MetaCom: Program Center for Plant Metabolomics and Computational Biochemistry, MetaCom
As a new interdisciplinary research program, the Program Center Metacom combines the capacities of high-performance analytical equipment at the institute and its expertise in the fields of natural product chemistry, metabolomics, and chemo- and bioinformatics. The program aims to achieve a comprehensive chemical understanding of plant resilience. The organizational and personnel implementation of this project starts in January 2023 and MetaCom is projected to be housed in a new modern multipurpose building. With the MetaCom project, the IPB intends to become an international reference center for specialized natural products and thus make a visible contribution to solving current challenges such as climate change and food security.
In the MetaCom working units, modern methods of natural product analysis, extensive substance and digital substance libraries, and know-how in chemo- and bioinformatics will be combined and improved by using state-of-the-art technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning.
The four units project the multifaceted and unique strength of the IPB in metabolomics research:
- The Metabolomics Facility will consolidate the former decentralized Technology Platform Metabolome Analytics.
- The closely associated Analytical Laboratory will provide the necessary expertise in chemical analytics and synthesis as well as reference substances for metabolite identification.
- The Research Group Bioinformatics & Scientific Data will become the Computational Plant Biochemistry Unit with a research agenda in computational metabolomics and provide extensive support in bio/cheminformatics and research data management.
- A new independent junior research group, JRG Metabolomics of Plant Resilience, will be established in 2025 to address the central theme of the research program of the IPB and related research questions.