Biochemistry - CAFNR
MU Metabolomics Center
Research at a glance
Area(s) of Expertise
The research focus of the Sumner lab includes the development of cutting-edge technologies for large-scale biochemical profiling of plant metabolites (ie metabolomics) and integrating these with other omics data. These technologies are then applied in a symbiotic manner for plant gene discovery, gene characterization and the elucidation of mechanistic responses to external stimuli; especially related to plant specialized metabolism or plant natural products biosynthesis. Technology enables the biology and the biology drives technology development. Current technology development projects include the development of a sophisticated and integrated ensemble including UHPLC-MS-SPE-NMR for the systematic and biologically driven annotation of plant metabolomes. This suite of tools is being applied to better understand carbon sequestration in cell wall lignin and lipids. The Sumner lab is also currently using integrated metabolomics for the discovery and characterization of triterpene saponin biosynthetic genes in the model legume Medicago truncatula. We have proven success in using this technology for a better understanding of natural products including flavonoids, isoflavonoids, terpenoids, and waxes.
The Sumner lab has a long and proven history of productive collaboration and relocated to the University of Missouri in 2016 where they have also established a new University of Missouri Metabolomics Center (UMMC) to further enhance and enable additional collaborations. The UMMC provides regular training courses and continual educational opportunities for collaborators. The Sumner lab has also hosted approximately 19, one-week long, hands-on annual workshops that provided in-depth metabolomics and proteomics training for approximately 400 graduate students, postdocs, professional staff and faculty. The Sumner lab has hosted a total of approximately 94 undergraduate, graduate, postdoctoral and visiting researchers over the years and welcomes the opportunity for more. We are always interested in discussing opportunities with those with multidisciplinary interests and backgrounds.
- Ph.D. Analytical Chemistry, Oklahoma State University
- B.S. Chemistry, Cameron University