Board of the Nordic Metabolomics Society

The Society has nine voting members and a non-voting secretary, with at least one member from each of the five Nordic countries, and at least one early-career scientist. Current board was elected during elections on November 8-15, 2023 (online voting), with a two-year mandate. First board served from the time of the establishment of the society, until 10/2019, and the second board passed the torch to the third board at the time of General Assembly of the society on November 11, 2021. The current board took charge on December 6, 2023.

Members of the Board of the Nordic Metabolomics Society (2023-2025)

Alex Dickens (University of Turku, Finland) Vice-chair of the Board
Guro F. Giskeødegård (Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway) Chair of the Board
Tuulia Hyötyläinen (Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden)
Rikard Landberg (Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden)
Matej Orešič (Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden & Turku Bioscience Centre, University of Turku, Turku, Finland)
Katja B Prestø Elgstøen (Oslo University Hospital, Norway)
Karolina Sulek (Steno Diabetes Center Copenhagen, Denmark)
Margrét Thorsteinsdóttir (University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland)
Iman Zarei (University of Eastern Finland, Finland)

Board member biographies

Alex Dickens (Vice-Chair of the Board) is a Finnish Academy Fellow and the leader of the Neurometabolomics group at Turku Bioscience Centre, University of Turku. He is also the head of the Turku Centre for Chemical and Molecular Analytics (CCMA), Department of Chemistry and the Co-PI and founder of the Turku Metabolomics Centre with Matej Orešič. He obtained his DPhil from the University of Oxford in 2013 where he utilized NMR based metabolomics to prognose different brain diseases from blood. He then completed two post-doctoral research positions. First in the Turku PET Centre, where he was investigating new tracers for neuroinflammation. Secondly, he went to Johns Hopkins School of Medicine where he identified a new mechanism of how the brain communicates to the periphery via extra cellular vesicles. He also established new MS based lipidomic methods. He then joined the Orešič group in Turku. His current research group focuses on developing new MS based methods for the detection of a wide range of metabolites and then applying these to see metabolism changes following brain injury or development. It particularly focuses on how the endocannabinoid system can act as long range signaling molecules between the brain and periphery.

Guro F. Giskeødegård (Chair of the Board) is an Associate Professor in biostatistics at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). She received her PhD in Medical Technology in 2011. Her main research areas are metabolomics and multi-omics analyses within the area of cancer research, with a focus on statistical analysis and modelling of large -omics data sets. She has experience from working with large biobank materials of cancer tissue, and has through this work investigated molecular patters of prognostic potential, related to diagnosis and treatment response. The last years, she has shifted the focus towards large-scale metabolomics analyses of biofluids and gut microbiota profiling within cancer, aiming for early detection, treatment monitoring and understanding the negative effects of cancer treatment. She is also involved in ongoing projects within lifestyle, exercise and cardiovascular health. Dr. Giskeødegård is employed at the HUNT Center for Molecular and Clinical Epidemiology, NTNU, leading the Metabolomics group within the center.

Tuulia Hyötyläinen is Professor of Chemistry at Örebro University, Sweden. Tuulia Hyötyläinen has a PhD in analytical chemistry (University of Helsinki, Finland). Professor Hyötyläinen has a strong background in analytical chemistry and in separation science. Her extensive experience encompasses sample preparation techniques and various chromatographic methods and mass spectrometry Her research primarily revolves around instrumental and methodological advancements, with a particular emphasis on environmental studies, metabolomics, and exposome research. The core objective of her research is to gain a profound understanding of the health implications stemming from environmental factors. This is achieved through comprehensive chemical characterization of both endogenous and exogenous compounds, coupled with an in-depth analysis of associated health outcomes.

Rikard Landberg (Secretary and Treasurer of the Board) is Professor of Food and Health and Head of Division Food and Nutrition Science at Chalmers University of Technology. He is studying the impact of food and food components may have on health and disease risk in observational and intervention studies as well as in various model systems. He also develops and evaluates biomarkers of dietary exposure used in epidemiological research using nutritional metabolomics with both MS- and NMR- techniques.

Matej Orešič holds a PhD in biophysics from Cornell University (1999; Ithaca, NY, USA). He is professor of medicine, with specialization in systems medicine at Örebro University (Sweden) and a group leader in systems medicine at the University of Turku (Finland). Prof. Orešič’s main research areas include exposomics and metabolomics applications in biomedical research and systems medicine. He is particularly interested in the identification of environmental exposures (exposome) and disease processes associated with different metabolic phenotypes and the underlying mechanisms linking these processes with the development of specific disorders or their co-morbidities. Prof. Orešič also initiated the popular MZmine open-source project, which led to the development and release of popular software for metabolomics data processing. As of 2016, he was made a Lifetime Honorary Fellow of the Metabolomics Society. Prof. Orešič currently serves as member of the Board of Directors of the Metabolomics Society and is one of the founders of the Nordic Metabolomics Society, previously serving as its chair of the board (2017-2021). In 2019, he co-chaired the 1st Gordon Research Conference on ‘Metabolomics and Human Health’ (Ventura, CA, USA). Previously, he also chaired the Keystone Symposium on Systems Biology of Lipid Metabolism (2015; Breckenridge, CO, USA).

Katja B Prestø Elgstøen is head of the metabolomics activity at Oslo University Hospital (OUH). She is a chemist by training and holds a PhD in medical chemistry from the University of Oslo (UIO) in 2010. She is also head of the recently approved Core Facility for Global Lipidomics and Metabolomics at UIO. Since finishing her PhD, she has been responsible for development and implementation of LC and MS-based diagnostic methods for metabolites in advanced laboratory diagnosis of inborn errors of metabolism. Her research focus has been on development of LC-high resolution MS based global (untargeted) metabolomics methods for clinical use. During the last years, global lipidomics has also been a prioritized task. With her long background in laboratory diagnostics, Dr. Elgstøen has a special focus on implementation of global metabolomics and lipidomics in a diagnostic setting. Her group is involved in use of these tools for solving difficult diagnostic cases, also from outside of OUH. She serves as supervisor and lecturer in metabolomics, chromatography and mass spectrometry at both bachelor, master and PhD level at both OsloMet and UIO, and students at all educational levels are doing their projects in her metabolomics group at OUH. She was also invited as lecturer at The European Metabolomics Society Workshop on Dried Blood Spot Metabolomics. Dr. Elgstøen also has special focus on the importance of proper study design in metabolomics, standardization of result reporting, development of workflow for annotation of unknowns, and implementation of quality assurance systems to improve the overall utility of metabolomics.

Karolina Sulek has a PhD in metabolomics of gut microbiota and the host cross-communication. She is currently a leader of Translational Medicine team at Steno Diabetes Center Copenhagen (SDCC), the largest clinic and research platform in Denmark focused on health and life quality improvement of people with diabetes. Karolina has 10 years of experience in clinical metabolomics and lipidomics within metabolic diseases and diabetes. She also gained experience in clinical proteomics, which she applies currently in her research with focus on diabetes complication prediction and biomarker application for the benefit of patients at SDCC. Her team’s research is directed towards clinically applicable omics technology development. Translational Medicine also works on software development for easier analysis and results understanding, making omics more approachable for clinical purposes. Karolina is also a co-founder and currently a chair of Danish Clinical Metabolomics Network (CLIME.DK), which is a scientific base for all researchers and clinicians interested in clinical metabolomics in Denmark and Skåne area. Karolina is also a member of Committee for Education at Danish Diabtes Endocrine Academy. Her aim is to make metabolomics, lipidomics and proteomics utilized in the clinics for the benefit of people living with diabetes and other metabolic diseases.

Margrét Thorsteinsdóttir is a Professor in Pharmaceutical Analytical Chemistry at the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Iceland and she is the founder and R&D Director of ArcticMass LTd, Reykjavik, Iceland. Dr. Thorsteinsdóttir received her PhD from Uppsala University, Sweden in 1998. From 2000 to 2009 she was the managing director of Bioanalytical Laboratories at deCODE Genetics, Reykjavik, Iceland. She has extensive experience in the development of analytical methods for metabolite profiling and quantification of clinical biomarkers in various biofluids utilizing chemometrics with the goal of improved clinical management of patients towards personalized patient care. Her current research interest includes studies of lipid metabolism in cancer cells and profiling plasma derived biomarkers for early detection of BRCA-related breast cancer. She is responsible for implementation of clinical mass spectrometry for support of diagnostics and therapeutic drug monitoring in collaboration with ArcticMass and the Landspitali University Hospital, Reykjavik, Iceland with focus on multi-omics integrated processes for early detection of various diseases. She is one of the founders of Females in Mass Spectrometry (FeMS), she is a vice-leader of the working group clinical significance and applications of (epi)lipidomics in the pan-European network, EpiLipidNET and vice-chair of the Nordic Metabolomics Society.

Iman Zarei is a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition, UEF. Prior to arriving to Finland, he completed his PhD in Human Nutrition, minor in Molecular Biology & Biotechnology at the University of the Philippines joined with Colorado State University, USA, in 2018. Zarei's PhD research focused on identification of dietary biomarkers in cereal bran using metabolomics from human intervention studies in adults and children and determination of cereal bran property in inhibiting bacterial pathogenicity in mouse cell line. He also worked over three years as a researcher/PhD scholar at the Grain Quality and Nutrition Center as well as the Genetic Transformation Laboratory at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the Philippines. Dr. Zarei's work at IRRI included rice metabolomics, identification rice varieties with high protein content, and genetic modifications of rice for vitamin A (Golder Rice project) and iron and zinc bio-fortification. He did his master’s degree in Biochemistry at the University of Pune, India. He received his B.S. in Cellular and Molecular Biology & Biochemistry in Iran. Ice-swimming, cross-country skiing, and cooking have been his constant, and hopefully life-long passions. Dr. Zarei is also inspired by helping better peoples’ lives.