University of Calgary

Ian Lewis

  • Assistant Professor
  • AIHS Chair in Translational Heath - Metabolomics
  • Biochemistry

Research Interests

Infectious diseases account for the majority of deaths in developing countries and are among the ten leading causes of mortality in Alberta. The emergence of diverse drug resistant pathogens has made finding new antimicrobial therapies both a Canadian and global health priority. My laboratory investigates the connection between metabolic adaptation and virulence of human pathogens. The ultimate goal of this research is to develop new diagnostic methods to identify high risk patients and novel antimicrobial therapies to control infections. One of the key challenges my laboratory faces is unraveling the complex host-pathogen metabolic dynamics that occur during infections. To address this challenge, we use state-of-the-art mass spectrometry (MS) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) technology to comprehensively quantify the flow of molecules between pathogens and their hosts. This metabolomics approach is a powerful strategy for connecting metabolic phenomena with specific genes and is essential for understanding the metabolic determinants of virulence.

Current research topics

·     • Metabolic adaptations in Pseudomonas aeruginosa

·     • Hemoglobin metabolism in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum

·     • New analytical tools for identifying and quantifying metabolites in complex mixtures      

Selected Awards

·       AIHS Chair in Translational Health, Alberta Innovates Health Solutions (2015)

·       Graduate Mentoring Award (2007)

Selected Publications

Google Scholar Link

Hangjun Ke†, Ian A. Lewis†, Joanne M. Morrisey, Kyle J. McLean, Suresh M. Ganesan, Heather J. Painter, Michael W. Mather, Marcelo Jacobs-Lorena, Manuel Llinás, Akhil B. Vaidya.Genetic investigation of TCA metabolism during the Plasmodium falciparum lifecycle. Cell Reports 11 (1), (2015) †Equal contributions

Ian A. Lewis, Mark Wacker, Kellen L. Olszewski, Simon A. Cobbold, Katelynn S. Baska, Asako Tan, Michael T. Ferdig, and Manuel Llinás. Metabolic QTL analysis links chloroquine resistance in Plasmodium falciparum to impaired hemoglobin catabolism. PLOS Genetics, 10 (1), (2014)

Ian A. Lewis, Seth C. Schommer, and John L. Markley. rNMR: open source software for identifying and quantifying metabolites in NMR spectra. Magnetic Resonance in Chemistry, 47, S123-S126 (2009)

Ian A. Lewis, M. Estela Campanella, John L. Markley and Philip S. Low. Role of Band 3 in regulating metabolic flux of red blood cells. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 106 (44), 18515-20 (2009)

Qiu Cui, Ian A. Lewis, Adrian D. Hegeman, Mark E. Anderson, Jing Li, Christopher F. Schulte, William M. Westler, Hamid R. Eghbalnia, Michael R. Sussman, and John L. Markley. Tools for identifying metabolites from NMR and MS spectral data: the Madison Metabolomics Consortium Database (MMCD). Nature Biotechnology 26, 162-164 (2008)

Ian A. Lewis, Seth C. Schommer, Brendan Hodis, Kate A. Robb, Marco Tonelli, William M. Westler, Michael R. Sussman and John L. Markley. Method for Determining Molar Concentrations of Metabolites in Complex Solutions from Two-Dimensional 1H-13C NMR Spectra. Analytical Chemistry, 79 (24), 9385 -9390 (2007)


  • PD
    Princeton University, 2014
  • PhD
    University of Wisconsin–Madison, 2010
  • BS Summa Cum Laude - Biology
    Fort Lewis College, 2003
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