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Perspectives on Data Analysis in Metabolomics: Points of Agreement and Disagreement from the 2018 ASMS Fall Workshop

Baker ES and Patti GJ
Perspectives on Data Analysis in Metabolomics: Points of Agreement and Disagreement from the 2018 ASMS Fall Workshop
JASMS, 30: 2031-2036, 2019
doi:10.1007/s13361-019-02295-3

In November 2018, the American Society for Mass Spectrometry hosted the Annual Fall Workshop on informatic methods in metabolomics. The Workshop included sixteen lectures presented by twelve invited speakers. The focus of the talks was untargeted metabolomics performed with liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry. In this review, we highlight five recurring topics that were covered by multiple presenters: (i) data sharing, (ii) artifacts and contaminants, (iii) feature degeneracy, (iv) database organization, and (v) requirements for metabolite identification. Our objective here is to present viewpoints that were widely shared among participants, as well as those in which varying opinions were articulated. We note that most of the presenting speakers employed different data processing software, which underscores the diversity of informatic programs currently being used in metabolomics. We conclude with our thoughts on the potential role of reference datasets as a step towards standardizing data processing methods in metabolomics.

Washington University, Departments of Chemistry, Genetics, and Medicine. Saint Louis, Missouri 63110 USA