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Course summary

A summary of the course and the future of metabolomics
MARK VIANT: We hope you have enjoyed the course Metabolomics– understanding metabolism in the 21st century. In the last four weeks, we have introduced you to the biological relevance of metabolites and the metabolome, and introduced you to the approaches that we apply in order to study the metabolome. Metabolomics is widely applicable to a range of fields, from the medical and the biological sciences through to the plant and environmental sciences. And we hope that the course has introduced you to the benefits of applying metabolomics within your own research field. Because metabolomics is a relatively new discipline, there are ongoing technological challenges that still need to be addressed as the field moves towards a state of maturity.
For example, these include maximising the number of metabolites that we can actually detect in a biological sample, identifying those metabolites that are then detected, as well as building new and more comprehensive databases to aid our analyses. Another challenge is to improve data processing and analysis pipelines, in particular to harmonise those different pipelines across different laboratories so that we can compare data more easily. The future will also see an expansion of new techniques. For example, single cell metabolomics, as well as an increasing number of studies that image low molecular weight metabolites using mass spectrometry. The global metabolomics community is working on these challenges to develop the necessary tools and resources for the scientific community.
As these technological developments occur, we anticipate that the use of metabolomics will not only continue to grow in existing fields, but it will also expand into a new series of applications.

Congratulations on completing the course. We hope that you enjoyed it.

Take this opportunity to review any parts of the course and watch the film presented by Professor Mark Viant as he summarises the course and looks at the future development and impact of metabolomics research.

Learning through this course is a social activity and we hope that you will continue to share your comments on the discussion page. You can participate in the conversation on twitter by including the #FLmetabolomics in your tweets and by following the Birmingham Metabolomics Training Centre twitter account.

At the end of the week we will respond to your comments and questions from the course in a video.

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Metabolomics: Understanding Metabolism in the 21st Century

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