Metabolomics Quality Assurance & Quality Control Consortium (mQACC)


The metabolomics Quality Assurance and quality Control Consortium (mQACC) was established in February 2018 with the goal to develop a collaborative effort among relevant stakeholders in academic, industry and government institutions to address key quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC) issues in the untargeted metabolomics field. The consortium formed as a result of the Think Tank on Quality Assurance and Quality Control for Untargeted Metabolomics Studies, a meeting held at the National Cancer Institute in October 2017.

The consortium currently includes representatives from the United States, Europe and Asia, including instrument manufacturers, commercial metabolomics laboratories, and government and academic stakeholders.

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The consortium’s mission is to engage the metabolomics community to communicate and promote the development, dissemination and harmonization of best QA/QC practices in untargeted metabolomics through the following objectives:

  • To identify, catalog, harmonize and disseminate QA/QC best practices for untargeted metabolomics.
  • To establish mechanisms to enable the metabolomics community to adopt QA/QC best practices.
  • To promote and support systematic training in QA/QC best practices for the metabolomics community.
  • To encourage the prioritization and development of reference materials applicable to metabolomics research.

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Working Groups

Reference and Test Material Working Group

Chair: Katrice A. Lippa, National Institute of Standards and Technology

  • Warwick B. Dunn, University of Birmingham
  • Thomas Hartung, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health
  • Christina M. Jones, National Institute of Standards and Technology
  • Matthew R. Lewis, Imperial College London
  • Katrice A. Lippa (Chair), National Institute of Standards and Technology
  • Ioanna Ntai, Thermo Fisher Scientific
  • Daniel Raftery, University of Washington
  • Amanda Souza, Thermo Fisher Scientific
  • Fariba Tayyari, University of Georgia
  • Baljit Ubhi, AB Sciex
  • Ian Wilson, Imperial College London
  • Krista Zanetti, National Cancer Institute

Ongoing activities:
The Reference and Test Material Working Group emerged from the recently formed (mQACC). The metabolomics community urgently needs reference and test materials that can be used for measurements across laboratories and data standardization from different instrumental platforms to ensure translation of biological discoveries. Accordingly, we are actively working to develop measurement designs and prototype materials that can be utilized across most, if not all, instrumentation platforms and employed for interlaboratory comparisons. Additionally, we are defining the measurement challenges that different types of reference and test materials have the potential to address, as well as establishing best use practices for test and reference materials.

Anticipated deliverables (i.e., resources, documented standards, manuscripts):
Prototype plasma and urine reference material suites are currently under development, in partnership with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Synthetic metabolite solutions are also being considered. NIST–Reference and Test Material Working Group interlaboratory comparison exercises will be administered to obtain community consensus data of developed materials. Moreover, surveys will be disseminated to more clearly define the test and reference material needs of the broader metabolomics community. A manuscript will follow that details the initial charge of the working group, and its current approach to enable the development of community-accessible reference and test materials for metabolomics.

Dissemination of Current QA/QC Practices Working Group

Chair: Anne M. Evans, Metabolon and Claire O’Donovan, European Bioinformatics Institute

  • Richard D. Beger, Food and Drug Administration
  • Clary Clish, Broad Institute
  • Warwick B. Dunn, University of Birmingham
  • Anne M. Evans, Metabolon (Chair)
  • Rick Higashi, University of Kentucky
  • Ping-Ching Hsu, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
  • Maureen Kachman, University of Michigan
  • Jonathan Mosley, Environmental Protection Agency
  • Claire O’Donovan, European Bioinformatics Institute (Chair)
  • Mary Playdon, Huntsman Cancer Institute
  • Fariba Tayyari, University of Georgia

Ongoing activities:
Recently, a group of representatives from government, academic and commercial organizations with interest and involvement in metabolomics convened to discuss quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC) in untargeted metabolomics. A repeated theme of this meeting was the need to educate the research community about the importance of QA and QC in untargeted metabolomics and the desire to develop a set of good practice standards and examples of QA/QC workflow that can be adopted by the community as a whole. Resulting from the meeting, mQACC was formed. One of the first objectives of the consortium is to describe the QA and QC protocols that have been established within consortium participants’ laboratories, and to share these practices with the broader metabolomics community as a platform for future QA/QC workflow development. These QA/QC protocols will be summarized and disseminated through publications and conference presentations.

Anticipated deliverables (i.e., resources, documented standards, manuscripts):
Short term deliverables include a manuscript containing the QA/QC practices of those ~8 labs contributing content and a poster presentation at Metabolomics 2018 highlighting the same information. Additional publications which expand upon specific use cases or include a wider variety of contributors are possible.

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Member Name Institution/Company
Abbas Bandukwala Food and Drug Administration
Aiko Barsch Bruker Daltonics
Dan Bearden Retired
Rick Beger Food and Drug Administration
Bianca Bethan Metanomics Health
David Broadhurst Edith Cowan University
Clary Clish Broad Institute
Surendara Dasari Mayo Clinic
Leslie Derr National Institutes of Health
Warwick Dunn University of Birmingham
Annie Evans Metabolon Inc.
Steve Fischer Agilent Technologies
Thomas Flynn FDA (retired)
Alex Forrest-Hay Metabolon Inc.
Thomas Hartung John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
David Herrington Wake Forest Health
Rick Higashi University of Kentucky
Ping-Ching Hsu University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Christina Jones National Institute of Standards and Technology
Maureen Kachman University of Michigan
Helen Karuso Biocrates Inc.
Andre Kleensang John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Gary Kruppa Bruker Daltonics
Matthew Lewis Imperial College London
Katrice Lippa National Institute of Standards and Technology
Padma Maruvada NIDDK
Sven Meyer Bruker Daltonics
Jonathan Mosley Environmental Protection Agency
Ioanna Ntai Thermo Fisher Scientific
Claire O'Donovan European Bioinformatics Institute
George Papanicolaou NHLBI
Mary Playdon Huntsman Cancer Center
Robert Plumb Imperial College London
Dan Raftery University of Washington
Daniel Shaughnessy National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Amanda Souza Thermo Fisher Scientific
Barbara Spalholz National Cancer Institute
Susan Sumner University of North Carolina
Fariba Tayyari University of Georgia
Baljit Ubhi AB Sciex
Mukesh Verma National Cancer Institute
Mark Viant University of Birmingham
Tilmann Walk Metanomics
Ian Wilson Imperial College London
Keren Witkin National Cancer Institute
Krista Zanetti National Cancer Institute

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For questions about mQACC or to inquire about becoming a member, contact Krista Zanetti, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.D.

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