2016 Board of Directors Election
All members of the Metabolomics Society are welcomed and encouraged to participate in the 2016 Board of Directors election. Voting is open now through August 26, 2016 at 11:59pm USA CST. Complete details on elections can be found here.
This webpage contains a list of nominees as well as biographies and statements of interest regarding serving on the Board. Please take a moment to review these details.
Standing for a second term:
- Takeshi Bamba
- Aiko Barsch
- Maryam Goudarzi
- Jules Griffin
- Steven Gross
- Oliver Jones
- Christophe Junot
- Andrew Patterson
- Daniel Raftery
- Nichole Reisdorph
- Michael Schmidt
- Lloyd Sumner
- Sanjay Swarup
- Justin Van Der Hooft
- Craig Wheelock
How to Vote:
Each member has nine (9) votes. You will need to enter your member email address to begin voting.
IPB – Halle (Germany)
Biography: Steffen Neumann studied computer science and bioinformatics at Bielefeld University, and now his group focuses on the development of tools and databases for metabolomics and computational mass spectrometry. The group develops algorithms for data processing of metabolite profiling experiments, which are available in several Open Source Bioconductor packages, and addresses the identification of unknowns in mass spectrometry data. The IPB is member of the MassBank consortium and operated the first MassBank server in Europe. The MetFrag and MetFusion tools allow the identification of compounds where no reference spectra are available.
Statement of Purpose: In the past term, I was active in the task groups Data Standards and Metabolite Identification, and also established the new task group on Computational Mass Spectrometry together with Sebastian Böcker.
In case I will be re-elected, I will continue to work with our society members, you!, to improve the adoption of data standards and data sharing, and increase the interaction with the "traditional" computer science community, because highly efficient algorithms will not only speed up our work, but more importantly open the door to completely new questions, experiments and answers in the future.
European Bioinformatics Institute (UK)
Biography: I got my PhD in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from University College London, UK. I started working in the field of metabolomics in University of Cambridge, UK overtime moving from lab based experiments to data analysis and data handling. In the past, I have worked as scientific investigator at the Medical Research Council, Cambridge UK. In 2012, I joined EMBL-EBI and currently work as the Scientific Coordinator/Project Manager. At EMBL-EBI we host the MetaboLights (http://www.ebi.ac.uk/metabolights), the first general purpose repository for metabolomics data. For me, open access data sharing is of paramount importance to the metabolomics community growth, enabling us to move a step closer to the result reproducibility, a key objective for any scientific field. Here metabolomics standards can play a vital role (http://www.metabolomics-msi.org) having the opportunity to manage and coordinate a large EU infrastructure project on metabolomics data standards, COSMOS (Coordination of Standards in Metabolomics - http://cosmos-fp7.eu) , it has re-ignited standards effort within the community, in a more bottom-up approach. Professionally, I’m member of the Cambridge Systems Biology Centre, Cambridge Neuroscience and Cambridge Cancer Centre. I’m also involved in several workshop and training activities in Metabolomics, particularly as the main organizer of the “EMBO Practical Course on Metabolomics Bioinformatics for Life Scientists” ongoing since 2012, giving me the opportunity to work with groups of talented and excellent instructors/tutors in metabolomics that share the same passion for metabolomics data handling and standards. I’m also one of the directors of the Metabolic Profiling Forum (MPF), were we host the Metabomeeting conference series to promote the discussion and debate of the latest developments in metabolomics and the underlying techniques. I’m also Associate Editor for Nature’s Frontiers Metabolomics Journal.
Statement of Purpose: I’m actively involved in data standards developments, chairing Data Standards Task Group has given me the opportunity to work with both HUPO-PSI and MSI initiatives. I’m actively involved in development of mzTAB, nmrML and qcML data formats as well as ISATab standards with others. Such efforts, combined with data sharing in MetaboLights, I believe would benefit the community substantially. My role as the chair of data standards task group would be to continue working with leaders in this area, both from metabolomics and proteomics communities as well as industry, journals etc., to establish and further promote community wide agreed standards, in a more practical approach, in addition to high level community agreements and reporting standards. My plan is to reignite and revitalize MSI working groups, with the help of the community and to get those interested, involved from bioinformatician to biologist, industry to software producer and journals. All standards developed would be open access and publically available to all metabolomics and proteomics communities and to anyone interested.
I’m also chairing the Website Committee, promoting Society and community activities worldwide. Working together with Jan Stanstrup, we have merged and revitalized the Metabolomics Forum, and brought society activities to the public domain discussions, for better engagement with society members and general metabolomics community (http://www.metabolomics-forum.com). Hope to see increase activity of member in the forum and for you to share your thoughts and expertize with each other, particularly proud of involvement with Early-career Members Network (EMN) activities. I’m also member of the Conferences and Training Committee helping to supporting various metabolomics related conferences. In addition, I’m also member of publication committee and Model Organism Metabolomes Task Groups. Finally, I have attended more than 90% Board meeting and hope to continue next term for more engagement with the metabolomics community.
RTI International (USA)
Biography: Hello. I am Susan Sumner and I direct the NIH Common Fund (C-F) Eastern Regional Comprehensive Metabolomics Research Center (RCMRC) at RTI International (a non-profit basic research institute located in the Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA). The RTI RCMRC is part of the NIH C-F Metabolomics Consortium that established Metabolomics Workbench, and worked together to establish standards for data deposition and reporting. I also work within the NIH C-F program to develop and implement programs for training early career and seasoned scientists who want to include metabolomics in their research. As the PI of the RTI RCMRC, I lead a team of 25 researchers who conduct targeted and broad spectrum metabolomics analysis of cells, tissues, and biological fluids using NMR and chromatography coupled mass spectrometry. My team works with basic, applied, and clinical researchers to identify biomarkers for the early detection and diagnosis of disease, to monitor treatments, and to provide insights into biological mechanisms. In addition to directing the metabolomics core at RTI, I also direct an analytical core for the NCATS-funded North Carolina Translational Sciences Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the metabolomics core for the NIEHS-funded Center for Human Health and Environment at North Carolina State University (NCSU), and the NIEHS-funded Untargeted Analysis Resource Core for the Children's Health Exposure Analysis Resource (CHEAR) Program at RTI. I serve on the editorial boards for Metabolomics, the Journal of Applied Toxicology, the Journal of Toxicology, and as an Associate Editor for Environmental Health Perspectives. I am an adjunct professor in the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, and the Department of Nutrition at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Statement of Purpose: During the past 2 years, I have had the privilege to support the Metabolomics Society Membership as a member of the Board of Directors. In this role, I assisted in the preparation of the 2015 Annual Meeting, and participated in the selection of students and early career members to receive award recognitions for both the 2015 and 2016 Annual Meetings. I have also served on the Editorial Board of the Metabolomics journal, and have been active in board activities associated with the journal, and with organizational considerations for forming chapters of the Metabolomics Society. I recently accepted invitations to serve on both the organizational committee for the 2017 Annual Conference (to be held in Australia), and to serve on the Metabolomics Society Data Quality Task Group (DQTG). Continuing to serve on the board while also contributing to the 2017 Annual Conference and to the DQTG will provide a means to strengthen communications between these committee/groups and the Metabolomics Society Board of Directors. One of my goals for the next term would be to use my experience as a past chair of the North Carolina American Chemical Society (NC ACS) Project Seed Program (an ACS program for economically disadvantaged students), and my experiences in creating a dynamic and diverse research team, to initiate a Metabolomics Society Task Group that will focus on the development of a program to encourage participation by minorities, economically disadvantaged students, and investigators in lower-and-middle income countries. In addition, my passion for scientific writing and my editorial roles have provided me with experiences needed to provide leadership and support to the Society for re-establishing a Journal which will provide a venue for the Metabolomics Society Membership and the larger scientific community to disseminate findings from research and technology development, and to be recognized as the premier method for publication and dissemination of findings to a wide audience of basic, applied, and translational researchers conducting metabolomics research.
Kyushu U (Japan)
Biography: Dr. Takeshi Bamba is a professor at Division of Metabolomics, Research Center for Transomics Medicine, Medical Institute of Bioregulation, Kyushu University, Japan. He completed his Ph.D. from Department of Biotechnology, Graduate school of Engineering, Osaka University. After getting Ph.D, he was assigned as a postdoctoral researcher in Department of Biotechnology, Graduate school of Engineering, Osaka University and subsequently promoted as an assistant professor in Graduate school of Pharmaceutical Science and then as an associate professor in Department of Biotechnology, Graduate school of Engineering. Last year, he moved to Kyushu University after obtaining full professorship and setup the specialized metabolomics research laboratory.
He focuses on the development of metabolomics technology including data mining and its application in various fields. Especially, he is getting energetically involved in analytical method development by using supercritical fluid chromatography/mass spectrometry for metabolic profiling. Furthermore, he conducts transomics (also known as “multi-omics”) research, which involves integrated analysis of data from metabolomics and other omics research (genomics, epigenomics, transcriptomics and proteomics). He has published over 140 peer-reviewed papers as well as several book chapters.
Statement of Purpose: Many researchers, including our group, have been working on the development of various metabolomics technologies for more than 10 years. So far, various metabolomics methods have been constructed by using analytical platforms such as NMR, GC/MS, CE/MS, LC/MS, and SFC/MS. However, there remain rooms for improvement in the coverage of metabolites, quantitative performance, reproducibility, differences between experimental errors in different batches, etc. Additionally, it is necessary to develop a dynamic analysis system, because most metabolomics methods only cover snapshots and without necessarily provide information about dynamic changes. Therefore, further improvements in analytical and data-mining techniques are needed to develop a more general and global approach for metabolomics. Furthermore, it is urgent now to organize the common protocol (sample preparation, instrumental analysis, data mining) used for validation study.
I would like to contribute to the Metabolomics Society for the development of new, user-friendly methods and their applications, and the construction of guideline for metabolomics operation procedure by using my knowledge and experiences in order to make metabolomics area growth further.
Biography: Aiko Barsch is a qualified biologist and has been involved in metabolomics research since 2002. During his PhD studies in Prof. Karsten Niehaus' lab at Bielefeld University in Germany he established GC-MS and LC-MS–based techniques enabling the study of molecular interaction between Medicago sativa plants and root-nodule–forming Sinorhizobium meliloti bacteria. These studies were co-supervised by Prof. Joachim Kopka from the MPI in Golm, Germany. Aiko joined Bruker Daltonics in Bremen in January 2007 as an application scientist for ESI-(Q)-TOF systems with a focus on small molecule analyses. Since the beginning of 2010 he has been fully committed, once again, to metabolomics research, in his position as Global Metabolomics Market Manager. Collaborating with cutting-edge research partners across the globe provides Aiko with profound insights into the current state of metabolomics.
In addition to his continuing work as the global Market Manager for Metabolomics, in October 2014 he became Director Life Sciences, and manages a team of proteomics and metabolomics specialists. This provides important insights to facilitate integrated OMICS research.
Statement of Purpose: Serving on the board of directors would enable me to help raise the profile of metabolomics research and to address some of the challenges it faces. Today, most people agree that small molecules OMICS research must be an integral part of any holistic systems biology approach. However, some skeptics still remain to be convinced. Being involved in metabolomics through my own research as well as the ongoing collaborations in varying research disciplines has been very exciting and enjoyable. During my career, membership of the Metabolomics Society has benefitted me greatly, so now I feel it's time for me to "put something back". Some hot topics, such as unknown identification and quick de-replication have been evolving since the dawn of metabolomics. These challenges are now entering an especially hot phase with numerous projects being conducted by the metabolomics community. I strongly believe that some of these projects can only be raised to the next level through the use of a truly global joint effort across different research disciplines and using vendor-agnostic approaches. Helping to foster these and other efforts by serving on the Metabolomics Society board of directors would be a pleasure and a great honor.
Georgetown University Medical Center (USA)
Biography: Dr. Maryam Goudarzi is an Assistant Professor at Georgetown University (GU) Medical Center, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular and Cellular Biology. She completed her PhD in application of liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LCMS) for proteomics at George Mason University in 2011, and her post-doctoral fellowship in metabolomics and gut microbiome research at GU. She plays a major role at GU in promoting microbiome research and microbial metabolomics. She has implemented several LCMS metabolomic methods and interomic bioinformatic approaches for characterization of gut microbiota and its metabolism. Her novel study on identifying predictive microbial metabolic biomarkers of inflammatory bowel disease flares and remission has been internationally well received. Currently her main focus is on gut microbial metabolism and their metabolic byproducts, which affect the host cellular processes and immune responses. Maryam's earlier work on developing metabolomic and lipidomic methodologies for profiling biological samples such as plasma and fecal samples using ultra-performance liquid chromatography (UPLC) coupled with time of flight mass spectrometry (ToFMS) laid the foundation for her ongoing microbiome studies. In addition, Maryam has been closely collaborating with bioinformaticians to address the bottleneck in metabolomics, data analysis, particularly with respect to multi-platform microbial metabolomic/metagenomic studies. Her collaborations have been fruitful, resulting in thirteen publications.
Statement of Purpose: The main focus of my studies for the past five years has been on microbial metabolomics and developing interomic data analysis tools. While the field of metabolomics has come a long way in terms of sample preparation, data analysis and open-source reference databases, it is still challenging to capture the full potential of metabolomic data. This issue is exacerbated in the field of microbial metabolomics because the microbial metabolite databases are currently sparse and poorly annotated. In addition, lack of standardization across the field without a solid definition for a healthy microbiome against which disease states could be measured further contributes to the challenges researchers face in this field. These challenges were recently recognized by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, which in May 2016 announced the National Microbiome Initiative to foster the integrated study of microbiomes across various disciplines from human health to climate change. This initiative will not only increase support for microbiome research in the federal and private sectors but will also bring much needed attention to developing new platform technologies, enriching microbial metabolite databases, improving statistical analysis tools, and expanding educational opportunities in the field. I believe the Metabolomics Society not only can provide the perfect platform to promote microbial metabolomics but can also provide a launching pad for the next generation of microbiome scientists. This is an exciting time to contribute to this young and long-neglected field, which has the potential of expanding our understanding of body's microbiota and the crucial role microbial metabolic products play in regulating our immune responses, brain development, predisposition to cardiovascular disease, and many other conditions. If elected, my goal will be to ensure that microbial metabolomics does not take a back seat to microbiome sequencing and metagenomics as is currently the case in majority of the national and international microbiome events. At Metabolomics Society we have the advantage of being part of a unique community of dedicated interdisciplinary scientists and bioinfromaticians with the ability to propel microbiome research forward with appropriate support, promotion and guidance from the organizers. My goal will be to invite our scientists to bring their work and ideas on microbial metabolomics, to spark conversations, and to encourage the engagement of young investigators in this exciting yet underdeveloped field.
University of Cambridge (UK)
Biography: My DPhil (an Oxford PhD) was with Prof George Radda where we were using NMR spectroscopy as a tool to follow metabolic changes in cells, tissues and biofluids. I then went across the 'pond' to work for two years at Harvard using 13C NMR to follow cardiac metabolism before returning to the UK to join Prof. Jeremy Nicholson's group just as the terms metabonomics and metabolomics came into the literature. Since then I have been involved in the field of Metabolomics in one form or another. I currently head a group at the University of Cambridge where we use Metabolomics and lipidomics based approaches to follow aspects of type 2 diabetes and other metabolic diseases related to over nutrition. I am also a director of the Metabolic Profiling Forum, co-organise Metabomeeting and have been secretary to the Metabolomics Society as well as being on the scientific advisory committee for a number of the international meetings.
Statement of Purpose: I have been both a board member and secretary to the society previously so I do know what I am letting myself in for! In terms of areas I would like to champion are student education (particularly for early stage career scientists new to the field) and independent Metabolomics groups that are not part of big cores or government initiatives. If the field is to develop its vital we have a wide, diverse community of scientists and we resist 'one size fits all' that some corporations may be putting forward.
Biography: I am Professor of Pharmacology at Weill Cornell Medical College (with tenure), Director of Advanced Training in Pharmacology, and Director of the Metabolomics Laboratory. Over the past two decades, my lab’s research focus has been to elucidate mechanisms of cell signaling by reactive molecules, with a primary focus on the physiological chemistry and biology of nitric oxide (NO). Work on NO has culminated in over 170 published papers, 25 issued US patents, and the founding of a biotech start-up that conducted a multinational phase III clinical study to test the therapeutic efficacy of a NO synthase (NOS) inhibitor for a life-saving cardiovascular indication. With Nobel Laureates in the field, I founded the NO Society and organized or participated in the organization of over a dozen national and international meetings on NO chemistry and biology. Since reactive molecules typically mediate their cell signaling actions by engaging in covalent reactions with proteins, I worked toward the development of new proteomic approaches that could be used to define and inventory NO-mediated protein modifications. This effort led to an interest in biological mass spectrometry (MS) and my establishment of the MS core facility at Weill Cornell Medical College in 1997. As Director of the MS core facility, I acquired state-of-the-art instrumentation, broad experience and know-how for the development and use of bioanalytical techniques for protein and small molecule analyses – this includes a robust platform for untargeted metabolite profiling and development of a novel stable isotope technology for untargeted/unbiased fate-tracing of isotopically-labeled metabolites. Application of these methods are major drivers of my lab’s active NIH-supported research programs in the areas of structural birth defects, lung disease, cardiovascular disease, AIDs, cancer and neurodegenerative disorders. For the past 5 years, I organized 1-2 annual national meetings on metabolomics research topics at the New York Academy of Sciences, and was a regular participant/presenter at annual Metabolomics Society meetings. For small molecule MS, I was recognized in 2011 by an award from the American Chemical Society for Achievements in Mass Spectrometry and my lab was acknowledged as a Center of Excellence in Life Sciences Mass Spectrometry by Agilent Technologies in 2015.
Statement of Purpose: A major focus of my proposed service as a Metabolomics Society Board Director will be for the advancement of comprehensive metabolite profiling technologies to reveal metabolic bases for human diseases and to expand our knowledge of human systems biology. I seek to aid in the establishment of robust platforms and quality controls for support of large-scale human clinical studies. As an active member of the Pharmacometabolomics and "Precision Medicine Task Group (PPMTG)", an international investigator alliance established by Rima Kaddurah-Daouk (Founding President of the Metabolomics Society), I strive to help drive the application of metabolomics tools for diagnosis, prognosis and evaluation of new therapies for human diseases. Notably, at the time of the 2016 Metabolomics Society meeting in Dublin, the PPMTG was announced as a newly incorporated Society Task Group. If elected as a board member, I aspire to serve as a link between the PPMTG and the Metabolomics Society. Additionally, I offer my time and service to the Society in working towards the establishment of standards, analytical approaches and databases that enable increasingly more confident small molecule quantification, (both targeted and untargeted) and the advancement of multi-'omic tools for deep data analysis and interpretation.
RMIT University (Melbourne)
Biography: I am a senior lecturer in analytical chemistry at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia. I obtained my PhD from Imperial College London in 2005, and was a postdoc at the University of Cambridge until 2009. I then worked as a lecturer at the University of Durham before moving to RMIT in 2012. I am currently president of the Australian and New Zealand Metabolomics Network - the first international affiliate of the metabolomics society (for which I write a newsletter sent weekly to almost 300 people). I am a member of the Metabolomics Society Data Standards task group as well as co-president of Proteomics and Metabolomics Victoria, secretary and board member of the Australian and New Zealand Society for Magnetic Resonance, a CI at the Australian Centre for Research on Separation Science and a member the Australian Academy of Science, National Committee for Chemistry. I am also a deputy director of the RMIT Centre for Environmental Sustainability and Remediation. I have been an invited speaker at several conferences and have helped organise many others (I am a member of the organising committee of the 2017 Metabolomics Conference). Aside from metabolomics my group conducts research in analytical methods and technologies, particularly in multidimensional chromatography and NMR. I have 63 publications with a total of over 2700 citations and an h-index of 21.
Statement of Purpose: I have been involved in metabolomics for over ten years. I would like to serve as a director to give something back to the society and the field. I have a large amount of experience in organisation though my roles in various other societies and academic management at RMIT. If elected, this experience will help me hit the ground running and play an active and useful role in both scientific and administrative side of running of the society. I am particularly interested to raise the profile of metabolomics on the scientific stage. The society could perhaps award medals for outstanding research in metabolomics each year to both established researchers and younger society members for example.
I helped to draft the standard reporting requirements for biological samples in metabolomics experiments in the environmental context and intend to continue to push for data standards in all metabolomics experiments. I am also keen to help the society showcase new analytical techniques and methodologies for metabolite separation and identification. If elected I would also try to develop more interaction with the professional societies of both the other omic sciences and those of the mass spec, and NMR and spectroscopic communities, so as to both help advance the field and to move towards a more integrated approach to understanding biological systems.
Paris Saclay (France)
Biography: Dr. Christophe Junot received his doctor of Pharmacy diploma degree in 1997 and his PhD degree in Analytical Chemistry in 2000 (Pierre et Marie Curie University, Paris). Then, he joined GlaxoSmithKline laboratories and developed experience in the field of pharmacokinetics and metabolism applied to drug discovery for 2 years. Since 2002, he works at the Life Science Division of CEA (key player in research, development and innovation; 16,000 employees) where he develops mass spectrometry based analytical methodologies for metabolome analysis in the fields of medicine and microbiology. He has been appointed as head of the Laboratory for Drug Metabolism Studies from September 2010 to December 2015 and is now head of the Pharmacology and Immunoanalysis unit, which includes 100 people in 4 laboratories. Christophe has been part of the board of the French-speaking Metabolomics and Fluxomics Network from 2010 to 2015 and has served as vice president of this network from 2010 to 2012. He is also the deputy coordinator of the French MetaboHUB infrastructure for metabolomics and fluxomics and also in charge of the coordination of analytical chemistry developments in this infrastructure. At last, he is involved in two scientific task groups of the Metabolomics society: Metabolite identification and Model Organism Metabolomes.
Statement of Purpose: I would like to join the board of the metabolomics society for several reasons. First of all, I believe that my past experience in the board of the French-speaking Metabolomics and Fluxomics Network could be useful to the society. On a scientific point of view, I would like to promote metabolome/lipidome annotations, the interpretation of MS and MS/MS spectra, and also absolute quantification of metabolites within the society. I would also act as a conduit between the French-speaking metabolomic community and the metabolomics society. At last, I would like to actively contribute to the growth and promotion of the metabolomics society and be involved in decision making.
Penn State (USA)
Biography: Dr. Patterson is an Associate Professor of Molecular Toxicology at the Pennsylvania State University. He also serves as the Scientific Director of the Metabolomics facility. Dr. Patterson received his PhD in Genetics from the joint National Institutes of Health and George Washington University graduate partnerships program in 2006 and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Laboratory of Metabolism at the National Cancer Institute in 2011. Dr. Patterson joined the Center for Molecular Toxicology and Carcinogenesis at the Pennsylvania State University in 2011. He and his students, postdocs, and collaborators focus on understanding the host-metabolite-microbiota axis—specifically how the manipulation of gut microbiota impacts host metabolites (e.g., bile acids), their metabolism, and how these co-metabolites interact with host nuclear/soluble receptors (e.g., farnesoid X receptor, aryl hydrocarbon receptor). The lab employs a variety of cutting-edge tools, including NMR- and mass spectrometry-based metabolomics, genomics, and conventional and gnotobiotic transgenic mice, to facilitate its study of these pathways and understand their impact on human health and disease. For metabolomic studies, the lab is particularly interested in understanding how different approaches (e.g., extraction method, platform, and/or lab) can influence data quality, robustness, and interpretation.
Statement of Purpose: Overall, as a board member, I will support greater interaction, collaboration, and open exchange of ideas. Specifically, I will grow the metabolomics forum by encouraging more discussion and exchange of protocols (e.g., metabolite extraction, NMR and mass spec methods). I will work with leaders in the field to establish best practices and standardization, which includes developing community-wide proficiency challenges. Lastly, in order to facilitate more widespread understanding and use of metabolomics, I will work with others to help promote a common metabolomics curriculum that can be implemented at universities worldwide.
University of Washington (USA)
Biography: Dan Raftery is currently a Medical Education and Research Endowed Professor at the University of Washington, School of Medicine, and is a Member of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle WA. He is the Founding Director of the Northwest Metabolomics Research Center at UW Medicine. Previously, he was Professor of Chemistry in the Analytical Division at Purdue University for almost 18 years. He received his AB from Harvard and his PhD from Berkeley. Dr. Raftery’s research is focused on the development of new methods and their application to a range of clinical and basic science studies in metabolomics. His group uses advanced NMR and mass spectrometry methods for the identification of early biomarkers and metabolic risk factors for a number of cancers and other diseases, and for the exploration of systems biology in cells and mitochondria.
Statement of Purpose: Metabolomics has become an essential area for understanding phenotype in a wide range of biological systems. The field has developed very rapidly in a broad range of areas using a variety of analytical and statistical methods. The Society can play an important role in helping to shape and organize further advances, as well as to disseminate results and progress in the field; these efforts will help make the metabolomics even more successful and promising, especially to younger scientists. Given my broad background in analytical chemistry and my role in leading the Northwest Metabolomics Research Center, I have a breadth of experience to help the Metabolomics Society’s efforts in its committees and working groups, and by extension provide society members with the information to improve their metabolomics capabilities, studies, results and impact.
University of Colorado (USA)
Biography: Nichole Reisdorph, PhD is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus. Her research focuses on applying mass spectrometry approaches to projects that may lead to new information and are of therapeutic relevance to human diseases. This includes a wide range of small molecule analyses, including both targeted and untargeted approaches. Dr. Reisdorph is the Principal or Co-Investigator for a number of federal grants from the U.S.A. National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense; while her own funded research focuses on lung disease, her collaborative efforts span from microbiome and nanotechnology to exercise physiology and diabetes. Therefore, her research experience bridges a broad expanse of fields and interests.
Dr. Reisdorph is the Director of the Mass Spectrometry Core at the School of Pharmacy; this facility provides services in metabolomics, proteomics, and targeted small molecule and peptide analysis. Faculty in the Core facility have focused on the development of robust sample preparation and analysis methods. Techniques and platforms in the laboratory include both gas and liquid chromatography, ion mobility and high mass accuracy mass spectrometry, and a comprehensive suite of targeted mass spectrometry assays (MRM/SIM). Our team includes experts in bioinformatics, statistics, and computational methods.
Dr. Reisdorph has extensive organizational experience that has been applied to meetings, workshops, and societies; this includes co-organizing the 2010 United Stated Human Proteome Organization (US HuPO) meeting, founding and serving as treasurer for the Colorado Biological Mass Spectrometry Society (www.CBMSS.org), and leading an internationally recognized Metabolomics and Proteomics training program. The latter has garnered local and federal funding and has supported over 450 participants since 2004.
Statement of Purpose: I am excited by the possibility of becoming a member of the Metabolomics Society Board of Directors. I feel that my extensive scientific and organizational experience will enable me to contribute to the continued growth of this valuable and significant society. For example, I possess a wide range of technical and scientific skills that will enable me to contribute to several of the Society’s Scientific Task Groups. Further, my experience in training and workshop organization can be used to support the educational mission of the Society. While my experience includes non-human research, I feel that my expertise in clinical metabolomics can be especially useful as this important sub-field is more fully developed within the Society. This includes furthering the goals of the data quality and metabolite identification task groups through our extensive clinical collaborations. Overall, my goal as a Board Member would be consistent with my goal as a mass spectrometry facility director: to provide support to scientists interested in implementing practical and robust metabolomics workflows in their own research.
Colorado State (USA)
Biography: Dr. Michael A. Schmidt did his Ph.D. research in molecular medicine and biochemistry within the Life Sciences Division at NASA Ames Research Center, under the Chief Medical Officer. He also did a fellowship at NASA's Human Systems Integration Division, with an emphasis on raising human performance in extreme environments. He has done additional studies at Lancaster University (neuroscience) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (data and models; artificial neural networks).
Dr. Schmidt's work bridges metabolomics-centric molecular profiling across three major domains: 1) human performance/elite athletes, 2) space flight medicine, and 3) translation to clinical medicine. Dr. Schmidt and his team are advancing a transformation in space flight medicine by application of metabolomics-centric integrated omics in space medicine research and mission-focused personalized medicine. He and his team are developing a molecular profiling program for commercial (private) space flight, a precision medicine strategy for Mars missions, and an aptamer-based in-flight real-time serum chemistry monitoring system for humans flying to Mars.
Dr. Schmidt is a co-PI on a series of molecular profiling and countermeasure studies with the Mayo Clinic, including, 1) profiling of US Olympic athletes at the Rio 2016 games, 2) concussion in American football players (serum metabolome/brain NAD+ by 31P MRS), 3) performance and team cohesion at high altitude (Mt. Kilimanjaro). He is also an advisor in molecular profiling and countermeasure development to professional athletes/teams in the US, including NBA, NFL, Olympic, Cross Fit, and others. These profiles include 1) serum metabolome, 2) gut microbiome community structure (genome), 3) gut microbiome metabolome, and 4) SNP profiling (targeted). He is the founder of Sovaris Aerospace and co-chair of the Advanced Pattern Analysis & Countermeasures Group.
Statement of Purpose: As a member of the Metabolomics Society Pharmacometabolomics and Precision Medicine Task Group, I am interested in broadly advancing metabolomics across precision medicine efforts worldwide. Having developed graduate courses in Clinical Genomics, Proteomics, and Metabolomics, I am strongly committed to advancing the training in metabolomics at the undergraduate, graduate, medical, and post-doctoral levels. I would like to use my experience in government programs (NASA), academic (GWU), and private industry (Sovaris Aerospace) to support some of the novel opportunities faced by the Society, as it approaches its next phase of expected growth. Beyond direct human clinical applications, I want to support the work of those in plant metabolomics related to food, agriculture, supplemental nutrition, botanical drugs, and other associated applications.
University of Missouri (USA)
Biography: Dr. Sumner acquired his B.Sc. degree in chemistry with a minor in mathematics in 1989 from Cameron University in Lawton, OK, USA and a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry in 1993 from Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, OK, USA. He then joined Texas A&M University, College Station TX, where he was the Director of the Mass Spectrometry Applications Laboratory and where he later served as the cofounder and Associate Director of the TAMU Laboratory for Biological Mass Spectrometry with Prof. David H Russell. He joined The Noble Foundation in 1999 and rose to the rank of Professor within the Plant Biology Division. Dr. Sumner relocated to the University of Missouri, Columbia in January 2016 as a Professor in the Biochemistry Department and Director of the new University of Missouri Metabolomics Center. Dr. Sumner’s research is focused on the development, integration and application of large-scale biochemical profiling of plant metabolites, proteins, and transcripts (metabolomics, proteomics and transcriptomics) for the discovery and characterization of the molecular and biochemical components related to plant natural products/specialized metabolites biosynthesis. He also applies these integrated omics technologies for greater insight into the physiological and biochemical consequences of gene expression and system responses to genetic and environmental perturbations. In the process, he has published approximately 125 peer reviewed articles and book chapters; many with leading national and international collaborators. Dr. Sumner’s research is or has been supported by the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, NSF 2010, NSF Molecular and Cellular Biosciences, NSF Major Research Instrumentation program, NSF-JST joint Metabolomics for a Low Carbon Society, NSF Integrative Organismal Systems, and The Oklahoma Commission for the Advancement of Science and Technology. Dr. Sumner is currently a Fellow of The American Association for the Advancement of Science; President of the Phytochemical Society of North America (2015-2016), former Treasurer (2010-2012) and President (2008-2010) of the Metabolomics Society; 2013 Lifetime Honorary Fellow of the Metabolomics Society; Co-founding Member of the International Advisory Committee for Plant Metabolomics; Principal investigator of a new Plant, Algae, and Microbial Metabolomics Research Coordination Network (PAMM-NET), Adjunct Professor at Oklahoma State University Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; and a 2007 Distinguished Alumni of Cameron University. Dr. Sumner has served as a Managing Editor for Plant Physiology, Front Pages Co-Editor and Editorial Board member for the journal Metabolomics, Associate Editor of Frontiers in Plant Metabolism and Chemical Diversity, and review Editor for several plant and metabolomics related Frontiers journals.
Statement of Purpose: It is my goal to further promote, enable, and advance the utility of metabolomics within a continually growing number of scientific disciplines and to advance the organization of national chapters. I also seek to build international teams that will join forces to conquer many of the grand challenges that still impede the full scientific promise of metabolomics. I bring substantial organizational, fiscal and scientific leadership experience. I have a long history of service within the Metabolomics Society as a former Treasurer (2010-2012), former President (2008-2010), and 2013 Lifetime Honorary Fellow of the Metabolomics Society. I believe that a unified metabolomics community has strength and potential to advance the science of metabolomics in a much more cooperative and efficient manner.
National Univ of Singapore (Singapore)
Biography: Prof. Swarup combines metabolomics with diverse approaches to understand plant and microbially-driven processes in the environment. He is among the pioneers to have integrated genetics and metabolomics approaches to describe how rhizobacteria utilize plant phenolics in the rhizosphere to gain ecological advantage and introduced "rhizosphere metabolomics" (2002, 2003). His team was among the first to develop a gene and metabolites ontology-based text mining tool for plants in 2005. They continue to publish papers in this field, with recent contributions being the description of a novel chemical arms race in the rice blast disease using metabolomics approaches (Patkar et al 2015 Nat Chem Bio) and a regulatory mechanism that explains how metabolites diversity is generated in innate immunity in plants (Rai et al 2016 Plant Physiol). With an interest to understand microbiome processes, Prof Swarup's team has been integrating nextgen sequencing and metabolomics approaches to study the functioning of complex open environments such as urban surface water systems (Saxena et al 2015 Environ Sci & Tech) and microbially-induced CO2 emissions from tropical peatlands (Mishra et al 2014 Biogeosciences).
Prof. Swarup holds PhD degrees in Genetics and in Plant Pathology from India and USA, respectively, with Postdoctoral experience at the Waksman Institute, USA and visiting scientist position at the Lawrence Berkeley National Labs USA. He is currently an Associate Professor at the National University of Singapore and holds additional responsibilities as the Deputy Director, NUS Environmental Research Institute and Deputy Research Director at the Singapore Centre for Environmental Life Sciences Engineering. Prof. Swarup has more than 60 publications in leading international journals and book chapters and invited talks to his credit. He has been associated with the setting-up of two Research Centres of Excellence in Singapore and has managed interdisciplinary programs and PI projects worth nearly US $12 million in the past 10 years.
Statement of Purpose: Prof. Swarup proposes to leverage on his experience in metabolomics and his base in Singapore to reach out to our research community in South and Southeast Asia. Singapore is a convenient and an ideal location for this purpose. Prof. Swarup is familiar with many of the leading metabolomics teams and with the developments in this field in the region due to his extensive interactions and collaborations. He has helped promote metabolomics research in the region among user-base of some industry leaders, which will allow him to leverage on these associations to promote planned events. Singapore is a base for some of these industry leaders that manufacture mass spectrometers, which can provide local support. The state-of-the-art facilities for metabolomics already exist in several locations in Singapore, of which he is a part and that can serve as hosts for workshop-style events. Major emphasis of his plans will be on facilitating familiarization of regional researchers with international benchmarks and good practices through short courses or workshops. For this purpose, Prof. Swarup will utilise his past experience in promoting exchange of researchers from Europe for metabolomics events in Singapore. In 2014, he had organised a Merlion Metabolomics Workshop Singapore with support from several agencies including some support from the Metabolomics Society that had brought leading experts from France and UK together with researchers from South and Southeast Asia and Australia. Prof. Swarup has also been organising an International Summer Course in Singapore on microbial biofilms for the past 6 years. Overall, he has both plans and capability to promote metabolomics knowledge and skillsets for the research community in the region.
Glasgow Polyomics (Scotland)
Biography: Justin conducted his thesis at Wageningen University, The Netherlands, where he developed his interests in systematic metabolite identification and annotation, and his fascination for the unravelling of complex biological extracts. He developed workflows for the structural elucidation of plant and plant-derived metabolites using high resolution mass spectrometry (MS) and NMR. The polyphenol content of tomatoes and tea was examined using in-depth MS fragmentation approaches. Additionally, to obtain precise identifications of positional isomers, something which is not possible based on MS only, a combinatory approach of MS and NMR was developed and used to fully elucidate numerous small molecules. After finalizing his thesis, he was junior researcher at Plant Research International before moving to the group of Prof. Alan Crozier at the University of Glasgow, where he worked on the bioavailability of epicatechin, an abundant flavonoid in green tea, red wine, and chocolate, in humans and rats.
Justin then moved to his current post at Glasgow Polyomics to pursue his work on metabolite annotation based on different MS fragmentation approaches. He got an ISSF Wellcome Trust Fellowship awarded to enhance biomarker identification by systematic annotation and identification strategies using MS gas-phase fragmentation experiments. His most recent first-author paper on the screening of urinary antihypertensive drug metabolites is a direct result of this fellowship. He collaborates with Computing Science in Glasgow to enhance the annotation power of untargeted metabolomics and enable novel ways to explore mass spectrometry fragmentation data sets. Furthermore, Justin has organized Scientific Meetings for Glasgow Polyomics and he is actively involved in their public outreach activities.
All his publications can be found here: https://scholar.google.co.uk/citations?user=zv9seLwAAAAJ&hl=en
Statement of Purpose: As member of the Metabolomics Society, Justin attended quite a few Metabolomics Society International meetings and presented his work on metabolite annotation and identification orally or as a poster. Justin is a founding member of the Early-career Members Network (EMN) committee and worked with his fellow committee members to create the currently vibrant committee that organizes the EMN workshops and reception during the Metabolomics Society meetings as well as the monthly EMN webinars. He attended nearly all teleconferences of the EMN up-to-date. Currently, he is chair of the committee and he was responsible for the activities in Dublin (www.metabolomics2016.org) and the organization of the recent EMN webinars. As EMN committee chair, Justin also contributes to the Metabolomics Society Board discussions and is an active member of the Strategy Task Group and the Metabolite Identification Task Group.
Using his previous experience as EMN committee chair and member, if elected as a Director in the Board, Justin would like to focus his contributions to communication and a 10-year vision. He believes that he can work on proposals on those two topics and other important items as the new Society journal by i) active participation in board meetings, and ii) together with the Board, creation of a clear plan of action ranging from initial brainstorming to the implementation phase of any proposal so that from the start it is clear what the expected input from those involved is and what the planned timeline will be.
Both communication and the 10-year vision are further explained below:
- Communication, both internally and externally:
To build a vibrant Metabolomics Society, it is key to have good website, social media, forum, and email policies in place that allow the members and the Board to express themselves and create a collaborative community that supports our members where needed. Also, effective communication lines of the different Task Groups, including the EMN committee, with each other and the Board are important to align their strategies. Justin thinks pragmatic solutions can be found to minimize internal (within the Board/Task Groups) email traffic and maximize external (to all the members) email and social media traffic by implementing clear communication lines.
- 10-year vision:
To create a community-driven Society that supports itself, a first step is to identify the reasons why scientists become member of the Society and then stay member of the Society and why members come to the International Metabolomics Society meeting. Then, we can think of ways to accommodate those reasons to ensure that the members stay: for example, if networking opportunities are important for our members, we could consider including dedicated networking sessions in the International Metabolomics conference.
Karolinska Institute (Sweden)
Biography: Craig E. Wheelock is an Associate Professor in the Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics at the Karolinska Institute, Sweden, where he serves as director of the Integrative Molecular Phenotyping Laboratory (www.metabolomics.se). He is also a visiting professor at the Gunma Institute for Advanced Research (GIAR), Japan, where he leads the Karolinska International Open Laboratory in metabolomics. Following post-doctoral work on lipid mediators at the University of California Davis, he conducted additional post-doctoral studies at the KEGG laboratory in Kyoto University, Japan. In 2006, he was awarded a Marie Curie Fellowship to relocate to the Karolinska Institute, where he founded the Integrative Molecular Phenotyping Laboratory. Research in his group focuses on elucidating mechanisms in respiratory disease, with an emphasis on the relationship between childhood environmental exposure and disease onset. In recent years, efforts in his group has moved into the challenges of data analysis and the laboratory has worked extensively on applying multivariate modeling to integrate and investigate ‘omics-based data structures. He is a member of the European Respiratory Society (ERS) Science Event Working Group and a consultant on the NIEHS funded Children's Health Exposure Analysis Resource (CHEAR) project at Mount Sinai, New York. When not balancing his time between Sweden and Japan, he enjoys teaching his kids to kayak and play nicely with others.
Statement of Purpose: The continuing advancement of metabolomics is exciting to watch. The last two Society conferences had the highest attendances to date. It is clearly an era of expansion and excitement within the field. It is therefore important to seize upon this momentum and further push the science of metabolomics. Metabolomics should be viewed as a vital component of precision medicine as well as an invaluable tool for understanding processes ranging from the effects of environmental exposures, the association of diet and lifestyle with metabolism and health, and the role of microbiome in health, to providing insight into agricultural, process chemistry, and food science. One of the strengths and challenges of metabolomics is the diversity of its application. The Society has to serve all of these interests equally well – and unite in our desire to understand the role of metabolites in understanding biochemistry. The utility of metabolomics is tempered by a number of challenges in the field, including, the accuracy of metabolite IDs, reproducibility, quantification, and batch effects, as well as the often slow speed of a metabolomics experiment. The field would benefit from increased standardization of methods and protocols, especially metabolite identification and data reporting requirements. The Society can play an important role in harmonizing what it means to perform a metabolomics experiment. As a member of the Board, I would advocate for study groups and potentially associated position papers on standardization protocols. These efforts should be undertaken jointly between academic, industrial and governmental partners and stakeholders. There is also a strong need for the Society to have a dedicated journal. One of the strong points of the Society is the Early Members Network (EMN). I would like to see the efforts of this group further supported to ensure that the Society reaches out to its junior members to provide career support. The future of metabolomics looks very bright, and now is the time for the Society to further push the role of metabolomics in science.