2018 Board of Directors Election
All members of the Metabolomics Society are welcomed and encouraged to participate in the 2018 Board of Directors election. Voting is open now through August 31, 2018 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 this information before placing your votes.
Standing for a second term:
- Jules Griffin – current President
- Krista Zanetti – current Secretary
- Nichole Reisdorph – current Treasurer
- Oliver Jones
- Christoph Junot
- Justin van der Hooft
- Craig Wheelock
- Stephen Barnes
- Dinesh Barupal
- Mohamed Bedair
- Charmion Cruickshank-Quinn
- Caroline H. Johnson
- Jessica Lasky-Su
- Matthew Lewis
- Robert Powers
- Dan Raftery
- Fidele Tugizimana
- Vidya Velagapudi
- Ralf Weber
- Guowang Xu
How to Vote:
Each member has eleven (11) votes. You will need to enter your member email address to begin voting.
University of Cambridge (UK)
Biography: Jules Griffin received his doctorate (a DPhil) from the Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford, where he studied metabolism using stable isotope approaches in the Radda group. He then took up a Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital Fellowship in Radiology using magnetic resonance spectroscopy to follow cardiac metabolism with Doug Lewandowski. In 1999 he returned to the UK to take up a research associate position at Imperial College London, supervised by Prof. Jeremy Nicholson to develop NMR based approaches for the new field of Metabonomics. He was awarded a Royal Society University Fellowship which in 2003 he transferred to the University of Cambridge to start his own research group. His programme of research focuses on the development of metabolomics and lipidomics tools to investigate aspects of the Metabolic Syndrome. In particular his group has an interest in identifying biomarkers that stratify patients according to risk factor of the Metabolic Syndrome and understand the associated underlying mechanisms. In 2016 he was made Professor of Metabolism and Nutrition at the University of Cambridge. He is also the current President of the Metabolomics Society and a director of the Metabolic Profiling Forum.
Statement of Purpose: If re-elected to the board of the Metabolomics Society I would like to continue our work of expanding the Metabolomics Society across the globe. While we now have good coverage across North America and much of Europe we still attract a relatively small number of scientists from Africa and South America to our international meetings. In addition, representation across Asia is still rather ‘patchy.’ I feel that reaching out to new networks to help the field grow should remain a priority for the Society, particularly in geographical areas where Society membership is poorly represented. In addition, we need to develop our relationships with our affiliate organisations so we can advance the field in partnership. To do this we need to develop a framework of support for networks to support those new organisations as well as helping already established networks flourish. I also will continue our efforts to make the Society more accountable to its membership through things like the Townhall meetings and Metabonews so we all feel like it’s our Society.
National Cancer Institute (USA)
Biography: Krista Zanetti is the current Secretary of the Metabolomics Society and a Program Officer in the Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program (EGRP), Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dr. Zanetti earned her Ph.D. in Nutrition from Cornell University in 2003 and subsequently joined the Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program at the NCI. During the first year of her fellowship, she earned an M.P.H. at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Zanetti then conducted primary research in the Laboratory of Human Carcinogenesis in the NCI’s Center for Cancer Research from 2004 to 2010.
Since joining EGRP in 2010, Dr. Zanetti’s primary focus has been building infrastructure and capacity to support metabolomics in large population-based studies. She is the NCI co-coordinator of the stage II NIH Common Fund Metabolomics Program and the Chair of the NIH Metabolomics Scientific Interest Group. Her activities also include collaborative efforts that established the trans-NIH international Consortium of Metabolomics Studies (COMETS) and the Metabolomics Quality Assurance and Quality Control Consortium (mQACC). COMETS has more than 50 prospective cohorts working together to leverage existing resources and data. mQACC was established to develop a collaborative effort among relevant stakeholders in academic, industry and government institutions to address key quality assurance and quality control issues in untargeted metabolomics.
Statement of Purpose: The field of metabolomics continues to broaden its application to ever larger human studies. Therefore, I use my expertise in epidemiology to advance the use of metabolomics in large population-based studies. I am particularly interested in tackling challenges related to big data (harmonization, standardization, integration, and sharing of data), as well as ensuring quality in biospecimen collection and storage. To address these issues, I have worked closely with my colleagues to establish both COMETS and mQACC, so that key stakeholders can work collaboratively across the Metabolomics Society, academia, industry, and government to advance the field more rapidly. If elected, I will continue to engage population-based researchers and clinical scientists to further broaden the reach of the Metabolomics Society.
In addition to serving as Secretary of the Society and being on several Society committees, I am the Chair of the Society Strategy Task Group, which developed and administered the Membership Survey. Using data from this survey, I will work with the Society Strategy Task Group and Board of Directors to establish and implement a strategic plan for the Metabolomics Society. Having an official plan will help guide the Society forward through this evolving period while sharing the Society’s goals with the entire membership.
In addition to the activities associated with the strategic plan, I will continue to promote transparency of Board of Director activities in the coming term. I will build on initiatives undertaken by the current Officers, such as providing monthly updates from the President in MetaboNews and initiating a Town Hall Meeting at Metabolomics 2018.
Finally, as an adviser to the Early-Career Member Network (EMN) since 2014, I appreciate the critical importance of mentoring young investigators in the field. If elected, I will continue to work with the EMN to develop effective strategies to train the next generation of metabolomics investigators.
Given my current Board experience, institutional knowledge, and scientific expertise, I am well-poised to further advance these four key goals and am enthusiastic to do so.
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus (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 was developed by Dr. Reisdorph in 2004, has garnered local and federal funding, and has supported over 450 participants.
Statement of Purpose: I feel that I have already benefitted the Society during my first two-year term on the Metabolomics Society Board of Directors and would like to continue to serve our community for another two years. In addition to serving as Society Treasurer, I have contributed to a number of endeavors with my fellow BOD members including partnering with a journal, serving on the organizing committees for the 2018 and 2019 meetings, revising bylaws, and starting a new Training Committee. If re-elected, I hope to use my experience in training and workshop organization to further support the educational mission of the Society. 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.
RMIT University (Australia)
Biography: I am an associate professor of analytical chemistry based at RMIT University in Melbourne Australia. I obtained my MSc (2001) and PhD (2005) from Imperial College London and then held a postdoctoral fellowship in metabolomics at the University of Cambridge until 2009. I then worked as a lecturer at the University of Durham before moving to RMIT in 2012.
My group conducts research in chromatography and NMR, for a range of applications, predominantly metabolomics and the trace analysis of environmental pollutants. I also conduct some research in education and recently developed a free, mobile app called “Chirality-2” to help teach Chemistry. I have 86 peer-reviewed publications, with 3880 total citations and an h-index of 27.
I can bring a large amount of leadership experience to the role of director. At RMIT I am Deputy Director of both the Water: Effective Technologies & Tools Research Centre and the Centre for Environmental Sustainability and Remediation. Outside the university I serve on a number of committees including the Australian Academy of Science National Committee for Chemistry (2015-date). I am also 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) and secretary and board member of the Australian and New Zealand Society for Magnetic Resonance.
I have served as a board member of the Metabolomics Society for the last two years so I know how the society and board functions and I am keen to stay involved.
Statement of Purpose: I have been involved in metabolomics for over twelve years. I would like to continue to serve as a director to a) give something back to the society and b) finish what I have started during my first term. I have a large amount of experience in organisation though my roles in various other societies and academic management at RMIT, as well as two years of experience on the Metabolomics Society board that I can use to help me accomplish these goals.
In my first term as a board member I have been working on creating two, new official society awards for early and mid-career researchers. We plan to launch this scheme in early 2019 and my first aim if re-elected will be to see this scheme through. I would also like to get more educational resources onto the Metabolomics Society website and work towards the creation of a Metabolomics textbook. I would also look to build more links between the society and industry to help drive the field forward.
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 Fudamental Research Division of CEA, where he develops mass spectrometry based analytical methodologies for metabolome analysis in the fields of medicine and microbiology. After having being appointed as head of Laboratory and head of unit, he is now head of the Drugs and Technologies for Health Department since February 2017. Christophe is also the deputy coordinator of the French infrastructure for metabolomics and fluxomics (MetaboHUB), and in charge of the coordination of analytical chemistry developments in this infrastructure. He is part of the board of directors of the Metabolomics Society since 2016 and he is involved in the two scientific task groups of the society: Metabolite Identification and Model Organism Metabolomes.
Statement of Purpose: These two last years, as a member of the board of directors, I have been proud and happy to contribute to decision making and to the promotion of the Metabolomics Society. Since last year, I chair the training committee, which is a new committee coming from the splitting of the conference and training committee. I have also been involved in the organization of the Metabolomics 2018 conference by being part of the international scientific committee.
By running for a second term on the board of directors of the Metabolomics Society, I would like to foster the development of the training committee and promote the role of the society in this important field, in complementarity to actions carried out by the EMN. I would also like to act as a conduit between the French speaking metabolomics and fluxomics network and the Metabolomics Society.
Wageningen University & Research (WUR) (The Netherlands)
Biography: After his BSc and MSc in 'Molecular Sciences' in Wageningen, The Netherlands, Justin also did his PhD in Systematic Metabolite Identification and Annotation at the WUR. His PhD resulted in papers in metabolomics-oriented peer-reviewed scientific journals like Analytical Chemistry and Metabolomics.
He continued his academic career in Scotland to work with Dr Karl Burgess and Prof. Mike Barrett and different partners from Glasgow Polyomics like bacteriologist Prof. David Smith. Justin obtained an ISSF Fellowship from the Wellcome Trust to work on method development and implementation of fragmentation approaches to enhance the metabolite annotation capacities of the high-resolution LC-MS systems focusing on small polar metabolites in urine, beer, and bacterial extracts. The fellowship resulted in three first-author papers, of which one describes the implementation of Molecular Networking (http://gnps.ucsd.edu/) to perform drug and drug metabolite screening in urine extracts.
In collaboration with Dr Simon Rogers (Computing Science, University of Glasgow, UK), Justin published a PNAS paper where topic modelling – often used in text-mining – is used for unsupervised substructure exploration in metabolomics data sets using a newly developed software tool MS2LDA. Justin focused on metabolomics projects where he could exploit the information-rich fragmentation data that modern mass spectrometers generate and alleviate the bottleneck of metabolite annotation and identification in untargeted metabolomics approaches.
He moved back to Wageningen to take up a shared Postdoc position between WUR and the group of Prof. Pieter Dorrestein at the UCSD, USA. Recently, he started a postdoc on an awarded grant from the eScience Center and NWO that is focusing on how to combine workflows developed for genome and metabolome mining to aid in functional annotations of genes and structural annotations of metabolites.
Justin has been an active member of the Metabolomics Society for many years now. He was part of the founding Early-Careers Members Network (EMN) committee and chaired the committee in the lead-up to Metabolomics2016 in Dublin. Two years ago, Justin joined the Board of Directors. He is part of the Strategy Task Group and the Metabolite Identification Task Group – something which is close to his heart.
Statement of Purpose: After several years of active involvement in diverse part of the Metabolomics Society, with the last two years as part of the Board of Directors, I am motivated to use that experience to serve the members even better for the next two years. First of all, I would like to keep the Early-Career Members Network engaged; it was fantastic to see their involvement in the Metabolomics2018 meeting in Seattle, USA. Then, considering the increasing number of metabolomics projects being performed these days, I would like to ensure our online presence and visibility reaches across the globe: one of tasks of the Society is to teach metabolomics and it is important to share good metabolomics practices around the globe to ensure study quality. I am looking forward to start the announced journal partnership and already have an active collaboration with the journal ongoing as a guest editor for a special issue. In terms of Task Groups, I will continue to sit in the Strategy Task Group to work on translating the enquiry results into policy for the years to come. Out of the more science related task groups, the metabolite identification TG remains close to my heart; and I will join the computational metabolomics TG moving into that research area myself now. Lastly, I will form a connection to the growing Metabolomics community in The Netherlands, and to Wageningen in particular. With the Metabolomics2019 meeting coming to The Hague, I look forward to serve the Metabolomics Society for another term, if awarded, and hope to see many of you in 2019 in The Netherlands!
Karolinska Institute (Sweden)
Biography: Craig 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 molecular sub-phenotyping of respiratory disease, with an emphasis on the relationship between childhood environmental exposure and disease onset. A particular area of interest in the group is investigating the role of eicosanoids and other lipid mediators in disease. 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. 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. 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.
University of Alabama at Birmingham (USA)
Biography: I am a Distinguished Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) with a long career experience in metabolomics that began with radio-GC and data digitization while a graduate student in Sir Ernst Chain’s laboratory in the Department of Biochemistry at Imperial College. My funded research has been based on the biochemistry, chemistry and physiology of bile acids, as well as isoflavones and other diet-delivered polyphenols. I've applied high field NMR to study bile acids and bile acid-metal ion complexes and LC-ESI-MS for the analysis of bile acids, lipids, polyphenols, drugs and their metabolites, leading to publication of over 300 articles in peer-reviewed journals. In the past five years through a NIH-funded workshop, I have trained 194 graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and early career faculty in the fundamentals of metabolomics. I'm interested in improvements of separation science in the gas and liquid phases and the use of spectroscopic techniques to examine the metabolome in living tissues. In addition, I want to promote research on software that more efficiently and accurately describes the metabolome and, for tissues, where it is distributed.
Statement of Purpose: I’d like to serve, if elected, on the Conference and Training Committee. I also strongly support development of software, so that high quality metabolomics data are generated and exchangeable between investigators. At the same time, to make metabolomics realize its full potential, I’d like to serve on the Personalized Medicine and Pharmacometabolomics task force. Overall, in both aspects, there is a need to recognize and implement emerging disruptive technologies and building the Academia-Industry partnerships to do so.
UC Davis (USA)
Biography: Dr Dinesh Barupal is a senior scientist at the Metabolomics Fiehn Lab and the Program Co-ordinator for the NIH-west coast metabolomics center. He has completed his Master in Biotechnology and PhD in metabolomics from the University of Rajasthan, India. During his PhD, he has spent three years at the Fiehn Lab to obtain education and skills on metabolomics data analysis and interpretation. After finishing a postdoctoral training in 2012, he joined the International Agency for Research on Cancer, World Health Organization in Lyon France. In 2015 he joined the West Coast Metabolomics Center as a Program coordinator. He is inventor of MetaMapp network mapping and ChemRICH enrichment tools for a comprehensive analysis for metabolomics datasets. His research focuses on using metabolomics and other omics to understand the roles of genetics and exposome factors in causation and progression of chronic diseases included cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and cardiovascular diseases. His ongoing research projects are in the field of metabolic epidemiology, computational metabolomics, chemical text mining, blood exposome and metabolic bioinformatics. He is actively engaged in building next generation computational tools for metabolomics data generation, standardization, analysis, integration and interpretation using R, elasticsearch, biomedical literature and biological and toxicological databases. He has published thirty papers and presented his works in several conferences organized American Society of Mass Spectrometry, American chemical society, World Cancer Congress, Alzheimer's Association International Conference and the Metabolomics Society.
Statement of Purpose: As a member of the board of directors of the Metabolomics Society, I will have following goals. A) To improve the metabolomics training especially online for beginners. B) To contribute in the metabolomics data standardization and sharing for large studies C) To foster collaborations between metabolomics experts and biologists. D) To provide online resources for the biological interpretation of metabolomics datasets. E) To streamline the multi-omics integration and analysis for the precision medicine.
Monsanto Co. soon to be Bayer (USA)
Biography: Dr. Bedair gained his PhD in analytical chemistry from Oklahoma State University in 2004 developing electrochromatography columns. After a 2 years post doc in Queens University in Canada working on microfluidics, he joined Dr Sumner's lab in the Noble Foundation, where he studied plant metabolomics for 5 years. He joined Monsanto R&D analytical team in 2011 where targeted and untargeted metabolomics are utilized for biochemical phenotyping of plants and discovering gene mode of action. He recently moved to the Regulatory department assessing the safety of GMO crops.
Statement of Purpose: My goal as a board member is to communicate the voice of plant biotech industries to the metabolomics society and contribute to activities that will ultimately grow our metabolomics community within the biotech sector.
Agilent Technologies (USA)
Biography: Charmion Cruickshank-Quinn is from the Eastern Caribbean island of Dominica. She is an enthusiastic scientist whose research has utilized LCMS-based metabolomics. Charmion has been a member of the Metabolomics Society for six years, an active member for the past two years where she was on the EMN Committee from 2016-2017, and currently serves as EMN Committee Chair for 2017-2018.
She received her BS in Chemistry from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Albany and her PhD in Chemistry from SUNY Buffalo. As part of her doctoral project, she performed method development for profiling biological samples to determine markers of oxidative stress and autism. Charmion then pursued a Postdoctoral fellowship at National Jewish Health followed by a position as Instructor at the University of Colorado Denver|Anschutz. She performed targeted and untargeted LCMS-based metabolomics for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease projects. She also worked towards understanding the biological effects of cigarette smoking on a healthy metabolome using an emphysema mouse model, and determined parallels between mouse and human data for translation studies. She took a systems biology approach toward integrating functional genomics and metabolomics data. Charmion recently accepted a position with Agilent Technologies as an Applications Scientist where she consults with clients nationwide on their mass spectrometry-based projects.
She is excited to be a part of the Metabolomics Society and enthusiastic about helping its members.
Statement of Purpose: As a part of the Metabolomics Society, it is prudent that we represent all sectors of Metabolomics research as this will encourage collaboration, networking, and build a stronger force within the community. It is vital that we understand the needs of all our members including the early-career members. As a Director on the Board, my goals will be to increase the visibility of the Metabolomics Society to a wider scientific audience, increase its worldwide reach, and form new collaborations and Affiliations from around the globe. I will also build a strong relationship between the Society, industry and other scientific sectors as a means to provide additional opportunities to its members.
Yale School of Public Health (USA)
Biography: Dr. Caroline Johnson is an Assistant Professor of Epidemiology and Metabolomics in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at Yale School of Public Health (YSPH). In 2009, she graduated from Imperial College London with a PhD in Analytical Chemistry under the mentorship of Profs. Jeremy Nicholson, John Lindon and Ian Wilson, where she studied the role of reactive drug metabolites in relation to toxicity. She then held a postdoctoral appointment at the National Cancer Institute, NIH, in Dr. Frank Gonzalez’s lab and examined the biological effects of ionizing radiation and dietary exposures on human health using metabolomics. From 2012-2016 she directed the cancer metabolism efforts at the Scripps Research Center for Metabolomics with Prof. Gary Siuzdak’s lab where she was involved in the optimization of XCMS Online and METLIN technologies.
Since joining YSPH in 2016, her lab’s primary focus has been to develop metabolomics for epidemiologic and population-level analysis. The lab is also using mass spectrometry imaging approaches to better understand tissue metabolite heterogeneity and the link between metabolites and cellular pathology. The lab is currently investigating the relationship between genetic and environmental influences in women with colon cancer, and the examination of early-life exposures in pregnancy outcomes. Dr. Johnson also serves on the editorial boards for Metabolites, Toxicological Sciences and Frontiers in Immunology and Nutrition.
Statement of Purpose: My interest in becoming a member of the Metabolomics Society Board of Directors is to contribute to the continued development and expansion of metabolomics within the Metabolomics Society. The Society has played a key role in tackling some of the key challenges in metabolomics through their task group and committee initiatives, and my goal is to help support these with knowledge gained in the field over the past 10 years. Within my research laboratory team, our interests are in optimizing metabolomics for epidemiologic studies, clinical medicine, and exposomics, which are growing areas of importance for metabolomics and potential areas of focus and promotion for the Society.
In addition to my research experience, I have been involved in the organization and chairing of multiple conferences, as well as training YSPH students and staff in metabolomics. As a recently academic faculty hire and intended goal as Board Director, I would also like to offer guidance and support to metabolomics scientists and Society members who wish to follow an academic career path, and help promote the science of early-career members in this field.
Brigham and Women's Hospital (USA)
Biography: Dr. Lasky-Su is an Associate Professor in Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. She earned her doctoral degree in Genetic Epidemiology from Harvard School of Public Health and has spent the last 19 years focusing on the identification of genetic, genomic, and metabolomic determinants for complex diseases. The accumulation of these efforts has resulted in over 100 peer-reviewed original research manuscripts. Dr. Lasky-Su’s more recent work has focused on analytic and network approaches to integrate metabolomics and other omics data types with the end goal of making strides towards precision medicine. She is currently the principal investigator and co-investigator on many grants focused on the integration of metabolomics and other omics data types for several diseases including asthma, allergies, preeclampsia, macular degeneration, cancer, and several other complex diseases. Dr. Lasky-Su currently serves in leadership capacities in a variety of consortiums, including acting as the chairman of the Consortium of METabolomic Studies (COMETS). Through this consortium, she has worked with other COMETs investigators to facilitate the utilization of metabolomics in large population-based cohorts. Her long-term goals is to continue to promote metabolomics research among the epidemiological community through the establishment of solid statistical approaches, the harmonization of data, and the integration of metabolomics or other omics data.
Statement of Purpose: As a director, my primary goal is to work to better the good of the metabolomics community at large. I will represent the growing community of epidemiologists who are interested in utilizing metabolomic data to study the etiology of complex diseases and work to continue to integrate this research group into the broader metabolomics community, capitalizing on the specific strengths of the various groups within the metabolomics community. I will work to promote the following objectives: 1) The use of metabolomics among the broader epidemiological community with well characterized cohorts and clinical trial data; 2) To educate the metabolomics community on a broad spectrum of analytic and statistical approaches that can be applied to metabolomics data; 3) To foster the growing interest in the accumulation and analysis of multi-omic data in well characterized cohorts; 4) To encourage collaborative relationships that foster better science among the diverse group of researchers within the metabolomics community; 5) To work to harmonize metabolomics across platforms, laboratories, and populations; and 6) To establish publically available metabolomics data. As a director of the metabolomics community, I will listen and work hard to address the evolving needs of the society and its members.
Imperial College London (UK)
Biography: Matthew obtained BS and MS degrees in biochemistry at Colorado State University before teaching in the Biochemistry Department and subsequently working to establish a metabolomics program to address a broad range of needs ranging from agricultural to clinical applications. He was recruited to the Department of Surgery and Cancer at Imperial College London in 2010 to contribute to the development of chromatographic and mass spectrometry capabilities, and has managed exponential growth of the facility since that time. He obtained a PhD in Computational Systems Medicine at ICL and is now the Division’s Director of Metabolic Profiling. As a part of this growth, Matthew worked to establish many of the analytical capabilities of the NIHR-funded Clinical Phenotyping Centre and, following the 2012 London Olympics, designed the infrastructure and operations of the MRC-NIHR National Phenome Centre (NPC). As the Chief Operations Officer for the NPC, Matthew and his team of more than 20 scientists are responsible for the development and execution of analytical strategies as well as the Centre’s portfolio of research collaborations, overseeing them from design to delivery. His analytical research focuses on the development and application of high precision methods for metabolic phenotyping in clinical medicine and population health, as well as the development of metabolite assignment and identification resources and capability. His biological interests are diverse, but with a special emphasis on inborn errors, having founded and successfully led an international consortium for a rare kidney stone disease for over a decade.
Statement of Purpose: As a member of the metabolomics community for more than 10 years, I would greatly appreciate the opportunity to assist the growth and development of its pre-eminent institution, the Metabolomics Society. I am experienced with the requirements and responsibilities of consortium directorship, and value the tenets of collaboration, communication, and cooperation for the greater good of the field in which we work. I am enthusiastic about the group’s efforts towards breaking major bottlenecks in metabolic profiling and pushing the limits of what we in academic science can achieve, with special focus on challenges posed by high precision & large scale analyses, development of novel methods and technologies, and metabolite identification. I am also active in a number of networks and consortia working to collaboratively develop standardized methods, nomenclature, quality control approaches, and materials used for metabolomics, with a strong belief that value to the community must be evident and benefit to a broad range of researchers must precede adoption. These are areas that I would like to promote activity and interest in, if elected. Finally, I am extraordinarily keen on driving educating for the purpose of promoting metabolomics across diverse application areas, ensuring the value of our field is more fully appreciated and efficiently leveraged. I have a wealth of relevant experience in teaching and more recently in e-learning which I believe should form an increasing part of the activity and mission of the Society.
University of Nebraska-Lincoln (USA)
Biography: Dr. Robert Powers is currently a Professor of Chemistry at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), and Director of the Systems Biology and NMR Metabolomics facilities. He has more than 30 years of experience in NMR spectroscopy, structural biology, metabolomics, and drug discovery. Dr. Powers received his BA from Rutgers University in 1984, a Ph.D. in chemistry from Purdue University in 1989 with Dr. David Gorenstein, and was a IRTA postdoctoral fellow at the NIH laboratory of Chemical Physics with Drs. Marius Clore and Angela Gronenborn. Prior to arriving at UNL in 2003, Dr. Powers was an Associate Director for the Protein NMR group at Wyeth for ten years. Dr. Powers is the Editor-in-Chief of Current Metabolomics, an AAAS fellow, and has written over 140 peer-reviewed manuscripts, 5 book chapters, and is an inventor on 9 patents (h-index 44 with 6,777 citations). Dr. Powers research is currently focused in the areas of metabolomics, bioinformatics, and structural biology. He has developed and implemented a wide-variety of NMR- and MS-based methods to monitor changes in the metabolome as a tool for systems biology, drug discovery and disease diagnosis. He has applied his metabolomics techniques a variety of research projects related to cancer, infectious disease, Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease, among many other projects. Dr. Powers has developed software and database tools such as CPASS, MVAPACK, and PCA/PLS-DA utilities; and ligand screening methods such as FAST-NMR, MS-NMR assay, and Multi-Step NMR. Dr. Powers has also contributed to the development of multidimensional NMR techniques for the determination of protein NMR structures and solved one of the first high-resolution protein structures (IL-4) by NMR. To date, he has solved over two dozen protein and protein-ligand structures; and has analyzed the dynamics of a number of protein structures.
Statement of Purpose: The field of metabolomics has experienced exponential growth over the last decade, but in order to maintain this level of growth and the resulting scientific impact; it is key that metabolomics provides reliable and reproducible data. In this regards, as a Director of the Metabolomics society I will expand on current efforts to establish community standards for data depositions, sample preparation, data acquisition and analysis, metabolite identification, and the proper application of statistical methods, among other pressing issues. The Metabolomics Society will also need to work closely with journal publishers to both establish, and importantly, enforce this standards. Similarly, the field of metabolomics needs to evolve from MS-, NMR- or FTIR-focused (among others) to an instrument- independent approach to metabolomics that encourages the combined application of multiple analytical sources. Accordingly, the Metabolomics Society needs to continue to grow beyond its strong presence in the mass spectrometry community and encourage the participation of other metabolomics investigators. As a Director of the Metabolomics Society, I will encourage the active inclusion and participation of a diversity of metabolomics investigators in various activities of the Metabolomics Society.
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. Dr. Raftery received his PhD from Berkeley and was previously Professor of Chemistry in the Analytical Division at Purdue University, where his group started research in metabolomics in 2003. Dr. Raftery’s current research program is focused on the development of new analytical methods and their application to a range of clinical and basic science studies in metabolomics. His group uses advanced mass spectrometry and NMR 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. Dr. Raftery founded and directs the Northwest Metabolomics Research Center at UW Medicine, and works with more than 75 research groups per year on a large variety of metabolomics studies.
Statement of Purpose: While metabolomics has developed rapidly in a broad range of areas with great impact, a number of bottlenecks impede progress and will require improvement, such as data reliability, metabolome coverage, quantitation, and reporting. I believe the Society has an important role in shaping such efforts. As a member of the new mQACC consortium focused on improving the quality of global metabolomics data and developing new reference materials, I believe such efforts will provide society members with information and tools to improve their metabolomics capabilities, studies and results. 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 Society’s efforts in this area. Second, as the chair of this past year’s annual society meeting in Seattle (Metabolomics 2018), I have gained a great deal of experience in developing conference planning and programming, industrial sponsorship, networking opportunities (especially for younger members), and other areas to share with the Metabolomics Society Board. I am committed to help make future meetings even more successful in the years to come.
University of Johannesburg (South Africa)
Biography: Dr. Fidele Tugizimana – is a young scientist originally from Rwanda, and currently a research scientist at the University of Johannesburg and at Omnia Group Ltd., in South Africa (SA). After the completion of a B.Phil. degree in Philosophy (magna cum laude) from the Urbaniana University, Rome in 2004, Dr. Tugizimana enrolled in a B.Sc. Biochemistry-Chemistry degree program at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa in 2006. Dr. Tugizimana acquired his M.Sc. degree in Biochemistry (cum laude) in 2012; and obtained his PhD degree in Biochemistry at the University of Johannesburg in 2017. Dr. Tugizimana has attended different workshops and advanced courses on metabolomics/metabolism including the EMBO metabolomics workshop (Cambridge, UK, 2013) and the metabolic modelling and pathway analysis course (at the Wageningen University, Netherlands, 2014). He has gained extensive experience (skills and knowledge) throughout the metabolomic pipeline from experimental design to advanced analytical platforms (such as GC-MS, LC-MS and NMR) and the downstream data analysis and interpretation. Dr. Tugizimana applies metabolomics approaches (complemented with gene expression analyses) to interrogate cellular biochemistry at global level, particularly in plant-environment interactions. His work has led to several publications in leading peer-reviewed scientific journals and has also been presented at different local and international conferences, including the last four international conferences of the metabolomics society (San Francisco–2015, Dublin–2016, Brisbane–2017 and Seattle–2018).
Dr. Tugizimana was involved in setting up a metabolomics research group and Plant Metabolomics Research Centre at the University of Johannesburg, SA. He is also involved in metabolomics training in SA as an organizer and a trainer: e.g. the SIMCA-based data analysis workshop (2015, with an Imperial college team), annual Metabolomics training workshops (since 2016, with an international team: Drs. Reza Salek, Karl Burgess, Fabien Jourdan, Justin van Hooft, Naomi Rankin and Jos Hageman). Dr. Tugizimana has been involved in establishing the Metabolomics Association of South Africa (MASA), of which he is the chairperson / president, an official international affiliate to the Metabolomics Society since June 2018. Dr. Tugizimana is an active member of the Metabolomics Society: (i) a committee member and secretary of the Early-career members Network (EMN) committee (2016-2017); (ii) a member of the Society Strategy Task group; (iii) the Data Standards Task group and (iv) the International Organizing Committee (IOC) for the Metabolomics Society Conference 2017 and 2019. In addition to being an active member of the Metabolomics Society, Dr. Tugizimana is also a member of other South African scientific societies (including ChromSA, SAAMS and SASBMB). Dr. Tugizimana, together with colleagues Profs Piater and Dubery, is a guest-editor for a special issue “Metabolomics in Agriculture” of the Metabolites, a MDPI journal.
Statement of Purpose: If trusted and elected for a Director position on the BoD of the metabolomics society, I would like to continue serving the Metabolomics Society (and the metabolomics community in general) in ways that promote the growth, use and understanding of metabolomics in different domains across the globe, and particularly in South Africa and in Africa in general, and fostering networking, training, information sharing, mentoring, career opportunities and professional development. Furthermore, I look forward to contribute in the aspects of data quality and data standards initiatives; to fostering metabolomics training in different aspects of the metabolomics workflow: from experimental design to data interpretation. I believe and see science as a collective effort, hence, when elected as a Director, I will enthusiastically promote and strength communication and collaborations between different research groups or individuals, from different multidisciplinary expertise, and from different parts of the globe; suggesting programs or networking platforms for this end.
Institute for Molecular Medicine FIMM, University of Helsinki (Finland)
Biography: Vidya Velagapudi obtained her Bachelors in Bioscience (1999), Masters in Biotechnology (2001), Advanced PG diploma in Bioinformatics (2002), and then joined a Pharmaceutical company as a Research Associate, Proteomics group (2002) in India. Later on she moved to Germany in 2003 for her graduate studies and obtained Ph.D in Applied Biochemistry (Metabolic flux analysis) from the University of Saarland in collaboration with the Max-Planck Institute for Informatics, Saarbrucken. Dr. Velagapudi then moved to VTT Oy, Finland as a Post-doctoral fellow (Systems Biology) in collaboration with University of Cambridge, UK, and continued as a Research Scientist and Project Manager during 2006-2009. In 2010, Dr. Velagapudi had taken up the role as Head of the Metabolomics Unit at Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM). Dr. Velagapudi is also affiliated to University of Helsinki (UH) as an Adjunct Professor (2012-) and Principal Investigator at the Faculty of Medicine (2016-), and Chair of Metabolomics Technology Platforms in Biocenter Finland (national core facility) and Helsinki Institute of Life Sciences HiLIFE (2017-). Dr. Velagapudi has published over 50 scientific articles in international journals and given over 40 invited talks in international scientific events and conferences. Dr. Velagapudi has been acting as a reviewer for international journals and also for funding applications in the field of metabolomics. Dr. Velagapudi has been teaching and organising Metabolomics workshops since 2010, and elected as a steering board member for international Master’s program in Translational Medicine at UH (2017-2020). Dr. Velagapudi was an invited Metabolomics technology expert for an interview (2014) and spotlight article contributor (2016) at MetaboNews Letter, and guest editor for Metabolites Journal (Clinical Metabolomics), and also international panel member to evaluate core facilities at EMBL, Germany (2018).
Statement of Purpose: I am currently heading the Metabolomics/Lipidomics/Fluxomics national core service facility at FIMM, HiLIFE, University of Helsinki, Finland since 2010. I have over 12 years of experience and a strong track record in metabolomics applications in biomedicine filed using systems biology strategies.
As a member, I have been already contributing to the Metabolomics Society. I served as an international organising committee member for the 13th International Conference of the Metabolomics Society, Australia (2017). In addition, I am an active member of the Society’s “Precision Medicine and Pharmacometabolomics task group”, where I have been regularly participating in the group activities since joining. Within this task group, I am also leading a subtask working group focusing on formulating “Biobanking and processing procedures for biological samples for metabolomics research”. We published our White paper in Clinical Chemistry (2018), which attracted a lot of attention, and I also presented during the Precision Medicine workshop at 14th International Conference of the Metabolomics Society, Seattle, USA (2018).
Based on my experience, if elected as a Director, I am willing to contribute to the following additional task group and committee.
Conferences and Training Committee: Organising international conferences, workshops and training is the best way to promote the metabolomics science. This offers a good opportunity for students and early-career stage researchers to learn the latest techniques and developments in the field. I have an extensive experience in teaching and organizing meetings and hands-on workshops, and we are also part of the “European Metabolomics Training Coordination Group” (www.emtrag.eu).
Data Quality task group: In order to generate a high-quality metabolomics dataset, standardized protocols are needed. A collective effort should come from different metabolomics laboratories across the globe to standardize the protocols and to share the metabolite annotations. We have been actively working on promoting good quality control and quality assurance practices, and also inter-laboratory comparisons for improved data sharing.
I believe that I have all the required capabilities and experience to act as a Director of the Metabolomics Society. Hereby, I give my commitment to better serve and promote our community and the Metabolomics Society. Thus, I request you all kindly vote for me. Thanking you.
University of Birmingham (UK)
Biography: Ralf Weber is the Director of Bioinformatics for the Phenome Centre Birmingham at the University of Birmingham (UK). He obtained his BSc degree in Bioinformatics from the HAN University of Applied Sciences in Nijmegen (Netherlands). In 2007 he moved to the University of Birmingham where he completed a PhD in computational mass spectrometry-based metabolomics. He continued to work as a Research Fellow from 2010 – 2016 and was involved in a variety of clinical, toxicology and computational-focused research projects. During spring 2016 he was a visiting researcher at the School of Computer Science and Technology, Harbin Institute of Technology (China). Currently, he is the module lead for the ‘omics’ science component of the MSc Bioinformatics course at the University of Birmingham. He is a co-founder of and trainer in the Birmingham Metabolomics Training Centre since 2015, and a past committee member of the Early-career Members Network of the international Metabolomics Society from 2013 – 2016. His research team’s interests include the development and application of data processing, biostatistics and data mining tools to facilitate biochemical annotation and interpretation of clinical and toxicological metabolomics data.
Statement of Purpose: I have been involved in the metabolomics community for over ten years, and during this period I have experienced how this scientific discipline has become a more mature, vibrant and diverse research field. I have long been committed to developing the science of computational metabolomics as well as helping to grow our community. Serving on the Metabolomics Society’s EMN committee for 3 years (see above) allowed me to work with other fellow committee members to establish a sustainable network and to organize a number of activities including: EMN workshops and receptions during conferences and meetings; the EMN webinar series (still ongoing), and; monthly contributions to MetaboNews. Building on my previous experiences and knowledge of the Metabolomics Society, I would now like the opportunity to actively support the continuing growth of our field, and to promote and advance metabolomics research. Specifically, I would like to focus on three different areas.
Firstly, as a past committee and co-founding member of the Early-career Members Network (EMN) I would like to highlight the importance of this network. Early-career scientists are the future of our field. The EMN committee are doing a fantastic job and continue to be an important driver of growth of our society. During the two years I would like to be a strong supporter of EMN activities and future plans while sitting on the Board of Directors, and help align them with the strategies of the Board.
Secondly, I am a strong supporter of standardisation across the field of metabolomics, from the reporting of experimental data and metadata, through to the use of easily accessible and reproducible computational workflows. All of these are necessary to support the growth of our field and to ensure the transparent dissemination of protocols, experimental data and scientific findings. I would like to further establish and advance the implementation of standards in a collaborative spirit with other national and international developers and communities, international data repositories, and the Data Standards and Computational Mass Spectrometry task groups of the Society. I wholeheartedly encourage our community to engage in these developments and, more broadly, to help further develop and define metabolomics standards.
Finally, despite an increase in face-to-face and online metabolomics-specific training courses, I believe that even more attention can and should be given to the dissemination, development and improvement of current training materials. In order to do this, we need to find means by which to more effectively share our specialist knowledge. The EMN, existing Society task-groups, and the Conferences and Training Committee are all excellent platforms through which to help to achieve this. In particular, I would like to focus on the most important and relevant computational topics within metabolomics, such as data processing, metabolite annotation, statistics and standardisation of workflows.
Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics (China)
Biography: Prof. Dr. Guowang Xu received his Ph.D in Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics (DICP), Chinese Academy of Sciences in Jun., 1991. Now he is the administrative vice-director of Biotechnology Division, director of Metabonomics Research Center and director of CAS Key Laboratory of Separation Science for Analytical Chemistry in DICP.
Prof. Xu has co-written 5 books and published more than 390 peer-reviewed papers in the ‘Web of Science Core Collection’ (WoS) indexed journals including PNAS, Hepatology, Cancer Res., Anal. Chem. etc., and holds more than 50 China patents. He is a member of permanent scientific committee of HPLC. He is also members of editorial board of more than 10 journals including Anal. Chim. Acta, Metabolomics, Metabolites, Anal. Bioanal. Chem. etc.
His main research fields are in the chromatography-related research and the MS-based metabolomics applications in disease biomarker discovery, traditional Chinese medicines and food safety.
Statement of Purpose: 1. Let more laboratories and scientists involve in metabolomics 2. Promote applications of the metabolomics in improving human health 3. Improve the relationship between Chinese sicientists and those from other countries.