J. Gordin Kaplan Award and Wishart Node’s Metabolomics Research

Dr. Wishart has just been awarded the J. Gordin Kaplan Award for Excellence in Research. It is the most prestigious research award given out by the University of Alberta. His metabolomics research spans many areas including biomarker discovery, technology development & informatics. He also led the “Human Metabolome Project”, that catalogued all of the known metabolites in human bio-fluids and tissues. All this data is housed in the Human Metabolome Database (HMDB)

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance

One recent publication based on the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, Practical Aspects of NMR-Based Metabolomics is part of the Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology book series. Each volume in the series offers the most comprehensive and current study of its subject, making it an incomparable source for references.

You may discover a brief history of NMR use in metabolomics analyses, which is followed by some practical information about this technique, such as sample preparation, pulse sequence selection, and spectral acquisition and processing. The authors also go over the targeted vs. untargeted approaches to metabolomics data analysis with a number of applications, such as drug toxicology, finding inborn metabolic abnormalities, and examining the compounds of biofluids from cows. There is a brief overview of current advancements in NMR hardware, methodology, and software, followed by speculation on the future of NMR-based metabolomics over the next decade or so.

Another related paper is an open-access review “NMR and Metabolomics – A Roadmap for the Future” which talks about the overview of NMR as a potent spectroscopic technique in the metabolomic field, despite the fact that more than 70% of published metabolomics studies employed LC-MS methods. Current advances in electronics, magnet shielding, and cryo-technology that are making NMR instruments smaller, cheaper, easier to maintain, and more clinically compatible.

NMR is especially distinctive because it is one of the few non-destructive techniques for studying molecular dynamics and three-dimensional structures. Wishart’s lab owned NMR 700 MHz Bruker Cold Probe. In NMR-based metabolomics, spectral profiling or spectral deconvolution is frequently used to identify and quantify metabolites from 1D 1H NMR spectra. TMIC uses Chenomx Spectral Profiling software to identify and quantify metabolites from 1D 1H NMR spectra. TMIC has also developed a fully automated and quantitative NMR spectral profiling system, MagMet. (Perks: a paper on MagMet and another on automated technique in NMR for different sample types are coming soon! Stay tuned for our weekly website content on the latest publications in metabolomics.)

Image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Nuclear_magnetic_resonance_%28NMR%29.png

In terms of databases, Wishart’s node was also involved in the development of The Natural Product Magnetic Resonance Database (NP-MRD). It is a freely available cloud-based, user-friendly, FAIR electronic database. [FAIR- findability, accessibility, interoperability, and reusability]. Here is the link to the publication.

Dr. Wishart just had his NMR online seminar on “Big Data Meets Small Molecule NMR” for Netherlands Metabolomics Centre.

In addition to NMR, Wishart Node also offers metabolomics services by utilizing Liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC-MS), Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS), Inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), and (Liquid Chromatography with Ultra-violet (UV-LC). 

Disease Biomarkers Discovery

Image credit: https://pharmrev.aspetjournals.org/content/74/3/506.long

Another important study from Wishart’s team is the multiomics research in cancer biomarkers to prevent and for finding treatments for this disease. The genome, exposome, and metabolome work together in a feedback loop as cancer develops and spreads. Wishart stated that only 5 -10 percent of all cancers are inherited. The remaining 90- 95% are caused by factors in the exposome, which in turn induce genetic mutations. Three years ago, Global News featured this research on their online video interview with Dr. Wishart. Another spotlight article by the University of Alberta highlighted the new evidence shows cancer is not as heritable as once thought. It included a more recent overview of the literature, emphasizing the need for a more holistic understanding of cancer prevention and treatment. A few new publications on this topic are released every year, indicating that this extensive investigation is far from over. We highlighted a few related publications in this area of interest on previous contents.

Exposomic Conference

Exposomics is a rapidly growing and important field that explores the impact of environmental exposures on human health. If you are interested in learning more about Exposomics, please make sure that you check on the 4th Canadian Metabolomics Conference (CanMetCon) 2023. This conference is an annual and unique scientific event on the rapidly evolving discipline of metabolomics. his year’s conference will focus on scientific themes in “Exposomics”, advancing the understanding of exposures in Medicine, Agriculture/Food/Cannabis, Environment/Industrial Settings, and Clinical Applications. The scientific program will feature technical symposiums, invited keynote talks, oral presentations and interactive poster sessions, vendor exhibitions, and sponsor lunches.

Calling for Abstract!

Abstract Submission for the 4th Annual Canadian Metabolomics Conference (CanMetCon) 2023 is open until March 31. Remember to secure your spot at discounted early bird price of $150 CAD for students and $250 CAD for all others until March 14. The program is now available

Research Interests

Wishart’s node is also contributing to metabolomics research in fields as diverse as pediatrics, food, biomedicine, environment, agriculture, and animal sciences (some works were previously featured on the website during the interview with our young scientists, Scott Mackay and Abby Kropielnicki from Wishart’s team), etc. The broad studies can be noted from the publications in metabolomics, which include papers, databases, web servers, software, videos, and other new resources. For Instance, the new metabolomic data resources: MiMeDB and ChemFOnt. In addition, Dr. Wishart is frequently invited to give talks, seminars, workshops, training, and others. Such events include the “Wine and Beer Tasting with Metabolomics” workshop during The 4th Annual Metabolomics Association of North America (MANA) Conference, the previously mentioned NMR online seminar, a recent library presentation at Strathcona County Library with the title of “What’s In Your Food? – The Chemistry of What Makes Food Tasty, Colorful and Delicious”, and more.


Dr. Wishart’s Node is focused on the assays with an absolute quantification. They offer NMR assay and two new assays based on the use of their proprietary TMIC MEGA kits:

Other popular assays out of 28 total assays offered by his team include:

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