TMIC has been leading metabolomics research in Canada since its founding in 2011, with a vision to position the country as a global leader in the field. Metabolomics is the study of the small-molecule interactions that determine how living organisms interact with their environment. As Canada’s premier metabolomics research and service network, the Centre boasts over $40 million worth of cutting-edge analytical equipment, more than 40 highly cited bioinformatics tools, and more than 60 validated metabolomics analyses, with 12 patents and ten spin-off companies to its name. TMIC’s service portfolio has grown significantly in the past five years, generating $4.5 million in annual revenue by serving clients from diverse industries such as food production, safety, environmental analysis, academia, and government.
With the generous support of CFI’s Major Science Initiatives program and Genome Canada’s Technology Development funding, TMIC is pleased to announce the launch of TMIC 2.0 in April 2023. The new TMIC will feature nine research and service nodes across Canada, and welcome three new Node Leaders, Dajana Vuckovic (Concordia), Tao Huan (UBC), and Jeff Xia (McGill) to its network of the country’s top metabolomics experts. The Centre is expanding its technology portfolio, including the development of ISO-compliant assays for human and animal health, techniques to measure metabolites in low cell-count or single-cell settings, and new assays to assess exposure to mycotoxins. These new analytical techniques will be supported by TMIC’s world-leading expertise in bioinformatics and database development. TMIC is excited to continue its mission of advancing metabolomics research in Canada and contributing to the health and well-being of all Canadians.
TMIC nodes at the University of Alberta recently also held a small launch event to celebrate the release of TMIC 2.0. Attendees enjoyed an atmosphere of celebration, with an array of prizes and delicious food to enjoy while networking with fellow scientists.
Dajana Vuckovic received her PhD in Chemistry from the University of Waterloo, and completed postdoctoral training in quantitative proteomics at the University of Toronto. Her group at Concordia University specializes in developing new analytical methods and devices to improve metabolite coverage and data quality in metabolomics, with the overarching goal of discovering and validating personalized biomarkers in cardiovascular health and nutrition. She is a leading researcher in sample preparation for metabolomics, and has introduced in vivo solid-phase microextraction sampling for metabolomics and lipidomics including in vivo sampling of oxylipins in the brain to study neuroinflammation. Her lab has also built highly sensitive assays for mycotoxin biomonitoring, including the largest in-house library of human mycotoxin metabolites that includes 100 metabolites characterized for the first time. Her research has been recognized by the bestowing of the 2019 Young Investigator Award of the Canadian Society for Mass Spectrometry and the 2020 Young Investigator Award of the Eastern Analytical Symposium. Dajana is an active member of the community-driven international consortium mQACC (metabolomics QA & QC Consortium). Recently she was elected to the Board of Directors of the Metabolomics Association of North America, where she serves as Secretary and mentor for the WomiX interest group as well as chairs the Membership Committee.
Dr. Huan is an Assistant Professor in Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry at the University of British Columbia. He received his Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Alberta under the supervision of Dr. Liang Li on developing chemical isotope labelling liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry-based metabolomics. After graduation, Dr. Huan did postdoctoral work with Dr. Gary Siuzdak at the Scripps Research (La Jolla, CA) to create metabolomics-guided systems biology for an in-depth understanding of disease mechanisms. In July 2018, Dr. Huan was hired as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of British Columbia. His research focuses on the synergistic development of analytical chemistry and bioinformatics for mass spectrometry-based metabolomics and exposomics and their applications in biological and environmental research. His lab has developed a suite of analytical and bioinformatic tools to reshape the process of large-scale metabolomics data interpretation for disease biomarker discovery and mechanistic understanding. Dr. Huan is currently a steering committee and faculty member of UBC Social Exposome Cluster. In addition, Dr. Huan is affiliated faculty members in the Graduate Program in Bioinformatics, Genome Science and Technology (GSAT) program, Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health, and Cluster for Microplastics, Health and the Environment
Dr. Xia obtained his Medical Degree (5-year program) from Peking University Health Science Center, China. He then moved to Canada and obtained his MSc and PhD degree, both from the University of Alberta, Canada. He joined McGill University in 2015 and has become an Associate Professor with tenure since 2020. Dr. Xia is a Canada Research Chair (Bioinformatics and Big Data Analytics). His research explores innovative and practical ways to address the big data challenges from biomedical research, focusing on metabolomics and multi-omics integration. His team has developed many highly accessed platforms such as MetaboAnalyst, MicrobiomeAnalyst, etc. Dr. Xia is the recipient of 2019 McGill Principal’s Prize for Outstanding Emerging Researchers. Since 2019, he has been ranked among the Global Highly Cited Researchers with > 100 peer-reviewed publications (citations: >32,000, H-index: 50).