Mark W Sumarah, Ph.D.

Image Mark W Sumarah
Research Scientist
  • Analytical and Natural Products Chemistry
  • Metabolomics
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • NMR

Current research and/or projects

Dr. Sumarah is an analytical and natural products chemist with expertise in the isolation, structural elucidation and analysis of small organic molecules from complex biological matrices using LC-MS and NMR. This includes extensive experience on the characterization and analysis of fungal secondary metabolites. The majority of his current research is focused on the development and implementation of better tools using mass spectrometry for the detection and monitoring of mycotoxins in the food production system and agricultural contaminants such as pharmaceuticals in the environment. These tools are being used for discovery of new emerging mycotoxins and to provide data on the fate and occurrence of pharmaceuticals in the environment to regulators. 

Research and/or project statements

  • Emerging mycotoxins in Canada
  • Fungal endophytes of blueberry plants and grapevines
  • Fungal culture collection chemical screening
  • LC-MS/MS analysis of micropollutants

Professional activities / interests

Discussion leader for the 2015 and 2017 Gordon Research Conferences on mycotoxins and phycotoxins held in Easton, MA

Session co-chair at the MycoRed North American Workshop, June 2012, Ottawa, ON

Member of the international advising committee and session chair for the 2016 World Mycotoxin Forum meeting held in Winnipeg, MB, June 2016

Education and awards

Ph.D. Chemistry - Specialization in Chemical Toxicology (2009) Carleton University, Ottawa, ON

M.Sc. Chemistry - Specialization in Chemical Toxicology (2002) Carleton University, Ottawa, ON

Award - Received the Arthur C. Neish Young Investigator Award from the Phytochemical Society of North America “for excellence in research in phytochemistry” (2012)

International experience and/or work

Joint (FAO/WHO) Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) expert roster (2017-2021)

Key publications

For a complete list of publications, please visit: AAFC Online

  • McMillan A, Renaud JB, Burgess KMN, Orimadegun AE, Akinyinka OO, Allen SJ, Miller JD, Reid G, Sumarah MW (2018) Aflatoxin exposure in Nigerian children with severe acute malnutrition. Food and Chemical Toxicology 111: 356-362.
  • Renaud JB, Kelman MJ, McMullin DR, Yeung KK-C, Sumarah MW (2017) Application of C8 liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry for the analysis of enniatins and bassianolides. Journal of Chromatography A. 1508: 65-72.
  • Ibrahim A, Sørensen D, Jenkins HA, Ejim L, Capretta A, Sumarah MW (2017) Epoxynemanione A, nemanifuranones A–F, and nemanilactones A–C, from Nemania serpens, an endophytic fungus isolated from Riesling grapevines.  Phytochemistry 140:16-26.
  • Burgess KM, Ibrahim A, Sørensen D, Sumarah MW (2017) Trienylfuranol A and trienylfuranone A–B: metabolites isolated from an endophytic fungus, Hypoxylon submoniticulosum, in the raspberry Rubus idaeus. The Journal of Antibiotics. 70: 721-725.
  • Renaud JB, Sabourin L, Topp E, Sumarah MW (2017) Spectral Counting Approach to Measure Selectivity of High-Resolution LC-MS Methods for Environmental Analysis. Analytical Chemistry 89: 2747-2754.
  • McMillan A, Orimadegun AE, Sumarah MW, Renaud J, da Encarnacao MM, Gloor GB, Akinyinka OO, Reid G, Allen SJ (2017) Metabolic derangements identified through untargeted metabolomics in a cross-sectional study of Nigerian children with severe acute malnutrition. Metabolomics 13: 13.
  • McMillan A, Renaud JB, Gloor GB, Reid G, Sumarah MW (2016) Post-acquisition filtering of salt cluster artefacts for LC-MS based human metabolomic studies. Journal of Cheminformatics 8: 44.
  • Burgess KMN, Renaud JB, McDowell T, Sumarah MW (2016) Mechanistic Insight into the Biosynthesis and Detoxification of Fumonisin Mycotoxins. ACS Chemical Biology 11: 2618-2625.
  • Qi TF, Renaud JB, McDowell T, Seifert KA, Yeung KK-C, Sumarah MW (2016) Diversity of Mycotoxin-Producing Black Aspergilli in Canadian Vineyards. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 64: 1583-1589.
  • Renaud JB, Sumarah MW (2016) Data independent acquisition-digital archiving mass spectrometry: application to single kernel mycotoxin analysis of Fusarium graminearum infected maize. Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry 408: 3083–3091.
  • Renaud JB, Kelman MJ, Qi TF, Seifert KA, Sumarah MW (2015) Product ion filtering with rapid polarity switching for the detection of all fumonisins and AAL-toxins. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry 29: 2131-2139.
  • Kelman MJ, Renaud JB, Seifert KA, Mack J, Sivagnanam K, Yeung KKC, Sumarah, MW (2015) Identification of six new Alternaria sulfoconjugated metabolites by high-resolution neutral loss filtering. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry 29: 1805-1810.


Adjunct Research Professor Western University, Department of Chemistry, London, ON

Adjunct Research Professor Carleton University, Department of Chemistry, Ottawa, ON