Interactive Forums / Workshops

Building on the success of MANA 2019, MANA 2020 will feature "Interactive Forums" or special interest groups that are intended to facilitate the discussion on the important topics in the field. We hope that by building this time in as an integral part of the schedule we will help to engage the leaders of different metabolomics subdisciplines and research foci on the big problems in their fields. There will be multiple parallel meetings taking different forms (roundtable discussion, roadmapping, etc.) as needed for different focus areas. Please joining us in working to move the field of metabolomics forward in North America!

Best Practices for System Suitability Evaluation Prior to LC-MS-Based Untargeted Metabolomics

Registration for this workshop is recommended, but the meeting will be limited to the first 30 people who join to ensure a high quality discussion. You must use the provided meeting number and password to join the workshop. Please note that if an attendee is involuntarily disconnected from the call, they might not be able to re-enter the meeting.

There is a critical need to standardize and implement QA and QC processes in untargeted metabolomics to ensure high quality studies and data generation. These needs were demonstrated at the National Cancer Institute-sponsored Think Tank on Quality Assurance and Quality Control for Untargeted Metabolomics Studies, which was held in 2017 and attended by over 40 international participants from academia, government, and industry, and the subsequent development of the `metabolomics Quality Assurance and quality Control Consortium’ (mQACC). This interactive forum is intended to raise awareness and facilitate priority setting for QA/QC best practices regarding system suitability testing in untargeted LC-MS metabolomics. The overall goal of the interactive forum is to direct feedback from the broader metabolomics community to mQACC members to harmonize system suitability evaluation in untargeted LC-MS metabolomics.

The interactive forum is designed to facilitate priority setting by participants via live polling, followed by an interactive discussion. This format is critical to ensure the appropriate level of detail is captured for the harmonization of QA/QC best practices. During the proposed interactive forum, we will focus on system suitability samples and the evaluation of system suitability for untargeted LC-MS metabolomics. Samples and procedures used to evaluate system suitability vary vastly from lab to lab. Thus, the broader metabolomics community feedback is needed for understanding the range of practices used by labs, to both educate newcomers on the importance of evaluating system performance prior to metabolomics analysis and to forge a direction toward standardization of this key QA/QC step.

Interactive Forum Organizers: Jonathan Mosley, Environmental Protection Agency; Ioanna Ntai, Thermo Fisher Scientific; Krista Zanetti, National Cancer Institute

Contact: Krista Zanetti

How to navigate your future career in the COVID-19 climate

We plan to have an expert panel discussion that will address topics like visa issues, COVID restrictions on job searches, funding, hiring freezes, etc., and virtual self-promotion.

Featured Speakers:

Jeanita Pritchett, Leadership Coach & Academic Program Manager, National Institute of Standards & Technology

Brendan Delaney, Attorney, Frank & Delaney Immigration Law

Danika Khong, Co-CEO & Cofounder, Scismic

Cliff Kapono, Postdoctoral Researcher, Journalist, & Pro Surfer, University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo

Register here!

Interactive Forum Organizers: Brianna Garcia (UGA), Kehau Hagiwara (NIST), Candice Ulmer (CDC), Christina Jones (NIST), Franklin Leach (UGA), Yuan Li (UNC), Fariba Tayyari (U Iowa), Arpana Vaniya (UC, Davis), Oana Zeleznik (Harvard)

Contact: Kehau Hagiwara

Watch this space for more details


The MANA SODA initiative is geared to build a community resource of interlinked software, dataset and data analysis results, with an ultimate aim to help researchers new to the field navigate the state-of-the art approaches to metabolomics data analysis. In this interactive workshop, our goal is show researchers how to submit software, data and results and query it, and to continue fostering communication and input from the community on how to develop this resource.

Interactive Forum Organizers: Dinesh Barupal, Tytus Mak, Ewy Mathé, Bob Powers

Contact: Ewy Mathe

Metabolomics in Action: Successes and Challenges in Advancing Precision Medicine

Metabolomics has the potential to advance understanding of the mechanisms of complex illnesses like cancer and pulmonary diseases in which multiple phenotypes likely exist. Furthermore, it can serve as an investigative avenue to identify diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers. Despite this potential, application of metabolomics to the clinical situation can bring challenges. These can be dictated by the clinical setting, patient population and the illness itself and involve everything from sample collection to the interpretation of data.

This interactive forum is designed to stimulate discussion between audience participants and speakers. This will be accomplished by short, thought provoking presentations by 3-4 speakers (taking ~30-40 min) that highlight successes and challenges of using metabolomics to understand human disease. The remaining time will be used for Q&A and discussion. This will be facilitated by the moderator who may ask probing questions to prompt audience participation.

The forum is expected to capture a range of perspectives and examples of successes in the clinical application of metabolomics. It will also convey possible solutions to overcoming challenges that certain clinical scenarios represent. Ultimately, it is our expectation that the interactive dialogue will assist investigators in advancing their own metabolomics research and approach to clinical application.


1. Oana Zeleznik: Metabolomics in large scale population-based cohort

2. Bing Yu: Integrative metabolomics for precision medicine

3. Rachel Kelly: Metabolomics of Pediatric Asthma

Interactive forum organizers: Kathleen Stringer, chair (U Michigan), Tim Garrett (U Florida), Rachel Kelly (Harvard), Yuan Li (UNC), George Michailidis (U Florida/U Michigan), Mike Puskarich (U Minnesota), Baljit Ubhi (Sciex)

Contact: Kathleen Stringer

Internal Standards in Metabolomics

Internal standards play multiple roles in metabolomics studies, ranging from quantitation and quality control to feature alignment and compound identification. The use of internal standards is far from uniform in the metabolomics research community, with no agreed-upon best practices regarding their preparation and usage. This session will discuss the current use of internal standards in participants’ labs and brainstorm potential improvements that could enhance the utility and consistency of internal standards from a community perspective. We will seek to encourage participation and highlight perspectives from scientists in academic labs, industry, chemical vendors, and all other groups.

Interactive forum organizers: Charles Evans (U Michigan), Tim Garrett (U Florida)

Contact: Charles Evans, Tim Garrett

Microbiome, Microbiome Everywhere: Utilizing Metabolomics to Define a Healthy Environmental Microbiome

Microbiomes are now understood to influence every aspect of our world and lives, from our bodies to the most extreme environments on Earth. In realizing the complexity of these microbial communities and the breadth of interactions between community members and their hosts, we are now poised to harness microbiomes for improved ecosystem and human health. This is of particular interest because microbial communities have an expansive metabolic capacity for biosynthesis of diverse primary and secondary metabolites that indirectly and directly affect community and host health.

This interactive forum will feature talks from two experts in environmental microbiome research followed by a fireside chat-style discussion on the utility of metabolomics in characterizing microbial communities and assessing overall community and ecosystem health. We aim to engage our audience in an inspirational discussion to identify ways to advance this emerging topic.

Featured speakers:

  • Janet Jansson, PhD – Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

  • Erica Hartmann, PhD – Northwestern University

Interactive forum organizers: Maryam Goudarzi, Kehau Hagiwara, Ewy Mathe, Thomas Metz

Contact: Maryam Goudarzi