Directors, Metabolic Profiling Forum

Dr Julian Griffin

Dr Julian L. Griffin is a University Senior Lecturer at the Department of Biochemistry, Cambridge and a group leader at the Medical Research Council HNR. He is also a group leader in the Cambridge Systems Biology Centre and a PI at the MRC Centre for Obesity and Related Disorders. A chemist by first degree, he gained his D. Phil in Biochemistry with Prof. Sir George Radda studying brain metabolism using 13C NMR spectroscopy. He held a Harvard Medical school/ Massachusetts General Hospital fellowship with Prof. Doug Lewandowski, studying cardiac metabolism by 13C NMR before joining Prof. Jeremy Nicholson’s group at Imperial College London as a NERC postdoctoral fellow and then Royal Society University Research Fellow. He is developing NMR and mass spectrometry based metabolomic tools for identifying metabolic biomarkers associated with disease, drug toxicity and understanding the control of metabolic pathways. He also has wide experience in multivariate statistical processes required to process the data. In addition he has used stable isotopes to follow metabolic fluxes both in vitro and in vivo. He is a chair of a sub-committee of the Metabolomic Standards Initiative which aims to define the information required to describe a metabolomic experiment. He is also the secretary to the Metabolomic Society and has co-organized a number of the Metabomeeting conferences of which he is a co-founder. He is on the editorial board of Biomarkers and Genome Medicine. He teaches chemistry, biochemistry and systems biology to undergraduates. Jules reviews for a number of charitable and government grant giving bodies, particularly if it involves travelling to places with snow or sun, neither of which are in plentiful supply in Cambridge.

Dr Reza Salek

Dr Salek got his PhD in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from University College London, UK. He started working in the field of metabolomics in the University of Cambridge, over time moving from lab experimental settings towards data analysis and data handling. In the past, he has worked as scientific investigator at the Medical Research Council, Cambridge UK. In 2012, he joined EMBL-EBI and currently working as the Scientific Coordinator. EMBL-EBI  hosts the MetaboLights (, the first general purpose repository for metabolomics data. Open access data sharing is of paramount importance to the metabolomics community growth, enabling community to move a step closer to the result reproducibility, a key objective for any scientific field. Here metabolomics standards can play a vital role ( Dr. Salek has managed and coordinated a large EU infrastructure project on metabolomics data standards, COSMOS (Coordination of Standards in Metabolomics -, it has re-ignited standards effort within community leaders, in a more bottom-up approach. Such efforts combined with data sharing in MetaboLights, would benefit the community substantially. Professionally, Dr Salek is on baord of Directors of the Metabolomics Scoety, member of the Cambridge Systems Biology Centre. He is the main organiser of the “EMBO Practical Course on Metabolomics Bioinformatics for Life Scientists 2012
 - 2017" He is also associate Editor for Frontiers Metabolomics Journal.

Professor Roy Goodacre

Roy Goodacre is Professor of Biological Chemistry at the University of Manchester, UK.  His group’s main areas of research are broadly within analytical biotechnology and systems biology; specifically involving mass spectrometry and vibrational spectroscopy.  He has more than 20 years experience of advanced data analysis applied to spectroscopic, mass spectrometric and metabolomics data.  He has published > 200 peer-reviewed papers and edited two book on metabolomics and systems biology.  Roy is the Editor-in-chief of the journal Metabolomics and on the editorial board of the Journal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis,  He is also one of the founding directors of the Metabolomics Society.

Past Directors

Dr John Haselden

Dr John Haselden is currently Head of the Department of Investigative Preclinical Toxicology and a director within Safety Assessment at GSK based in Ware, Herts. He has worked in the pharmaceutical industry (GSK and its heritage companies) since completion of his PhD in lipid biochemistry and drug metabolism at the University of London. He has worked predominantly as a regulatory toxicologist and project manager over the last 16 years, although for the last 10 years has been responsible for evaluating and developing GSK’s worldwide capability to carry out metabolic profiling work in support of numerous research initiatives and various drug development projects. He serves on a number of editorial boards and external bodies related to Safety Biomarkers (ABPI & EfPIA), Stem Cells for Safer Medicines, and as a scientific advisor on Omics and Predictive Toxicology programs under the Framework and IMI banners. He was the instigator and a co-founder of the Metabolic Profiling Forum.

Dr Andy Nicholls

As part of Jeremy Nicholson’s team, Dr Andy Nicholls obtained his PhD from the University of London and was instrumental in a proof of principal hepatoxocity model based on metabolomics data with GlaxoWellcome that led to the establishment of the Consortium on Metabonomic Toxicology (COMET) at Imperial College London. Following further studies into the application of metabolomics as a senior postdoctoral fellow (supported by Merck, Sharpe and Dohme) he became an associate director for Metabometrix Ltd, a biotechnology spin-out company from Imperial College London. This role led to him taking a senior research position at GlaxoSmithKline where he now heads the Biochemistry and In Vitro toxicology groups in the investigative arm of Safety Assessment.His principal areas of research involve the study of metabolic alterations in complex, multicellular organisms and the determination of the root-cause mechanisms of drug-induced toxicity.

Andy was a co-founder of the Metabolic Profiling Forum, a not-for-profit organisation that runs the International Metabomeeting conference series and supports the attendance of students at scientific conferences. With collaborators he was instrumental in the inception of the standardisation practises for metabolomics (now the Metabolomics Standards Initiative) and remains actively involved in the continuation of this work. From 2010 he was elected to the position of President of the SMASH organization running the highly successful International SMASH NMR conference, of which he was also co-chair in 2007 & 2009.  Andy also regularly acts an expert reviewer for a range of peer-reviewed publications and both charitable and governmental institutions.  He also represents GlaxoSmithKline on a number of external metabolomics collaborations, most recently the Human Serum Metabolome (HUSERMET) project with the University of Manchester, UK.