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Director West Coast Metabolomics Center

UC Davis Genome Center - Metabolomics
GBSF building
451 East Health Science Drive




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Prof. Oliver Fiehn has pioneered developments and applications in metabolomics with over 220 publications to date, starting in 1998 as postdoctoral scholar and from 2000 onwards as group leader at the Max-Planck Institute for Molecular Plant Physiology in Potsdam, Germany. Since 2004 he is Professor at the UC Davis Genome Center, overseeing his research laboratory and the satellite core service laboratory in metabolomics research. Since 2012, he serves as Director of the NIH West Coast Metabolomics Center, supervising 35 staff operating 16 mass spectrometers and coordinating activities with three UC Davis satellite labs, including efforts for combined interpretation of genomics and metabolomics data. The West Coast Metabolomics Center provides the most extensive and most in-depth analysis of metabolites available today, using a range of validated protocols for fee-for-service projects and scientific collaborations.

Professor Fiehn’s research aims at understanding metabolism on a comprehensive level in human population cohorts, animal and plant models, and cells and microorganisms. In order to leverage data from these diverse sets of biological systems, his research laboratory focuses on standardizing metabolomic reports and establishing metabolomic databases and libraries, for example the MassBank of North America that hosts over 200,000 public metabolite mass spectra and BinBase, a resource of over 90,000 samples covering more than 1,900 studies. Professor Fiehn’s laboratory members develop and implement new approaches and technologies in analytical chemistry for covering the metabolome, from increasing peak capacity by ion mobility to compound identifications through cheminformatics workflows and software. He collaborates with a range of investigators for interpreting metabolomic data in human diseases through statistics, text mining and pathway-based mapping efforts. He also studies fundamental biochemical questions from metabolite damage repair to the new concept of epimetabolites, the chemical transformation of primary metabolites that gain regulatory functions in cells.

For his work, Professor Fiehn has received a range of awards including the 2014 Molecular & Cellular Proteomics Lecture Award and the 2014 Metabolomics Society Lifetime Achievement Award. He served on the Board of Directors of the Metabolomics Society from 2005-2010 and 2012-2015, organizing a range of workshops and conferences, including the 2011 Asilomar metabolomics meeting and the 2015 Metabolomics Society international conference in San Francisco that reached a record of over 1,000 participants.