Download image:

Susan J. Sumner

Director, Systems and Translational Sciences

Susan Sumner is working to make personalized medicine a reality. Using metabolomics, the unique chemical fingerprints that cellular processes leave behind, Sumner assesses differences in the metabotype of individuals that correlate with states of wellness or disease. She is identifying individuals' response to treatment in areas such as obesity, drug-induced liver injury, infectious disease, and reproductive and developmental biology. She is also identifying biomarkers for the early detection and diagnosis of disease to monitor therapeutic treatments and to provide insights into biological mechanisms.

Dr. Sumner is the director of the Systems and Translational Sciences Program in the Discovery Sciences Division at RTI, where she oversees the proteomics and metabolomics cores. In September 2012, Dr. Sumner and her team established the NIH Eastern Regional Comprehensive Metabolomics Resource Core (RTI RCMRC) as part of a $9.3 million dollar grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Common Fund. The RTI RCMRC will work with an NIH-funded consortium to establish nationwide standards that provide consistency in metabolomics data collection and provide quality data for storage in a central data repository and coordinating center.  

Dr. Sumner serves on the editorial boards for Metabolomics, the Journal of Applied Toxicology, the Journal of Toxicology, and the RTI Press, and is an adjunct faculty member in the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, and the Department of Nutrition at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


PhD, Physical Chemistry, North Carolina State University; BS, Chemistry (Biology minor), North Carolina State University.

Latest Publications

Vidanapathirana, A.K., Thompson, L.C., Mann, E.E., Odom, J.T., Holland, N.A., Sumner, S.J., Han, L., Lewin, A.H., Fennell, T.R., et al. (2014). PVP formulated Fullerene (C60) increases Rho-kinase dependent Vascular Tissue Contractility in Pregnant Sprague Dawley Rats. Reproductive Toxicology, 49 :86-100.
Wingard, C.J., Holland, N.A., Thompson, L.C., Brown, J.M., Lewin, A.H., Sumner, S.J., Fennell, T.R., et al. (2014). The Need for Reflective Consideration of an Integrative Understanding of Cardiovascular Consequences to PVP Formulated C60 Exposure. Toxicological Sciences, 141 (2):327-328.
Church, R.J., Wu, H., Mosedale, M., Sumner, S.J., Pathmasiri, W., Kurtz, C.L., et al. (2014). A Systems Biology Approach Utilizing a Mouse Diversity Panel Identifies Genetic Differences Influencing Isoniazid-Induced Microvesicular Steatosis. Toxicological Sciences, 140 (2):481-492.
Harrington, J.M., Young, D.J., Essader, A.S., Sumner, S.J., & Levine, K.E. (2014). Analysis of human serum and whole blood for mineral content by ICP-MS and ICP-OES: Development of a mineralomics method. Biological Trace Element Research, 160 (1):132-142.
Thompson, L.C., Urankar, R.N., Holland, N.A., Vidanapathirana, A.K., Pitzer, J.E., Han, L., Sumner, S.J., Lewin, A.H., Fennell, T.R., et al. (2014). C-60 Exposure Augments Cardiac Ischemia/Reperfusion Injury and Coronary Artery Contraction in Sprague Dawley Rats. Toxicological Sciences, 138 (2):365-378.
View all publications by Susan J. Sumner (87)