September 15, 2020
Staff Accomplishment

Twelve PNNL Researchers Present at Virtual Metabolomics Conference

Their presentations include a plenary talk, keynote talks, oral presentations, posters, and a lightning talk

orange spheres connected to blue spheres like a molecule

Egorov Artem | Shutterstock

Twelve researchers from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) presented at the 2020 Metabolomics Association of North America virtual conference in mid-September. Their presentations included a plenary talk, keynote talks, oral presentations, posters, and a lightning talk. 

Metabolomics as a scientific discipline seeks to systematically identify and quantify small molecules produced in biological systems. Researchers measure hundreds to thousands of these molecules, called metabolites, in systems ranging from cells and tissues to complex microbiomes. Patterns of metabolites reveal the biochemical activity and metabolic state of a system; these patterns can be used in part as biomarkers for how a biological system is working.

On September 14, biomedical scientist Amy Sims presented the conference’s opening plenary talk on “Systems biology approaches to elucidate the human host responses to coronaviruses.”

Later that day, post-bachelors research associate Monee McGrady gave a keynote talk, titled “AI for Chemical Space Exploration and Novel Compound Generation,” for a session on computational approaches.

Other PNNL researchers who gave oral presentations include:

  • Data scientist Sean Colby, “DEIMoS: an open-source tool for processing high-dimensional mass spectrometry data;”
  • Biomedical scientist Sneha Couvillion, “Leveraging the soil lipidome to elucidate microbial community response to shifting environmental conditions;”
  • Chemist John Cort, “The Natural Products Magnetic Resonance Database (NP-MRD);”
  • Data scientist Lisa Bramer, “Retention Index and Spectral Similarity Variation in GC-MS Measurements;”
  • Microbial ecologist Janet Jansson gave a keynote talk during the Microbe Interactive Forum; and
  • Post-bachelors research associate Felicity Nielson gave a lightning talk on her poster "Exploring conformer selection for accurate in silico chemical property prediction." Her poster was ultimately one of ten chosen as best from among all conference presenters. 

Biomedical scientist Tom Metz serves on the association’s board of directors.

Published: September 15, 2020