This is an application for the development and presentation of a 4-day Workshop on metabolomics. While the framework of all aspects of metabolomics will be presented to the attendees, the ultimate goal of the Workshop is to prepare investigators to advance the use of metabolomics in translational research and to direct highly interdisciplinary teams or collaborations in metabolomic studies. To that end, the Workshop will have a specific focus on development of experimental designs that will allow for the meaningful execution of metabolomics research. In combination with this emphasis, the Workshop will provide an organized, hands-on experience in metabolomics. The goal is to ensure in this round of -omics development, that attendees will learn from experiences gained from the last 15 years of -omics research. In the first year, with strong institutional support, th Workshop will be in a developmental phase and will be restricted to up to 16 participants. This is to carefully test the hands-on experience that will constitute nearly 50% of the Workshop activities before it is expanded to the 40 attendees who will attend the full Workshop in years 2-5. We will use feedback/advice given by the speakers and attendees of the first course to refine all aspects of the course - and continue throughout each year to use both feedback comments and assessment of how former attendees are using metabolomics to guide us in determining the content and shape of subsequent Workshops. The Workshop will consist of five main didactic sections: (1) understanding what metabolomics/metabonomics is and how to design a metabolomics experiment;(2) critical issues in collection and storage of samples;(3) rationales for choosing the analytical tools of metabolomics, mass spectrometry (MS) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR);(4) processing of collected metabolomics data and statistical analysis of high dimensional data;and (5) bioinformatics, software and computer resource needs for metabolomics. Attendees will be introduced to each of these through a hands-on experience - they will process samples for both MS and NMR analysis where attendees will be given analysis protocols that range from ideal/optimized to specifically corrupted data. These protocols will be designed to show the consequence of poor design. All samples will be processed so that the attendees can apply the analytical, statistical and bioinformatic methods they've been taught in the didactic sessions. In the last session, attendees and the Workshop faculty will discuss the data that has been obtained. There will be up to 10 student/postdoc fellowships that will be awarded through a competitive process for Workshops in year 2-5. These will consist of the registration, hotel/food costs and travel to the Workshop. Graded registration fees will apply to the other students/postdocs, faculty and non- university attendees. Emphasis will be placed ensuring gender equality and underserved minority recruitment. UAB is a superb environment for this Workshop because of its excellent investment in the technologies needed for metabolomics, the strength of its biostatistic research faculty and its investment in bioinformatics.
The goal of this application is to create an infrastructure supporting metabolomic research and to increase the number of well-trained investigators with the interdisciplinary skills required to perform metabolomics studies. In combination with an emphasis on experimental design and other didactic components of metabolomics, the Workshop will provide an organized, hands-on experience on the practical aspects of metabolomics so that attendees can apply metabolomics to the many intriguing questions in biomedical research that's important to the health of Americans.