SBP’s Lake Nona campus to host metabolomics symposium

| Written by Jessica Moore
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The annual Southeast Center for Integrated Metabolomics (SECIM) symposium will be held at SBP’s Lake Nona Campus next week (May 3-4). SECIM, a collaboration between SBP and the University of Florida, is one of six federally funded centers that provide cutting-edge metabolite fingerprinting capabilities to the research community. Metabolites are small molecules in the body that populate the complex web of metabolic pathways. Metabolomics is a relatively new field that uses sophisticated technologies to detect hundreds to thousands of metabolites in biological samples. A metabolite profile can serve as a signature of health, disease or drug action.

“Metabolomics is a burgeoning field,” said Stephen Gardell, Ph.D., senior director of scientific resources at Lake Nona and co-principal investigator for SECIM. “This special event is an opportunity to showcase SBP’s strength in this area and ignite interest in the use of metabolomics for a host of different research applications.”

The first day of the meeting provides an introduction to the SECIM technology platforms that are currently used to detect metabolites. In addition, emerging technologies that will usher in the next-generation of metabolite profiling approaches will also be described. The keynote address will be given by Rob Gerszten, M.D., of Massachusetts General Hospital, who Gardell calls a “pioneer in the application of metabolomics for discovery of novel disease biomarkers.”

The presentations on the second day provide examples of how the power of metabolomics can be harnessed to advance our knowledge in both biomedical and agricultural sciences. The talks will touch on a wide diversity of topics such as cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, heart failure, gut microbiome, and citrus tree infections.

“This symposium further establishes our position as a center of excellence for metabolomics,” Gardell added. “SECIM is a major player at both producing metabolite profiling data for high-impact research and establishing new technology platforms which will revolutionize metabolite profiling in the future.”

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