My programme of research focuses on the development of metabolomics and lipidomics tools to investigate aspects of the Metabolic Syndrome. In particular we have an interest in identifying biomarkers that stratify patients according to risk factor of the Metabolic Syndrome and understand the associated underlying mechanisms. My group has been at the centre of the development of metabolomics/metabonomics as a research tool in biochemistry, and in particular its application to medical diagnostics. Since my fellowship in the Nicholson group at Imperial College London where I contributed to some of the first papers in this field, my group has made regular presentations at the major metabolomics meetings and published key papers in this research area. In particular we have examined the use of metabolomics as a tool for monitoring atherosclerosis [Kirschenlohr et al., Nature Medicine, 2006; Cheng et al., Physiol Genomics, 2010], modelling metabolism changes in cardiac disease [Wang, J Prot Res, in press] and modelling whole body metabolism in aspects of the Metabolic Syndrome [Roberts et al, Genome Biol. 2011; Roberts et al., Diabetes, 2015; Atherton et al., Mol Syst Biol. 2009]. Central to the ethos of the group is a mechanistic understanding of why these metabolic changes occur. We have also developed bioinformatics tools in this area to process multivariate metabolomics data.
I am a director of the Metabolic Profiling Forum and co-organise the Metabomeetings, an international metabolomics meeting held each year in the UK/Europe. I was also a board member and secretary to the Metabolomics Society and a committee member of Small Molecules Are Still Hot (SMASH). I was also a co-chair on the Metabolomics Standards Initiative which aims to define standard reporting structures for metabolomics. I am regularly invited to give talks at National and International meetings, including Keystone meetings, Experimental Biology, the Korean Metabolomics Society, the International Systems Biology Conference, and the Metabolomics Society. I am a member of the editorial board for Genome Medicine, Metabolites and Scientific Reports.