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Your Environment. Your Health.

Metabolic Profiling: Applications to Toxicology & Risk Reduction

An International Conference
May 14 - 15, 2003
Research Triangle Park, NC


The meeting is sponsored by National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), NIH National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), NIH Office of Rare Diseases, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Paradigm Genetics, Inc. and Waters Corporation.


The purpose of this conference is to bring together a multidisciplinary group of research scientists (molecular biologists, analytical chemists, toxicologists, clinicians, nutritional scientists and computational biologists) to define the current state of the science in the emerging area of metabolic profiling and its application to the health sciences.

Specific emphasis will be placed on the application of metabolic profiling to toxicology and risk reduction, with additional emphasis on computational and chemometric approaches to integrate metabolic profiling data in functional genomics and systems level analyses of exposure and disease pathways. The conference will provide a forum for identifying scientific initiatives needed to stimulate metabolic profiling research at academic institutions and to develop partnerships between academia, government and industry.


Metabolites are the end products of cellular regulatory processes, and their levels can be regarded as the ultimate response of biological systems to genetic or environmental agents including chemicals, drugs and nutritional factors. Metabolic profiling involves measuring and interpreting complex, time-related, global changes in metabolites present in biological fluids. The application of metabolic profiling technologies to biological systems is a powerful tool to study gene function in relation to disease (phenotype), predict toxicity of chemicals, drugs and nutritional agents in biological systems, identify markers of exposure and early disease status, and develop screening regimens for animal and human populations at increased risk of disease.

There have been recent advances in the development of high throughput technologies for metabolic profiling of low molecular metabolic products in biological fluids. These technologies represent a breakthrough for toxicological and clinical research because they can easily be applied to routine biological samples such as urine and plasma. Metabolic profiling data can be integrated with genomic and proteomics data, as well as traditional toxicity and clinical measurements, to define complex systems-level responses to environmental and nutritional factors.

At present, the technology represents an important research and diagnostic tool for studying mechanisms of action and identifying surrogate endpoints (markers) for cardiovascular, neurodegenerative, renal and hepatic diseases. Thus, this meeting will define the state of the science and current technologies for common and more rare diseases that inflict these and other biological systems. This approach is the best hope for determining the causes and developing intervention and prevention strategies for many common and rare diseases.

Scientific Sessions:

See Final Agenda (194KB)

The main scientific sessions are:

Application of Metabolic Profiling to Toxicology: pattern recognition-based prediction of toxicity for cardiovascular disease, use of metabolic profiling to identify markers of chemical toxicity in animal and cell systems, linking genotypes with phenotypes using metabolic profiling.

Confirmed Speakers:

  • Don Robertson
    Pfizer Global Research and Development
  • Hector Keun
    Imperial College, University of London
  • Robert Plumb
    Waters Corporation
  • Susan Sumner
    Paradigm Genetics, Inc.

Applications of Metabolic Profiling to Risk Reduction: individual clinical assessment using lipid profiling, expert systems for toxicity screening and disease diagnosis for renal and neurological diseases, assessing nutritional and metabolic status for diabetes.

Confirmed Speakers:

  • Steve Watkins
    Lipomics Technologies
  • Paul W. N. Lee
    UCLA Medical Center
  • Elaine Holmes
    Imperial College, University of London
  • Rima Kaddurah-Daouk
    Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Metabolon, Inc.

Computational and Systems Biology: computational prediction models for functional genomics and toxicology, chemometric modeling, functional genomics and metabolic networks, database and visualization systems, integrating heterogeneous data in systems biology.

Confirmed Speakers:

  • Pedro Mendes
    Virginia Bioinformatics Institute
  • Svante Wold
    Umea University and Umetrics, Sweden
  • David Rocke
    University of California, Davis

Additional Confirmed Speakers and Session Chairs and Panel Participants:

  • Jeremy Nicholson
    Imperial College, University of London
  • Trey Ideker
    Institute for Systems Biology
  • John Connelly
  • Bruce Hammock
    University of California, Davis
  • Bernard Schwetz
    Food and Drug Administration
  • Daniel Baden
    University of North Carolina, Wilmington
  • Kenneth Ramos
    Texas A & M University

Conference Presentations

Application to Toxicology

Application to Risk Reduction

  • Kenneth Ramos, Professor and Chair, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Louisville Health Sciences Center
    Ramos Presentation (280KB)
  • Biochemical Profiling of Lipids – Application to Direct Development and Toxicology
    Steve Watkins, President, Lipomics Technologies, Inc.
    Watkins Presentation (1MB)
  • Developing Risk Reduction Strategies Through Metabolic Profiling
    Paul N-W Lee, Director, Biomedical Mass Spectroscopy Facility & Professor, Dept of Pediatrics, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center
    Lee Presentation (216KB)

Computational and Systems Biology

  • David Rocke, Department of Applied Science, College of Engineering, University of California, Davis
    Rocke Presentation (591KB)
  • Computational Support for Metabonomics: Databases, Analysis and Visualization
    Pedro Mendes, Research Assistant Professor, Virginia Bioinformatics Institute
    Mendes Presentation (971KB)
  • Multivariate Analysis of Metabonomics Data
    Cristopher Ambrozic, Director, Sales & Marketing, North America, Umetrics, Inc.
    Ambrozic Presentation (200KB)
  • Metabolic Profiling: An FDA Perspective James MacGregor, Deputy Director, Washington Operations National Center for Toxicological Research, FDA
    MacGregor Presentation (2MB)
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