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Broad Applications of Metabolomics in Neurological Disease and Cancer

  • University of Miami, Miami, Florida
  • Hybrid event
  • May 3rd, 2024
  • 11:30am-12:30pm

Metabolomics Scientific Lunch and Learn Hybrid Event at University of Miami

Join Metabolon and our esteemed speakers for a ‘lunch and learn’ event focusing on ‘Broad Applications of Metabolomics in Neurological Disease and Cancer.’ Discover how metabolomics is being used to advance research in neurology and cancer from two leading researchers at the University of Miami.


  • Ami Raval, Ph.D., M.S.P.H. Research Associate Professor, Neurology, University of Miami
  • Farren Briggs, Ph.D., ScM Associate Professor, Epidemiology + Public Health Sciences, University of Miami
  • Micaiah Ward, PhD, Field Metabolomics Scientist, Metabolon


  • 11:30 am – Introduction – Liz Mahoney
  • 11:30-11:45am – TBD – Ami Raval, UM
  • 11:45-12:00pm – Exploring the metabolome for multiple sclerosis biomarkers– Farren Briggs, UM
  • 12:00pm-12:20pm – Small Molecules, Big Insights: Exploring the functional phenotype through Metabolomics– Micaiah Ward, Metabolon
  • 12:20-12:30pm – Q&A 
  • 12:30pm Lunch

Event Location

University of Miami,
Lois Pope Auditorium (Room 7-05),
1095 NW 14th Terrace,
Google Maps

Why Metabolomics: Your Guide to Metabolomics

In this guide, we explore the ins and outs of one of the most powerful omics tools in any scientist’s toolbox, one that can complement any existing workflow and help realize the full potential of other omics methods: metabolomics.

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Meet the Speakers

Ami Raval, Ph.D.

Ami Raval, Ph.D.

Dr. Raval serves as Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurology at the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine. She had previous training in the physiology of reproduction. She coupled her prior knowledge with laboratory research on the pathophysiology of stroke. Her research focuses on (1) understanding the effects of estrogen on neuronal survival after ischemic episode, and (2) the role of nicotine addiction on beneficial effects of estrogen on hippocampal neurons subjected to ischemia. The results of her laboratory research indicate that nicotine addiction makes females more susceptible to ischemic brain damage. The severity of ischemic brain damage is far greater in females simultaneously exposed to oral contraceptives than to nicotine only. Overall, her study aim to identify the mechanism of deleterious effects of nicotine that are unique to the female brain and the acquired knowledge will guide us towards novel pharmacological strategies specific for women..

Farren Briggs, Ph.D.

Farren Briggs, Ph.D.

Dr. Briggs is an Associate Professor in the Division of Epidemiology within the Department of Public Health Sciences. He is a hybrid quantitative and population health scientist working at the intersection of epidemiology, biostatistics, and genetic/molecular epidemiology. His independent and collaborative research in multiple sclerosis spans the entire disease course: from metabolomic profiling and biomarker discovery, to modelling symptom patterns, and characterizing drivers of quality of life. He is actively expanding his research to Parkinson’s disease and neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder, and eventually to other complex demyelinating disorders. He is also a team-scientist, serving as the lead epidemiologist and biostatistician on several observational and clinical trials for a variety of neuropsychiatric disorders, including epilepsy, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depressive disorder.

Micaiah Ward, Ph.D.

Micaiah Ward, Ph.D.

Dr. Micaiah Ward is a Field Metabolomics Scientist supporting Metabolon’s North America East Region and Population Health activities. Prior to joining Metabolon, Micaiah earned her Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology from Florida State University where her research incorporated genomics, transcriptomics, and proteomics to investigate and characterize venoms from snakes, centipedes, and scorpions. In addition, she used genome-wide association (GWAS) and evolve and resequencing (E&R) approaches to identify the genetic architecture of evolved venom resistance in fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster). After completing her Ph.D., Dr. Ward served as a postdoctoral research fellow at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, where she honed experience in immuno-oncology, infectious diseases, and CRISPR technology. Her broad scientific acumen and multi-omics expertise allow Dr. Ward to highlight the added value of metabolomics in moving the needle of scientific progress across basic and applied research areas in academia and industry.

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