Developing and Applying Novel Computational Methods to Understanding Metabolomic Data Sets in Autism Spectrum Disorder

Friday, October 6, 2017 -
1:30pm to 2:30pm
Fluno Center Auditorium, 601 University Ave.

Speaker Name: 

Alan M. Smith, Associate Director, Bioinformatics

Speaker Institution: 

Stamina Biomarker Discovery, Inc.




Stemina Biomarker Discovery through its neurological disorders division, NeuroPointDX, is conducting the largest clinical study of the metabolism with children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) ever conducted. ASD is highly heterogeneous syndrome which has never before been subtyped based on metabolism. The 1,000 subject Children’s Autism Metabolome Project (CAMP study) is designed to validate a panel of metabolic subtypes of ASD and other neurodevelopmental disorders to allow earlier diagnosis and more precise treatment based on the child’s metabolism. Children’s plasma samples are analyzed using multiple metabolomic platforms yielding complex and noisy data. The number of metabolic subtypes is unknown making existing clustering analysis techniques difficult to use. Computational biologists and bioinformatics professionals at Stemina have developed new and novel tools to identify important differences in metabolism between children across a spectrum of neurodevelopmental disorders such as ASD and typically developing children. These differences are then utilized to develop quantitative metabolite based diagnostic tests based on changes in metabolism.

Brief Bio:
Dr. Alan Smith is the Associate Director of Computational Biology. His expertise is in the areas of experimental design, data analysis, and bioinformatics to identify metabolic signatures and generate predictive models. Dr. Smith was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Dr. Gabriela Cezar’s laboratory where he developed laboratory methods for metabolomics of cell culture and tissue based experiments, as well as a metabolomics data analysis pipeline that are the foundation of Stemina’s metabolomics platform. Dr. Smith completed his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Biology at Purdue University and received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics. His expertise is in epigenetics, metabolomics, and computational biology.