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Metabolic Profiling: Applications to Toxicology & Risk Reduction

An International Conference

May 14 - 15, 2003
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences/NIH/DHHS
Research Triangle Park, North Carolina


The meeting is sponsored by National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), NIH National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), NIH Office of Rare Diseases, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Paradigm Genetics, Inc. and Waters Corporation.


The purpose of this conference is to bring together a multidisciplinary group of research scientists (molecular biologists, analytical chemists, toxicologists, clinicians, nutritional scientists and computational biologists) to define the current state of the science in the emerging area of metabolic profiling and its application to the health sciences.

Specific emphasis will be placed on the application of metabolic profiling to toxicology and risk reduction, with additional emphasis on computational and chemometric approaches to integrate metabolic profiling data in functional genomics and systems level analyses of exposure and disease pathways. The conference will provide a forum for identifying scientific initiatives needed to stimulate metabolic profiling research at academic institutions and to develop partnerships between academia, government and industry.


Metabolites are the end products of cellular regulatory processes, and their levels can be regarded as the ultimate response of biological systems to genetic or environmental agents including chemicals, drugs and nutritional factors. Metabolic profiling involves measuring and interpreting complex, time-related, global changes in metabolites present in biological fluids. The application of metabolic profiling technologies to biological systems is a powerful tool to study gene function in relation to disease (phenotype), predict toxicity of chemicals, drugs and nutritional agents in biological systems, identify markers of exposure and early disease status, and develop screening regimens for animal and human populations at increased risk of disease.

There have been recent advances in the development of high throughput technologies for metabolic profiling of low molecular metabolic products in biological fluids. These technologies represent a breakthrough for toxicological and clinical research because they can easily be applied to routine biological samples such as urine and plasma. Metabolic profiling data can be integrated with genomic and proteomics data, as well as traditional toxicity and clinical measurements, to define complex systems-level responses to environmental and nutritional factors.

At present, the technology represents an important research and diagnostic tool for studying mechanisms of action and identifying surrogate endpoints (markers) for cardiovascular, neurodegenerative, renal and hepatic diseases. Thus, this meeting will define the state of the science and current technologies for common and more rare diseases that inflict these and other biological systems. This approach is the best hope for determining the causes and developing intervention and prevention strategies for many common and rare diseases.

Scientific Sessions:

See Final Agenda (  Download Adobe Reader (194 KB)

The main scientific sessions are:

Application of Metabolic Profiling to Toxicology: pattern recognition-based prediction of toxicity for cardiovascular disease, use of metabolic profiling to identify markers of chemical toxicity in animal and cell systems, linking genotypes with phenotypes using metabolic profiling.

Confirmed Speakers:

  • Don Robertson
    Pfizer Global Research and Development
  • Hector Keun
    Imperial College, University of London
  • Robert Plumb
    Waters Corporation
  • Susan Sumner
    Paradigm Genetics, Inc.

Applications of Metabolic Profiling to Risk Reduction: individual clinical assessment using lipid profiling, expert systems for toxicity screening and disease diagnosis for renal and neurological diseases, assessing nutritional and metabolic status for diabetes.

Confirmed Speakers:

  • Steve Watkins
    Lipomics Technologies
  • Paul W. N. Lee
    UCLA Medical Center
  • Elaine Holmes
    Imperial College, University of London
  • Rima Kaddurah-Daouk
    Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Metabolon, Inc.

Computational and Systems Biology: computational prediction models for functional genomics and toxicology, chemometric modeling, functional genomics and metabolic networks, database and visualization systems, integrating heterogeneous data in systems biology.

Confirmed Speakers:

  • Pedro Mendes
    Virginia Bioinformatics Institute
  • Svante Wold
    Umea University and Umetrics, Sweden
  • David Rocke
    University of California, Davis

Additional Confirmed Speakers and Session Chairs and Panel Participants:

  • Jeremy Nicholson
    Imperial College, University of London
  • Trey Ideker
    Institute for Systems Biology
  • John Connelly
  • Bruce Hammock
    University of California, Davis
  • Bernard Schwetz
    Food and Drug Administration
  • Daniel Baden
    University of North Carolina, Wilmington
  • Kenneth Ramos
    Texas A & M University


This is a two-day meeting to be held May 14-15, 2003 at the NIEHS Rodbell Conference Center in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.

Scientific Contact:

Brenda Weis, Ph.D.
Tel (919) 541-4964

Organizing Committee:

  • Bruce Hammock
    UC Davis
  • Jeremy Nicholson
    Imperial College, University of London
  • Susan Sumner
    Paradigm Genetics, Inc
  • Pedro Mendes
    Virginia Bioinformatics Institute
  • James MacGregor
  • Salvatore Sechi
  • Jerry Heindel
  • Mike Cuningham


There is no registration fee for this meeting. The meeting will be limited to a maximum of 150 attendees on a first-come, first-served basis; thus preregistration is required and early preregistration is encouraged.

To register send an email with the following information to Eloise Shepherd,

  • Name
  • Title
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Email address

Poster Session:

Researchers with results in the area of the conference are encouraged to submit abstracts for poster presentation at the meeting. Abstracts need not be made just for this meeting nor do they need to contain data from metababolic profiling research per se. Rather, they need only to show an area of research that can be improved by the addition of metabolic profiling technologies.

Abstracts related to technology development are also encouraged. Abstracts must be submitted via email attachment (Microsoft word, with 1inch margins: point size 12, must fit on one page) and include:

  • Title
  • Name of presenter (first author) and coauthors
  • Institutional affiliation
  • Abstract deadline is April 1, 2003

Travel Awards:

A significant but limited number of travel awards of $500 will be made to university investigators at any stage of their career (e.g., post doctoral students; assistant, associate or full professors) who are interested in developing and/or using metabolic profiling to further their research. Special consideration will be given to investigators who submit an abstract for the poster session although this is not a prerequisite for receiving a travel award.

To be considered for a travel award, please send a letter describing your current position and research interests. Include in the letter a description of how you plan to use metabolic profiling to expand or develop your research program. Deadline for receipt of travel award application letters is April 1, 2003. Letters will be reviewed by committee for scientific merit and relevance to the goals of the meeting. Travel awardees will be notified by April 15, 2003.

Lodging Reservations:

A block of rooms has been reserved for travelers at the Radisson Governors Inn at the rate of $85 dollars per night plus tax. The Radisson Governor's Inn address is: PO Box 12168, I-40 at Davis Drive, Exit 280, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709 and the telephone number is (919) 549-8631. Please be certain that you have guaranteed your reservation at the Radisson with your credit card BEFORE April 15, 2003 and be certain that you indicate you are attending the NIEHS meeting. Information on the NIEHS Rodbell Conference Center and the Research Triangle Park, NC area, including area information (maps, weather, etc.) may be accessed at: ( .

Site information on the hotel may be accessed at: ( Exit NIEHS Website

Shuttle Service:

There will be shuttle service from the Radisson Governor's Inn hotel to the NIEHS. Shuttle service from the RDU airport to the Radisson on arrival may be available but the traveler needs to call the hotel directly at 919-549-8631 to confirm the shuttle availability. Modest rate taxi service from the RDU airport to the Radisson (6.1 miles) on arrival is also available. Shuttle and taxi service for departure may be arranged at the meeting.

Airport Information:

The Raleigh-Durham (RDU) airport is within 6.5 miles of the NIEHS campus and conference facilities and 6.1 miles from the Radisson Governor's Inn.

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