The Power List 2017
Professor and Director, Scripps Center for Metabolomics, The Scripps Research Institute, California, USA.
Most exciting current project
In three words: metabolomics activity screening (MAS) – this project is taking metabolomics beyond biomarker discovery and towards identifying biologically active endogenous metabolites that can be used to intentionally modulate phenotype.
In two words: phenotype modulation – the culmination of creating the cloud-based XCMS/METLIN metabolomics discovery platform with over 20,000 users, and developing it for metabolite activity screening. We have multiple examples of its application, using metabolites in stem cell activation, chronic pain amelioration and, most recently, in oligodendrocyte generation for multiple sclerosis.
In a word: phenotype – metabolites are the most downstream components in the biochemical cascade and therefore are closest to the phenotype. Thus, metabolomics can be used to identify metabolites for phenotype modulation; I believe this is where the real power of metabolomics lies.