COnsortium of METabolomics Studies (COMETS)

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Krista Zanetti, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.D.
Program Director, Genomic Epidemiology Branch
zanettik@mail.nih.gov

Mission and Objectives

The COnsortium of METabolomics Studies (COMETS) is an extramural-intramural partnership that promotes collaboration among prospective cohort studies that follow participants for a range of outcomes and perform metabolomic profiling of individuals. The objectives of COMETS are to:

  • Provide a framework to foster international collaborations among studies sharing common objectives;
  • Provide a forum for the discussion, development and pursuit of new collaborative studies and research directions;
  • Support the development of early career researchers; and
  • Advance the knowledge of the metabolome to improve our understanding of prediction of disease etiology, diagnosis and prognosis.

Based on these objectives, the aim of COMETS is to facilitate an open exchange of ideas, knowledge, and results in order to accelerate the study of metabolomics profiles associated with chronic disease phenotypes (e.g. heart disease, diabetes, cancer).

Learn more about COMETS through the following publication:

Yu B, Zanetti KA, Temprosa M, Albanes D, Appel N, Barrios Barrera C, Ben-Shlomo Y, Boerwinkle E, Casas JP, Clish C, Dale C, Dehghan A, Derkach A, Eliassen AH, Elliott P, Fahy E, Gieger C, Gunter MJ, Harada S, Harris T, Herr DR, Herrington D, Hirschhorn JN, Hoover E, Hsing AW, Johansson M, Kelly RS, Meng Khoo C, Kivimäki M, Kristal BS, Langenberg C, Lasky-Su J, Lawlor DA, Lotta LA, Mangino M, Le Marchand L, Mathé, Matthews CE, Menni C, Mucci LA, Murphy R, Oresic M, Orwoll E, Ose J, Pereira AC, Playdon MC, Poston L, Price J, Qi Q, Rexrode K, Risch A, Sampson J, Jie Seow W, Sesso HD, Shah SH, Shu XO, Smith GCS, Sovio U, Stevens VL, Stolzenberg-Solomon R, Takebayashi T, Tillin T, Travis R, Tzoulaki I, Ulrich CM, Vasan RS, Verma M, Wang Y, Wareham NJ, Wong A, Younes N, Zhao H, Zheng W, Moore SC. The Consortium of Metabolomics Studies (COMETS): Metabolomics in 47 Prospective Cohort StudiesExternal Web Site Policy. Am J Epidem. 2019 Jun 1;188(6):991-1012.

Membership

Membership Eligibility for Studies

Cohorts must meet the following criteria:

  • Prospective cohort, 100+ participants with blood metabolomics data
  • Identified metabolite data
  • Follow-up for disease, including cancer and non-cancer outcomes
  • Mass-spectrometry and NMR platforms are eligible

COMETS members are expected to comply with the consortium's bylaws [PDF - 457 KB].

View list of current COMETS cohorts View list of current COMETS Executive Committee and Steering Committee members

Membership Categories for Investigators

Consortium membership falls under the 3 categories below. Individuals who are interested in Consortium membership and are not members of the Steering Committee will follow the guidelines and eligibility under Consortium Member membership. Consortium Members are eligible to propose investigations to the Steering Committee for approval.

  • Executive Committee: There are 12 Executive Committee members who are responsible to and elected from the Steering Committee members of COMETS. The Executive Committee coordinates COMETS policies and guidelines, approves membership and project proposal requests, serves to facilitate scientific progress through assisting with the planning and development of collaborative consortium activities and with cross-Consortium communications, and assists in the resolution of procedural disputes among members. To achieve these functions, the EC maintains the voting rights of the consortium (one per EC member).

  • Steering Committee: Steering Committee members are the primary representatives of the participating cohort studies (one per cohort) are entitled to vote for the election of Executive Committee members. Steering Committee members advise the Executive Committee on all consortium matters. They review project proposals, participate in Interest Groups and can become Interest Group chairs.  Membership is effective upon notification and confirmation of acceptance of the consortium membership application by the current Executive Committee.

    Investigators interested in joining COMETS should fill out the form below and e-mail the completed form to Krista Zanetti, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.D.

    Download Application for Consortium Steering Committee Membership [PDF - 1.23 MB]
  • Consortium Members: Consortium Members are investigators who are working in the field of metabolomics. Membership requires a nomination by an Executive Committee or Steering Committee member and is effective upon acceptance by the Executive Committee. Consortium Members are required to maintain active participation in at least one Interest Group and may become Interest Group chairs. Consortium Members do not have voting rights.

    Investigators, including trainees, interested in becoming a Consortium Member should fill out the form below and discuss with the Steering Committee member who is nominating you for COMETS membership. After they approve this form, please submit this application along with your CV to  Krista Zanetti, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.D.

    Download Application for Consortium Membership [PDF - 197 KB]

Proposing New COMETS Projects and Collaborations

The 2022 deadlines for submitting proposals are Friday, March 18, Friday, July 15 and Friday, November 18. Although investigators can submit proposals at any time throughout the year, they will not be reviewed until after the next deadline closest to the time of submission.

Overview of the review process for COMETS proposals

Submission - Proposals prepared using the "Study Publication and Presentation Proposal Form" are submitted by sending them to Krista Zanetti at zanettik@mail.nih.gov by the indicated deadline.

  1. Initial Review - This will be completed within three weeks of the submission deadline and will consist of the following steps:
    1. The Proposal Review Chair will make the proposals available to all steering committee members interested in participating in the review. One steering committee member will be assigned to be the primary reviewer for each proposal.
    2. Comments and preliminary scores (1-5, corresponding to the criteria listed below, are due two weeks after the submission deadline.)
      1. Approve as is
      2. Approve with modifications
      3. Deny with suggestions for revision
      4. Deny due to overlap with other COMETS ongoing project
      5. Deny due to insufficiently narrow in scope
    3. During the third week, all proposals will be reviewed during a teleconference to which all investigators that submitted proposals will be invited to participate
      1. The primary reviewer for each proposal will lead the discussion of that application. Proposal investigators may be asked to provide additional information about their project.
      2. All steering committee members on the call will vote for a final score for each proposal.
  2. For proposals receiving a 2 (Approve with minor modifications), revisions can be approved by email.
  3. For proposals requiring major revisions or modifications in scope, investigators should submit a revised proposal and explanatory cover letter within 10 days of the review. The revised proposal will be discussed on the next Steering Committee call.

Timeline for 2022 Proposal Submission and Review Cycles

Step Round 1 Round 2 Round 3
Submission deadline 3/18/2022 7/15/2022 11/18/2022
Comments and preliminary recommendation deadline 4/7/2022 8/4/2022 12/8/2022
Proposal review conference call 4/11/2022-4/22/2022 8/8/2022-8/19/2022 12/12/2022-12/22/2022
If required, revised proposals due 5/20/2022 8/26/2022 1/20/2023
Revised proposals reviewed by Steering Committee 5/25/2022 8/31/2022 1/25/2023
Download the Proposal Form [PDF - 111 KB]

Current COMETS Projects and Collaborations

COMETS Analytics

COMETS AnalyticsExternal Web Site Policy is a cloud-based, self-serviced analytic platform developed for consortium-based metabolomics analyses. It is available for anyone to use.

Read more about COMETS Analytics in the following commentary:

Lacey JV Jr, Benbow JL. Standards, Inputs, and Outputs: Strategies for improving data-sharing and consortia-based epidemiologic research. Am J Epidemiol. 2021 Aug 25. Epub ahead of print.

The commentary references the following publication:

Temprosa M, Moore SC, Zanetti KA, Appel N, Ruggieri D, Mazzilli KM, Chen K-L, Kelly RS, Lasky-Su JA, Loftfield E, McClain K, Park B, Trijsburg L, Zeleznik OA, Mathé EA. COMETS Analytics: An online tool for analyzing and meta-analyzing metabolomics data in large research consortia. Am J Epidemiol. 2021 Apr 22. Epub ahead of print.

Introductory information about COMETS Analytics is available in a recorded webinar. View the recordingExternal Web Site Policy.

COMETS Inaugural Meeting

COMETS was established at a meeting that took place at the NCI on October 28-29, 2014, "Think Tank on Metabolomics and Prospective Cohorts: How to Leverage Resources."

Learn About Meeting and View Summary