Scientists in the rapidly emerging field of Metabolomics – the study of small molecules present within an organism, cell, or tissue – met in Brisbane for a four-day conference.
More than 540 international delegates attended the 13th Annual Conference of the Metabolomics Society at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC), 26-29 June, 2017.
The conference – co-chaired by professor Melissa Fitzgerald and Dr Horst Joachim Schirra, both from the University of Queensland – was the official meeting of the Metabolic Society.
It comprised 27 oral sessions, five plenary sessions, four poster sessions and a programme of workshops, with keynote speakers from Japan, Denmark, China, Canada, Sweden, and England.
The study of metabolites provides clues to future health outcomes. Metabolomics technologies have proven invaluable in research spanning drug discovery, personalised medicine, early diagnosis of diseases, nutrigenomics, and agriculture. It could also play a part in the early detection of cancer.
BCEC Advocate, Mary Garson, professor of Organic Chemistry from the University of Queensland School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences and one of instigators of the conference, said it had provided an important platform for delegates to learn and strengthen professional networks.
She said: “It was an opportunity for Australia to showcase its world class research in a rapidly growing discipline that promises powerful insights into the mechanism of human health and disease.”
Garson who was the first Australian to receive the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC’s) Distinguished Woman in Chemistry or Chemical Engineering Award for leadership and contributions to chemistry, works closely with BCEC and has hosted two previous international conferences at the Centre: the World Chemistry Congress 2001 and the International Symposium on Biodiversity and Natural Products 2011.
BCEC general manager, Bob O’Keeffe said the conference provided the opportunity for Australian and Queensland scientists active in the field of Metabolomics to showcase their world-leading research and to develop new strategic international partnerships within the sector.
“To have the 13th Annual Conference of the Metabolomics Society in Brisbane, recognises that our local researchers and academics are at the leading edge of this emerging science,” he said.