Christoph Steinbeck

Christoph Steinbeck
Team Leader, Metabolomics and Molecular Informatics

Christoph Steinbeck leads Metabolomics and Molecular Informatics at EMBL-EBI. His group develops open databases for the biosciences, such as ChEBI and MetaboLights. The team also works on a number of leading open-source software packages in chemo- and bioinformatics. The Steinbeck group’s research is dedicated to the elucidation of metabolomes by means of computer-assisted structure elucidation and other prediction methods, the reconstruction of metabolic networks, Natural Products research and algorithm development in molecular informatics.

Christoph led the European e-infrastructure project PhenoMeNal (large scale computing with human metabolic phenotyping data) after completing COSMOS (Coordination of Standards in Metabolomics). He is Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Cheminformatics, a past director of the Metabolomics Society, past chairman of the Computers-Information-Chemistry (CIC) division of the German Chemical Society, a lifetime member of the World Association of Theoretically Oriented Chemists (WATOC), and member of various scientific editorial boards and committees.

Christoph studied chemistry at the University of Bonn, where he received his diploma and doctoral degree at the Institute of Organic Chemistry. His PhD thesis focused on the program LUCY for computer-assisted structure elucidation. He joined the group of Professor Clemens Richert at Tufts University in Boston, MA in 1996, working on biomolecular NMR on the 3D structure elucidation of peptide-nucleic acid conjugates. He then became head of the Structural Chemo- and Bioinformatics Workgroup at the newly founded Max-Planck-Institute of Chemical Ecology in Jena, Germany. Christoph became head of the Research Group for Molecular Informatics at the Cologne University Bioinformatics Center (CUBIC) in 2002, and received his Habilitation in Organic Chemistry from Friedrich-Schiller-University in Jena, Germany in 2003.

ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6966-0814

Tel: / Fax: (personal homepage)


Find out about research activity in the Steinbeck research group

Steinbeck team

Dr Christoph Steinbeck leads teams in Metabolomics and Molecular Informatics. They provides the biomedical community with information on metabolism: small molecules and their interplay with biological systems. We develop and maintain MetaboLights, a metabolomics reference database and study data repository; ChEBI, EMBL-EBI’s database and ontology of chemical entities of biological interest. We also develop the biochemical reaction database Rhea jointly with the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics. In support of our mission to create a comprehensively document the metabolomes of organisms and how they change with fluctuations in the exposome, we started and coordinate the European FP7 project COSMOS for the Coordination of Standards in Metabolomics

Our team develops methods to decipher, organise and publish the small molecule metabolic content of organisms. We also develop algorithms to: process chemical information; predict metabolomes based on genomic and other information; determine the structure of metabolites by stochastic screening of large candidate spaces; and enable the identification of molecules with desired properties. This requires algorithms based on machine learning and other statistical methods for the prediction of spectroscopic and other physicochemical properties represented in chemical graphs. Dr Steinbeck also has a research group, which focuses on the understanding of the small-molecule metabolism of living organisms.



Team members

  • Jiakang Chang
  • Keeva Cochrane
  • Adriano Dekker
  • Marcus Ennis
  • Anna Gawedzka
  • Kenneth Haug
  • Sijin He
  • Kathryn Holmes
  • Kalai Vanii Jayaseelan
  • Vidar Jensen
  • Namrata Kale
  • Xuefei Li
  • Jose Ramon Macias Gonzalez
  • Pablo Moreno
  • Peter Murray-Rust
  • Venkatesh Muthukrishnan
  • Venkata  Chandrasekhar Nainala
  • Gareth Owen
  • Daniel Canueto Rodriguez
  • Christopher Rupp
  • Reza Salek
  • Rachel Spicer
  • Steve Turner
  • Mark Williams