Facundo Fernández, Regents’ and Vasser Woolley Professor and Associate Chair for Research and Graduate Training in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, has been elected to the board of the Metabolomics Association of North America (MANA).

With the mission of advancing the field of metabolomics, or “the systems-scale study of biochemical intermediates in biological systems,” MANA creates a prestigious network of North American scientists seeking to advance our understanding of the metabolism of microbes, plants, animals, and humans. Fernández will join School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Professor Mark Styczynski on the board of directors.

“It is an honor to be elected to the board of MANA and have a chance to engage with top scientists in the field to shape the future of metabolomics in North America,” Fernández shared.

Fernández’s research interests lie in the field of metabolomics and the development of new ionization, imaging, machine learning, and ion mobility spectrometry tools for probing composition and structure in complex molecular mixtures. Since joining Georgia Tech in 2004, Fernández has worked with interdisciplinary teams devoted to problems that range from explaining the origins of life on Earth and diagnosing cancer at an early stage, to tracking the sources and prevalence of counterfeit pharmaceuticals worldwide. 

Coupled with machine learning and bioinformatics approaches, Fernández and his team use a combination of state-of-the-art mass spectrometry, ion mobility gas-phase separations, ultrahigh performance liquid chromatography, and new soft ion generation techniques in their work, with the common theme of creating highly accurate tools for quantifying, identifying, and imaging trace chemicals in complex mixtures.