Supporting networking and collaborative research among early career scientists and clinicians.

The metabolome of human adipose tissue - Collaboration initiation visit

Konstantinos Manolopoulos, Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research, The University of Birmingham



My aim is to establish contact with a world-leading scientist in metabolomics, Professor Oliver Fiehn, Director of NIH West Coast Metabolomics Center at University California Davis, USA. Professor Fiehn is a pioneer of the metabolomics field, specialising in sample analysis methodology and raw data processing algorithms, and having developed advanced data processing packages that define the metabolomics workflow. Professor Fiehn’s lab and the UC Davis campus provide a world-wide unique co-location of resources for translational metabolomics research, not least through the proximity and departmental links to the USDA Western Human Nutrition Research Centre. By supporting an initiation visit, the Trust will enable me to establish a working relationship with this leading scientist and members of his laboratory, providing the unique opportunity to enhance my own research by including metabolomics analyses in my human in vivo studies.

Specific aims of the proposal are:

-   Visit Professor Fiehn for one week and establish a working relationship

-   (Re-)analyse my own raw data using unique methodologies

-   Present my own research, discuss potential collaborative projects and network with other UC Davis scientists

-   Get specific advice on my upcoming Career Development Fellowship application, that will propose a longer visit and specific project in Professor Fiehn’s lab.



The aim of my visit to the NIH West Coast Metabolomics Center at University California Davis, USA, was to establish contact and a working relationship with a world-leading scientist in metabolomics, Professor Oliver Fiehn, who is the Director of the centre.

I visited the WCMC during the period 27 November to 02 December 2017, and the main outcomes were all achieved successfully.

I established a working relationship with Professor Fiehn, through several 1:1 meetings with him, were we discussed in great detail how metabolomics analyses can be implemented in my current and future work. I had the opportunity to spend time in the actual metabolomics laboratory, where I got insights into the entire metabolomics workflow, from sample receipt to mass spectrometry analysis. Furthermore, I had the opportunity to spend time with several of the centre’s data scientists and discuss various approaches to metabolomics data analysis.

I attended the centre’s seminar series, and had the opportunity to meet other members of staff and visiting scientists who were at the centre at that time. I presented my own research to the group and had fruitful discussions about how metabolomics can enhance my research.

As a result, I now have a deeper understanding of the metabolomics workflow, as well as the potential for use in my own research. I am now more confident in integrating metabolomics as part of my work in upcoming research funding applications, and I can now include Professor Fiehn as an external collaborator with world-leading experience in metabolomics in my professional network.

No particular difficulties were met in the preparation of the visit and during my time in Davis. The contact with the Bioscientifica Trust office was extremely efficient and everyone was very supportive in setting up the grant.

Therefore, the visit supported by the Bioscientifica Trust grant was a full success and I am deeply grateful to the opportunity given to me by the Trustees.


Grant awarded: £1,500

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