2020 Officer Election
Now that the new Directors have been elected, it is time to elect the new Officers: President, Secretary and Treasurer. There was only one accepted nomination for Treasurer, therefore, this position is automatically filled and there will not be a vote for Treasurer.
The Officers Election is open now through September 29, 2020 at 11:59pm USA CST.
This webpage contains a list of nominees as well as biographies and statements of interest regarding serving as an Officer for the next two years. Please take a moment to review these details.
Nominees for Officers:
Nominees for President
Roy Goodacre is Professor of Biological Chemistry in the Department of Biochemistry and Systems Biology within the Institute of Systems, Molecular and Integrative Biology (ISMIB) at the University of Liverpool and director of the Centre for Metabolomics Research. He is the Research and Impact lead for ISMIB and the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences representative on the University’s steering group addressing ‘Research in an Inclusive and Sustainable Environment’. He helped to develop and establish long-term metabolomics which allows fusion of GC-MS and LC-MS data. These approaches have been used by his team and collaborators to profile health populations and investigate the frailty phenotype during the ageing process. In parallel, in order to understand metabolic flux on a single cell level for bacterial community analysis, his group are currently developing high spatial resolution photothermal infrared and Raman-based imaging methods. Roy has mentored 29 PostDocs, and graduated 52 PhD and 9 Masters students. His group currently comprises 3 PDRAs, 1 Fellow and 5 PhD students. He has published a substantial number of primary papers and reviews in metabolomics (https://goo.gl/B3yWRC), and if you like such metrics, he has published >430 peer-reviewed research articles and has a H-index of 93.
Statement: Roy helped establish the Metabolomics Society in 2005, chaired the Society’s conference in Manchester in 2007, was involved in the Society’s Metabolomics Standards Initiative (MSI) and acted as the chair for the MSI data analysis work group. With a track record in conference, committee organisation and delivering projects on time, he would be immensely honoured to serve the society as its president. Roy believes that diversity and inclusivity are paramount in all organisations and would further embed this within the Metabolomics Society. He would support the further development of ECR training and activities, endeavour to promote metabolomics globally, as well as to encourage regional developments in this exciting field.
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 20 years focusing on the identification of genetic, genomic, and metabolomic determinants for complex diseases. The accumulation of these efforts has resulted in over 150 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) and a scientific advisor to the “Metabolomics Workbench.” Through these efforts, she has worked to facilitate the utilization of metabolomics in large population-based cohorts. Her long-term goals are 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: The field of metabolomics is at an opportune time in history. With the rapid change in metabolomic capabilities over the last decade, the rise of available types of omics data, and an era of Precision Medicine, we are in a unique position that offers the society the unprecedented opportunity to grow and have a broad impact with the influx of scientists with expertise in other research domains. The success of this expansion to a broader definition of the of scientists in the field of metabolomics fundamentally relies on the expertise of analytical biochemists and others experts, who are at the heart of the metabolomics society today, as well as collaborative interactions with researchers entering this field. As the president of the Metabolomics Society and scientist who has bridged this gap between metabolomics and these growing research domains, I will work with the society to continue to promote the cutting-edge research that spans the current areas of society focus while working to promote the expanding domains of metabolomic research. Important aspects in the success requires a president who will listen and be open to all potential opportunities that may be new or out of the norm, while still vetting these ideas among other experts in the society. More than anything, as president I will strive to listen, inquire, seek advice, and make sound decisions with others to better our society as whole, both in breadth and depth. Below I highlight some of the top objectives that I will focus on for the Metabolomics Society throughout my term:
1) Opportunities through the initiation of task force efforts to explore new areas of integrated research efforts.
2) Education of society members, in outside research areas (e.g. multiomics) or current areas of growing research
3) Education of new members with expertise outside of the typical membership of our society into the fundamentals of metabolomic data generation for society experts.
4) Cross-talk opportunities between society members with different areas of expertise to promote understanding across research domains.
5) As the support of the next generation is fundamental to our success, continued support of our early career investigators remains are core part of my vision.
In the current times, there are a few important added notes to highlight. The emergence of COVID-19 has affected many of us as researchers and as a society overall. I will work hard to keep the society active and growing throughout this pandemic, whether virtual or in person. I will also continue to ensure that our society as a whole promotes the equal treatment of all people, regardless of race, gender, or any other potential discriminating factors.
Matej Orešič holds a PhD in biophysics from Cornell University (1999; Ithaca, NY, USA). He is a group leader in systems medicine at the University of Turku (Finland), an associate professor at Örebro University (Sweden), and a guest professor in lipids and nutrition at the Oil Crops Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences in Wuhan. As of 2016, he was made a Lifetime Honorary Fellow of the Metabolomics Society. He previously served as member of the Board of Directors of the Metabolomics Society for two, consecutive terms (2008-2012). Prof. Orešič is one of the founders of the Nordic Metabolomics Society and currently its chair of the board. In 2019, he co-chaired the 1st Gordon Research Conference on ‘Metabolomics and Human Health’ (Ventura, CA, USA). Previously, he also chaired the Keystone Symposium on Systems Biology of Lipid Metabolism (2015; Breckenridge, CO, USA). Prof. Orešič’s main research areas include metabolomics applications in biomedical research and systems medicine. He is particularly interested in the identification of disease processes associated with different metabolic phenotypes and the underlying mechanisms linking these processes with the development of specific disorders or their co-morbidities, with a central focus on both type 1 diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Prof. Orešič also initiated the popular MZmine open source project, which led to the development and release of popular software for metabolomics data processing.
Statement: With its rapid growth over the past decade, metabolomics has become an essential and transformative part of life science and biomedical research, also playing a central role in shaping emerging fields such as the exposome, gut microbiome and systems biology research. At the community level, this growth can be observed as increasing participation in various metabolomics meetings, many new training opportunities for young scientists, the formation of many regional initiatives, as well as through increased efforts in data reproducibility and harmonized reporting. With such a rapid growth, there is concomitant risk of fragmentation of these important, nascent community efforts. In my role as member of the Board, I will particularly emphasize the need for strengthening efforts to realize the core mission of the Metabolomics Society, as being a global hub that supports these various initiatives and facilitates coordination between them when relevant or necessary.
Additionally, the Metabolomics Society, like many other scientific societies, is facing unprecedented challenges due to COVID-19, impacting its finances as well as the way the Society operates. I will work with other members of the Board to find workable solutions to these challenges, which will, in time, also contribute to strengthening of the Society and the metabolomics community overall. Specifically, strengthening the activities of various interest groups of the Metabolomics Society, also in the form of new focused online workshops, may be one way to better engage the metabolomics community. Being current Chair of the Board of the Nordic Metabolomics Society, and previous Board member of the Metabolomics Society (2008-2012), I feel that I can bring valuable leadership to the Board during these challenging times.
Dan Raftery is a Medical Education and Research Endowed Professor at the University of Washington, School of Medicine, and also Professor at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle WA. Dr. Raftery received his PhD from UC 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 was a pioneer in combining NMR and MS based metabolomics data for improved metabolome coverage and biomarker performance. He also has significant experience in biomarker development and validation efforts. Dr. Raftery founded and directs the Northwest Metabolomics Research Center at UW Medicine, and works with more than 60 research groups per year on a large variety of metabolomics studies. He is currently an Associate Editor of Analytical Chemistry, and an editorial board member of Metabolites and Current Metabolomics and Systems Biology.
Statement: My overall mission as President of the Metabolomics Society will be to expand the impact of the Society and the field of metabolomics more broadly. I am committed to strengthening the Society’s efforts in recruiting new members, especially those from underrepresented groups, young scientists, and researchers from regions of the world where metabolomics is rapidly expanding. I am committed to helping the Society develop and conduct successful international meetings even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. And I am committed to ensuring the Society remains in a fiscally healthy state. As the chair of 2018 Society meeting in Seattle, I gained a great deal of experience in developing conference planning and programming, industrial sponsorship, and networking opportunities (especially for younger members). These skills will be very valuable for making future meetings even more successful in the years to come. I will also work on expanding networking and mentorship opportunities inside and outside of the conferences. Finally, given my broad background in analytical chemistry and my role in leading the Northwest Metabolomics Research Center, I have a breadth of experience that will allow me to help the Society’s efforts to reduce technical bottlenecks in metabolomics and thereby expand the usage and reach of the powerful tools of metabolomics. As President, I will continue to advocate the importance of these goals to the rest of the Board and the Society membership to expand the reach and impact of metabolomics to a broad range of scientific disciplines worldwide.
Nominees for Secretary
Dr Schirra is one of the leaders of NMR-based metabolomics in Australia. He studied Chemistry at the Johann-Wolfgang-Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany, and received his PhD in Biochemistry from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich (Switzerland). In 1999, he joined the University of Queensland, where he was awarded a Postdoctoral Fellowship of the Australian Research Council and a prestigious Queensland Smart State Fellowship. In 2009, Dr Schirra became an independent Lecturer in the School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences at UQ, and in 2012 he joined UQ's Centre for Advanced Imaging, where he leads a multidisciplinary research program in Metabolic Systems Biology and administers the Centre’s facility for NMR-based metabolomics.
Dr Schirra uses NMR-based metabolomics to investigate the basic principles of metabolic regulation and the role they play in fundamental biological processes, environmental change, and in the development of disease. His research aims to integrate metabolomics with other –omics methods and metabolic simulations via genome-scale modelling, with a focus on C. elegans. Dr Schirra is one of the leaders of the "WormJam" international research community of C. elegans researchers.
Statement: I have been a board member of the Metabolomics Society since 2017, and during my time in office, I have focussed my activities on the Conference Committee of the Society, first as member and for the past year as its Chair. Thanks to COVID-19, this past year has seen unprecedented upheaval to our conference activities with the cancellation of the 2020 conference in Shanghai, and the effects of the pandemic are also likely to affect conferences in 2021 to an as yet unknown extent. This situation has given us the opportunity to fast-track inventions in our conference model in the form of a pure online conference in October 2020, and I am developing plans for a hybrid conference in 2021 that can serve as a template for any future Society conference, whether in-person or online.
Against this background, the survival of the Society is in a challenging phase where we need to adapt to the “new normal” quickly while at the same time continue to building ties with our members across the globe in adverse circumstances.
As Secretary I would thus focus my energy on the following two initiatives:
1) I would continue to support the conference committee and its Chair in delivering a hybrid conference model for the Society that is flexible and can be adapted to any situation on the spectrum of in-person and pure online conference.
2) In addition, I would like to strive to increase diversity among the members of the Society, and its organs, including task forces and committees and the Board. This includes better representation of gender, geographical distribution, and cultural backgrounds. Part of this will be to foster ties of the Society with colleagues in Asia, Africa, or Latin America to encourage participation in the life of the Society from these regions and foster the growth of metabolomics as a field in these regions. The society can only grow as an entity and survive in these challenging times if it broadens its base and thus becomes both resilient and more representative of the global metabolomics community. Of note is that any online component as part of a hybrid conference model will be an important tool in this endeavour as it will enable the participation of researchers and students in our conferences who might not have the opportunities to travel around the globe to attend a conference in person.
Fabien Jourdan is a senior research scientist at INRAE (the French National Research Institute for Agricultural and Environmental Research) Toulouse, France. He graduated with a PhD in computer science at the University of Montpellier (France) in 2004, working on the premises of social networks, in particular studying their topology. He then shared his time between a software startup company and a research assistant position. In 2005 he was hired by INRAE (Toulouse, France) to develop computational solutions for metabolomics studies (mainly NMR). In 2006 he spent a year as a visiting researchers at the University of Glasgow (Scotland) working with Pr. Michael Barrett on metabolic profiling (HRMS) of Trypanosoma brucei, a parasite and causative agent of sleeping sickness.
Fabien Jourdan has pioneered bioinformatics methods to study Genome-Scale Metabolic Networks using metabolomics (and other omics data, e.g. transcriptome/proteome) to predict impacts on metabolism and phenotype associated with genetic or environmental perturbations. His research team is currently applying these approaches to food toxicology and more broadly in studying the link between metabolism and human health (e.g. in cancer). Since 2009, Fabien Jourdan has led the development of MetExplore open and its open access web server (www.metexplore.fr) which is used by more than 800 users worldwide and maintained and developed by a group of 8 computational biologists. Fabien Jourdan is member of the board of the French National infrastructure for metabolomics and fluxomics, MetaboHub. He was president of the French-speaking Metabolomics and Fluxomics Network (RFMF) from 2015 to 2019. He was elected on the board of the metabolomics society in 2019.
Statement: Metabolomics society has been leading for several years a great collective effort to strengthen metabolomics activities through networking and training. For my first year on the board, it was a great pleasure to be part of the team who put together the first virtual conference with a big effort by the society to keep registration free for members.
Following my experience during this first year on the board and my previous implication as president of RFMF, I would like to stand for a secretary position to go further in my involvement in the organization and development of your society. To my mind, the role of secretary is to facilitate the link between the board and the society members through actions like town hall meeting preparation, organization of elections and award nominations. In addition to that, I would like, if elected to strengthen the role of task groups by facilitating their actions. In fact, tasks groups are important since they are unique setup to gather efforts for collective purposes such as standardization. As a secretary, I would also like to assist structuration of regional initiatives and I hope my experience in coordinating the French-Speaking network would be of benefit for colleagues launching regional structuration. Finally, together with the treasurer, I would like to set up a more flexible and inclusive membership scheme: possibility to be a member for several years and prices indexed on country incomes as it is done in other societies (e.g. International Society for Computational Biology).
In a broader perspective, I wish that society membership becomes an even more beneficial status for all of you so that each member feels that he can be an actor in shaping the future of metabolomics community.
Nominee for Treasurer
Baljit is a trained Ph.D. biochemist with 20 years of mass spectrometry experience and 10 years of marketing expertise. She is currently responsible for the Life Science Research business in the Americas at SCIEX. Her scientific research and business leadership at SCIEX have been instrumental in growing the company’s metabolomics business. This has meant she has a real deep understanding of financial modeling, building market analyses and understanding market drivers and growth areas. Baljit has spearheaded new product development in close collaboration with the marketing, product management, sales, R&D, and applications teams. She has leveraged her scientific expertise in metabolomics to drive product innovation and help shape how scientists globally employ technology in metabolomics and run successful biomarker studies. Prior to SCIEX, Baljit completed her Ph.D. studies at the University of Cambridge where she applied metabolomics to disease biomarker research. She collaborated with GlaxoSmithKline to advance their COPD biomarker panels to the preclinical phase of drug discovery during her studies.
Baljit has served on the EMN, IOC for and ITG for the Metabolomics Society. Baljit also serves on the SOC for MANA and the mQACC Committee. In early March this year, Baljit established Virtual Podium which allowed the promotion of scientific discussion and engagement, digitally, during the COVID19 pandemic.
I have three goals for why I’d like to be selected as the treasurer for the Metabolomic Society:
1. Make sure that the vision for the Society is matched with the budget we have and we are able to deliver on our commitments (financially too!).
2. Keeping administrative costs low as to offer the society members full benefits of their membership
3. Manage the budget effectively to enable the fostering of global and regional relationships through combined events which would grow the society.
How to Vote
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