N°8 – Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine (IC)

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Consistently rated amongst the world's best universities, Imperial College London is a science based institution with a reputation for excellence in teaching and research. It is ranked 3rd in Europe and 5th in the world in the Times Higher Education-QS world university rankings 2009. IC has a very strong research base in life sciences and biomedicine, ranking 3rd in Europe for this category. The Department of Biomolecular Medicine at IC is one of the world’s largest groups actively involved in metabonomics/metabolomics and integrative systems biology and is funded by research charities, the Wellcome Trust, EU, NIH, UK research councils and industry. Under the leadership of Prof. Jeremy Nicholson, the Department has pioneered the development of metabolic profiling, with one of the bestequipped bioanalytical spectroscopy laboratories in the world that boast six 400-800 MHz NMR spectrometers, 3 UPLC-MS (TOF/Q-TOF), one HPLC-MS (Q-TOF), a MALDI-MS and a GC-MS all available for dedicated metabolic profiling work, plus high performance computing and storage facilities designed for processing high volume molecular profiling data. The spectroscopic facilities and personnel are backed by a strong internal data analysis sub-group that has close ties and collaborations with the Department of Computer Science, Centre for Bioinformatics and Institute of Systems Biology with computational, bioinformatics and statistical capabilities that are amongst the best in the world. In this project IC will contribute with metabonomics capabilities and expertise, including its expertise in metabolic biomarkers for toxicology, computational analysis of spectral data and “-omics” integration.


  • Key staff involved in the project (For more detailed information see the  Who-is-Who-Book)


Dr. Hector Keun is a Lecturer in Biological Chemistry and over the past 8 years has made a significant contribution to the establishment of metabonomics particularly in toxicological applications. This has involved collaborative work with the pharmaceutical industry and regulatory agences e.g. US EPA. He has published 45 peer-reviewed papers in metabonomics generating over 1100 citations. He is leader of the metabonomics WP in the EU-FP6 carcinoGENOMICS project, and is conducting metabonomic studies for the EU-FP7 project  EnviroGenomarkers defining “-omics” profiles for toxicant exposure in man. Dr. Keun recently won the European Chemical Industries Council’s Innovative Science Award 2009 for research linking chemical exposures to human health via metabonomics (€100,000).



Other persons involved:

Dr. James Ellis, Research Associate, Metabonomic protocols for in vitro toxicology; molecular toxicology
Dr. Rachel Cavill, Research Associate,  “-omics” data mining & integration in toxicology


Further information : www3.imperial.ac.uk