U.S. Department of Energy

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

PNNL seeks to revolutionize metabolomics research with University of Alberta Professor David Wishart

Professor David Wishart performing sample analysis.

PNNL is proud to announce Professor David Wishart will be joining our Earth & Biological Sciences Directorate in a joint appointee with the University of Alberta.

In his role as Senior Scientist, he will contribute to PNNL’s metabolomics and cheminformatics strategic research efforts. Dr. Wishart’s joint appointment brings his international expertise to complement PNNL’s strengths in advanced instrumentation and analytical methods for metabolomics data acquisition. Over the next 4 years, Dr. Wishart will lead the Computational Core for the Pacific Northwest Advanced Compound Identification Core (PNACIC), a $4 million project funded by the National Institutes of Health Common Fund Metabolomics Program located at PNNL. PNACIC’s goal is to revolutionize metabolomics research by developing computational approaches for accurately predicting the molecular properties of small molecules. Once this computational information is in-hand, researchers can then validate the data through experimental measurements. Ultimately, this project will lead to comprehensive chemical characterizations of biomedical samples.

As the director of The Metabolomics Innovation Centre (TMIC)—a multi-university network that serves as Canada’s national metabolomics laboratory—Dr. Wishart is a recognized leader in computational metabolomics and cheminformatics. For the past 10 years, he has led the Human Metabolome Project, an international effort to catalogue all known metabolites in human tissues and biofluids. To date, the Human Metabolome Project has identified over 114,000 metabolites. These metabolites help inform the Project’s several ongoing studies to detect biomarkers for cancer, organ transplant rejection, and prion and prion-like diseases, as well as mechanisms for wound healing.

PNNL continually seeks joint appointments with researchers from other institutions as a way to leverage scientific expertise and capabilities to further scientific advancement and broaden our impact in solving national priorities. This approach to creating connections is a win-win for researchers and scientific exploration as a whole.

December 2018
| Pacific Northwest National Laboratory