Pauling (Clin Chem, 1974) were reduced to cutting and weighing the paper in their chromatograms to quantitate compounds. They could barely achieve the measurements we now take for granted (and they had been trying for over 20 years!). The tremendous advances in mass spectrometers, and computer systems has made it possible to do today what people only dreamed about many years ago.

Given these foundations it is not at all surprising that metabolomics is successful, but as we solve additional problems, reduce noise and error, develop better instrumentation, and bring into play techniques such as IROA, its utility will get even better.

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?

CB: Metabolomics is still such a young science that there is not yet a critical mass of knowledge concerning what the data means, i.e., how to interpret what it means. I think it is no longer a problem to produce a good, high-quality metabolomic dataset, but there are not yet enough publications for trends to become obvious, for differences seen in one experiment to be extended to another experiment. It is not yet clear how pulling this all together is going to happen but I suspect as the data further accumulates eventually the total will become more that the sum of its parts. At this point, metabolomics will take off. Big time ...

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

CB: As long as metabolomics is able to solve real problems, I think the funding will increase. I think that metabolomics is in the fortunate position that it has proven it can solve real problems with discoveries like sarcosine, and many others. Technical advances, including computational power and mass spec resolution and accuracy will only improve the possibilities. Better implementation methods, like IROA, will reduce error and further improve accuracy. Data interpretation techniques are currently a bottleneck, but I see advanced mathematical and statistical techniques coming that will improve the data usability. With error down, accuracy up, and data usability improving I am quite rosy on the future.

MN: What role can metabolomics standards play?

CB: As I said in response to the previous question, error must go down, accuracy must go up. The only way to assure this is with the appropriate use of standards. I have always used multiple standards in every sample and reference samples between experimental samples. The IROA protocol will make much of this easier as it is, at its heart, a standards-based technique. Prior to IROA, every sample needed recovery standards, validation standards, and injection standards, at a minimum; IROA takes the place of all three and then some.

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

CB: Obviously, I am quite bullish on metabolomics' future. It is a good science now, still young and growing but I am convinced that it will become a basic mainstay.

In basic research, metabolomics provides the opportunity to understand stress or response at an unprecedented level, and it will just get better. It provides a way to monitor any biochemical process, industrial or exploratory.

In healthcare, you will need to determine your genomic profile only once in your life, but you could realistically check your metabolomic profile every day. How can you not like such a science?

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 pre-diabetes and Alzheimer's disease, respectively.
  1. Wang-Sattler R, Yu Z, Herder C, Messias AC, Floegel A, He Y, Heim K, Campillos M, Holzapfel C, Thorand B, Grallert H, Xu T, Bader E, Huth C, Mittelstrass K, Döring A, Meisinger C, Gieger C, Prehn C, Roemisch-Margl W, Carstensen M, Xie L, Yamanaka-Okumura H, Xing G, Ceglarek U, Thiery J, Giani G, Lickert H, Lin X, Li Y, Boeing H, Joost HG, de Angelis MH, Rathmann W, Suhre K, Prokisch H, Peters A, Meitinger T, Roden M, Wichmann HE, Pischon T, Adamski J, Illig T. Novel biomarkers for pre-diabetes identified by metabolomics. Mol Syst Biol. 2012 Sep 25;8:615. doi: 10.1038/msb.2012.43. [PMID: 23010998]

    In this paper, the research team sought to identify candidate biomarkers of pre-diabetes in order to discover how to prevent type 2 diabetes (T2D) in patients with impaired glucose tolerance (IGT). The investigators quantified 140 metabolites for 4297 serum samples from fasting individuals in the Cooperative Health Research in the Region of Augsburg (KORA) cohort. This study revealed three metabolites, namely, acetylcarnitine, glycine, and lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC) (18:2), that were present at significantly different levels for patients with IGT compared to those with normal glucose tolerance. The researchers also found that decreased levels of glycine and LPC serve as predictors for both IGT and T2D. These findings shine more light on disease progression from pre-diabetes to T2D and may lend to the development of new strategies to prevent T2D.

  1. Ibáñez C, Simó C, Martín-Álvarez PJ, Kivipelto M, Winblad B, Cedazo-Mínguez A, Cifuentes A. Toward a Predictive Model of Alzheimer's Disease Progression Using Capillary Electrophoresis-Mass Spectrometry Metabolomics. Anal Chem. 2012 Sep 25. [Epub ahead of print]. [PMID: 22967182]

    In this study, the researchers aimed to identify metabolites associated with the progression of Alzheimer's disease (AD). This group used capillary electrophoresis-mass spectrometry (CE-MS)-based metabolomics to profile cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) metabolites from 85 subjects. The subjects fell into four patient groups with progressively more severe cognitive impairment, ranging from the mildest, a control group with mild subjective cognitive impairment (SCI) to diagnosed AD, the most cognitively impaired group. This research team identified choline, dimethylarginine, arginine, valine, proline, serine, histidine, creatine, carnitine, and suberylglycine as potential biomarkers for disease progression. As this research suggests, CE-MS of CSF samples can serve as a valid approach to predict AD progression.
Metabolomics Current Contents

4) Metabolomics Current Contents

Recently published papers in metabolomics:


5) MetaboNews

21 Sep 2012

With $6M Grant, UC San Diego Bioengineers Take On Key Role in New NIH Common Funds Metabolomics Program

With a $6 million grant over five years, bioengineers from the University of California, San Diego will play a central role in a new program from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to accelerate "metabolomics", an emerging field of biomedical research that offers a path to a wealth of information about a person’s nutrition, infection, health, disease status and more. In addition to powerful tools for diagnosis and disease follow-up, metabolomics technologies will transform researchers’ ability to define the mechanisms underlying disease, such as diabetes and obesity, and to develop new strategies for treatment.

Metabolomics is the study of small molecules called metabolites, found within cells and biological systems. Metabolites are produced or consumed in the chemical reactions that take place in the body to sustain life. The sum of all metabolites at any given moment — the metabolome — is a form of chemical readout of the state of health of the cell or body. One of the expected outcomes of this project is the ability to "metabo-type" individuals in order to get a detailed picture of their current metabolite profile, and recognize problems such as insulin resistance at an early stage. The effects of interventions such as changes in diet and exercise as well as pharmaceuticals could then be seen in updated metabo-type readings.

Shankar Subramaniam, professor and chair of the Department of Bioengineering at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering leads the metabolomics effort at UC San Diego, which involves coordinating the research cores and running the metabolome project’s Data Repository and Coordination Center (DRCC).

"I’m very excited about the prospect of collaborating with researchers in the Jacobs School, the School of Medicine, the San Diego Supercomputer Center and others across the campus and the country," said Subramaniam. "This work will lead to a systems level understanding of human physiology at the molecular level," said Subramaniam, who is the Joan and Irwin Jacobs Professor of Bioengineering and Systems Biology at UC San Diego.  Subramaniam is also an Associate Director of the UC San Diego Institute of Engineering in Medicine.

The metabolomics project will provide insights into the millions of microorganisms living within us. The human body contains many more bacterial cells than human cells, and this metabolome project will provide new opportunities for researchers to understand the role that microorganisms living within the body play in human health, Subramaniam explained.

Through the data repository, the bioengineers and other researchers at UC San Diego will organize and present all data from the three metabolome core centers across the country, as well as other metabolomics efforts. The DRCC functions as a coordinating hub so that the awardees can function as a consortium. Subramaniam has extensive experience in integration of "omics" data and has experience coordinating other large scale projects. The data repository will be housed at the San Diego Supercomputer Center at UC San Diego, directed by Michael Norman.

This metabolomics project at UC San Diego is an extension of the successful Lipid Maps project. Lipids are just one metabolite, and the metabolomics work will extend researchers view beyond this metabolite to others, such as sugars, nucleic acids, amino acids and hormones.

Funding to UC San Diego for this project is $6 million over five years, part of a total investment by the NIH of $51.4 for the metabolomics project. The awards are supported by the NIH Common Fund.

19 Sep 2012

NIH announces new program in metabolomics

Awards given to support research centers in an emerging field of research

The National Institutes of Health will invest $14.3 million this year, potentially investing more than $51.4 million over five years, to accelerate an emerging field of biomedical research known as metabolomics. Metabolomics is the study of small molecules called metabolites, found within cells and biological systems. Metabolites are produced or consumed in the chemical reactions that take place in the body to sustain life. The awards are supported by the NIH Common Fund.

The sum of all metabolites at any given moment — the metabolome — is a form of chemical readout of the state of health of the cell or body, and provides a wealth of information about nutrition, infection, health, and disease status. Metabolomics technologies have the potential to measure hundreds to thousands of unique metabolites, which can change as the result of disease, environmental exposures, or nutrition. In a clinical setting, metabolomics technologies can be powerful tools for diagnosis and disease follow-up. In basic research, these technologies will transform the ability of investigators to define the mechanisms underlying disease and to develop new strategies for treatment.

The NIH Common Fund is taking a comprehensive approach to increasing the research capacity in metabolomics by funding a variety of initiatives in this area, including training, technology development, standards synthesis, and data sharing capability for this new field.

"We are excited about the potential advances in technology that will enable metabolomics analysis to be conducted in basic and clinical settings, resulting in the discovery of new diagnostic tools and yielding important clues about disease mechanisms. The new cross-cutting metabolomics initiatives will allow for better data sharing and coordination of metabolomics efforts both nationally and internationally," said James M. Anderson, M.D., Ph.D., director of the NIH Division of Program Coordination, Planning and Strategic Initiatives, which oversees trans-NIH program areas, including those supported through the NIH Common Fund.

Three Regional Comprehensive Metabolomics Resource Cores have been awarded from the first round of applications, with the potential to award 2-3 additional at a later date. NIH will invest over $7 million this year in the first three centers, with plans to invest over $28 million over five years. The Regional Comprehensive Metabolomics Resource Cores will increase the national capacity to provide metabolomics profiling and data analysis services to investigators.

The University of Michigan's resource core is a fully integrated program that will provide researchers nationwide with the expertise and infrastructure for metabolomics in addition to training opportunities. The principal investigator of the grant is Dr. Charles Burant who is experienced in metabolomics, diabetes, and obesity research. He is assisted by Dr. Stephen Brown as a program coordinator on day-to-day operations.

University of California, Davis's resource core will serve clinical and biomedical researchers across the West Coast, with access to cutting-edge tools, collaborations and interpretation of data. The leader of this effort is Dr. Oliver Fiehn, who is experienced in metabolomics technologies and databases. He is assisted by Dr. William Wikoff as program coordinator.

The third award goes to Research Triangle Institute in Research Triangle Park, N.C., which is positioned as a leader of regional metabolomics center and offers a comprehensive range of services and collaborative opportunities for metabolomics technologies. The principal investigator of the grant is Dr. Susan Sumner, who has extensive experience and expertise in metabolomics technologies. She is assisted by Dr. Jason Burgess as program coordinator.

In addition to these three comprehensive metabolomics cores awards, a data repository and Coordination Center (DRCC) is also being awarded to the University of California, San Diego. NIH will invest $2 million this year in DRCC and potentially invest $6 million over five years. The DRCC will provide necessary organization and present all data from the cores and other metabolomics efforts to the biomedical research community. The DRCC functions as a coordinating hub so that the awardees can function as a consortium. Dr. Shankar Subramaniam, who has extensive experience in integration of omics data and has experience coordinating other large scale projects, leads the effort at UCSD. All awardees operate as cooperative agreements with NIH and collectively function as a consortium and lead collaborative activities related to metabolomics.

Source: NIH News
5 Sep 2012

Grant funds West Coast Metabolomics Center

With a $9.3 million startup grant from the National Institutes of Health, the University of California, Davis, has announced plans to open the West Coast Metabolomics Center, a high-tech consortium of research and service laboratories that will help scientists better understand and develop more effective treatments for complex diseases like diabetes, cancer and atherosclerosis.

The facility, which will be housed within the UC Davis Genome Center, will celebrate its grand opening Oct. 8 with a mini-symposium featuring UC Davis and regional scientists, and corporate supporters.

Metabolomics is a new field that looks at the biochemical changes taking place in living cells during metabolism. The West Coast Metabolomics Center at UC Davis will use more than 30 mass spectrometers — instruments for analyzing chemical structures — to target thousands of different molecules produced in cells, allowing researchers to look at changes taking place at specific times and under specific environmental conditions.

"The NIH recognizes metabolism as a very important part of human physiology and disease processes," said Oliver Fiehn, professor of molecular and cellular biology and director of the new center. "When you analyze metabolism, you can tell the state of the body at the onset and during the progression of diseases ranging from cardiovascular disease to cancer."

The new center brings together existing UC Davis service facilities in mass spectrometry, nuclear magnetic resonance and imaging, with research labs across the campus, Fiehn said.

It will help researchers throughout the western U.S. with small grants for annual pilot and feasibility studies, provide courses, statistics and bioinformatics services, and perform metabolomic analyses on a fee-for-service basis. The center is designed to be self-sustaining within five years.

One of researchers who plans to use the new center is UC Davis Professor Bruce German, who studies lipid metabolism, especially in milk production, in the Department of Food Science and Technology.

"This new center shows the effects of the university’s long-term investments into biochemistry and genomics," German said.

Source: UC Davis News and Information

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

8 & 15 Oct 2012

Reactome Webinar Series

Reactome is hosting a new series of webinars that will introduce the website and our suite of pathway and network visualization and analysis tools. The first two sessions will start in October, and will be repeated every month. Additional webinar topics will be added to the future schedule.

The first session on 8th October will describe Using Reactome Pathway Database. On 15th October, the second session will introduce the Reactome Functional Interaction Network Cytoscape plugin. If you are interesting in participating, please register at Eventbrite.

Feel free to pass this invitation along to colleagues who may benefit from learning about Reactome.
Registrants will receive detailed instructions about accessing the webinar via e-mail the Friday prior to the event. (Anyone registering between Friday and the close of registration will receive the message shortly after the registration is received, within normal business hours.)
Reactome is a collaboration between groups at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, New York University Medical Center, and The European Bioinformatics Institute. Freely available to everyone worldwide, the Reactome database offers pathway data encapsulating areas of human biology ranging from metabolism to complex events such as EGFR signaling, apoptosis and disease, extracted from the published literature by Reactome curatorial staff and cross-referenced to a wide range of standard biological databases. Reactome data and software are distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
For more information contact:
Robin Haw
Email: robin.haw [at]
Tel: 647-260-7985

16-17 Oct 2012

Metabolic Profiling & Lipidomics
Venue: Madrid, Spain (Part of Systems Biology Europe)

Welcome to the Metabolic Profiling & Lipidomics track of the Systems Biology Europe conference and exhibition.

This conference aims to discuss the latest developments in the rapidly evolving area of metabolic profiling with particular emphasis on the break out field of Lipidomics. Recent HPLC-MS advances now allow for individual molecular species of lipids to be isolated and identified. This meeting will detail the cutting edge research taking place as a result of these developments with emphasis on understanding not only lipid metabolism but also ascertaining the role of lipids in conditions such as atherosclerosis, inflammatory disease, arthritis, cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer's disease, with a view to improving treatment. As a whole focus will be drawn to the key technological developments being made in both the separation and detection analytical fields used in profiling as well as the area’s other key applications including toxicity assessment, functional genomics and nutrigenomics.

Other conference tracks at this event include Cancer Proteomics, Exosomes/Markers in Biological Fluids, and Informatics. Registered delegates will have access to all four meetings ensuring a very cost-effective trip.

In addition the event will also host two cutting edge business courses which can be viewed here.

For further information, please visit

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.

27 Jan-1 Feb 2013

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

The third Gordon Research Conference on "Plant Lipids: Structure, Metabolism, and Function" promises to be an exciting event where the latest research on plant lipids is presented and discussed. For the first time, the conference will be preceded by a Gordon Research Seminar on Plant Lipids, providing excellent opportunities for graduate students and postdoctoral researchers to share research, to develop research and social networks in a supportive environment, and to discuss careers and mentoring. We encourage young scientists to participate in the Gordon Research Seminar, and we encourage broad participation in the Gordon Research Conference. Presenters will discuss the latest advances in plant and algal lipid metabolism, oil synthesis, lipid signaling, lipid visualization, lipid biotechnology and its applications, the physiological and developmental roles of lipids, and plant lipids in health. The conference will be a great chance for old and new members of the international plant lipid research community to interact. Applications to attend this conference are open to all researchers interested in plant lipids.

Application Deadline
Applications for this meeting must be submitted by December 30, 2012. Please apply early, as some meetings become oversubscribed (full) before this deadline. If the meeting is oversubscribed, it will be stated here. Note: Applications for oversubscribed meetings will only be considered by the Conference Chair if more seats become available due to cancellations.

Related Meeting Information
The Plant Lipids: Structure, Metabolism & Function Gordon Research Conference will be held in conjunction with the Plant Lipids: Structure, Metabolism & Function Gordon Research Seminar. Those interested in attending both meetings must submit an application for the GRS in addition to an application for the GRC. Please refer to the Plant Lipids: Structure, Metabolism & Function GRS web page for more information.

For more information, visit

8-10 Apr 2013

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

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

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

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

For more information, visit

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
Research Scientist (Metabolomics)
Hudson Shribman Scientific Recruitment Cambridgeshire, UK (London, United Kingdom) 2-Oct-2012
Assistant Professor of Biology
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA, USA
27-Sep-2012 Metabolomics Society
Senior Scientist - Nutritional Metabolomics
AgResearch Grasslands Palmerston North, New Zealand 24-Sep-2012 SEEK
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
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Faculty Position University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Los Angeles, CA, USA
Clinical Laboratory Director Metabolon Durham, NC, USA 15-Aug-2012 Metabolomics Society
Metabolomics Data Analyst
Stemina Biomarker Discovery
Madison, WI, USA
15-Aug-2012 Stemina Biomarker Discovery

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.
  • Position Sought: Seeking a position in drug research and development and biomarker discovery. [Candidate's CV]

Scientific Journal Announcements
  • Special issue of Electrophoresis on the subject of Metabolomics: see invitation [PDF]

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