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Metabolomics: Understanding Metabolism in the 21st Century

Start date
23 September 2019
Course Type

Metabolomics: Understanding Metabolism in the 21st Century

Metabolomics is an emerging field that aims to measure the complement of metabolites (the intermediates and products of metabolism) in living organisms. The complement of metabolites in a biological system is known as the metabolome and represents the downstream effect of an organism’s genome and its interaction with the environment. Metabolomics has a wide application area across the medical and biological sciences and is attractive to both new and established scientists.

In this course we provide an introduction to metabolomics, explain why we want to study the metabolome and describe the current challenges in analysing the complement of metabolites in a biological system. We describe the interdisciplinary approaches adopted in the metabolomics workflow and demonstrate how the combined efforts of scientist’s from different disciplines is advancing this exciting field.

By the end of the course the learner will understand how metabolomics can revolutionise our understanding of metabolism.


What is a MOOC?

A MOOC is a Massive Open Online Course - these are free, open, online courses designed to offer a taste of Higher Education to learners from across the UK and the world. The University of Birmingham is delivering new MOOCs in partnership with FutureLearn, the UK’s first MOOCs provider established by the Open University.

Delivered by world-class academics from the University of Birmingham, the courses enable learners worldwide to sample high-quality academic content via an interactive web-based platform from a leading global University, increasing access to higher education for a whole new cohort of learners.

The courses have been developed by senior academic staff and their content is quality-assured in line with our other programmes. The courses do not offer credits towards admission to the University of Birmingham.

Course knowledge requirements

This course is aimed at final year undergraduate science students and research scientists who are interested in learning about the application of metabolomics to understand metabolism. It is not essential to have any previous knowledge of the subject area but a reasonable knowledge and understanding of science would be beneficial.




Professor Warwick (Rick) Dunn is a Professor in Analytical and Clinical Metabolomics at the University of Birmingham. Professor Dunn’s research group focuses on developing innovative chromatography, mass spectrometry, sample collection and computational resources and their application in the study of the complex role of metabolites in human ageing and diseases. Areas of biomedical study include endocrinology, inflammation and immunology including musculoskeletal health, cardio-renal diseases and complications of reproduction and pregnancy.

Professor Dunn is the Director of the Birmingham Metabolomics Training Centre, and Director of Mass Spectrometry of the Phenome Centre Birmingham.


Mark2Professor Mark Viant  is Professor of Metabolomics in the School of Biosciences at the University of Birmingham. His research spans from method development in analytical chemistry and bioinformatics through to the application of metabolomics to environmental toxicology.

Professor Viant is the Executive Director of the Phenome Centre Birmingham.



How to apply

This free online course starts 23 September 2019, and ends 18 October 2019. You can register at any point during the course run via the FutureLearn website.

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