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

  1. Joshi, J., Renaud, J.B., Sumarah, M.W., Marsolais, F. (2019). Deciphering S-methylcysteine biosynthesis in common bean by isotopic tracking with mass spectrometry, 100(1), 176-186.

    2019 - View publication details

  2. Park, S.H., Li, F., Renaud, J., Shen, W., Li, Y., Guo, L., Cui, H., Sumarah, M., Wang, A. (2017). NbEXPA1, an α-expansin, is plasmodesmata-specific and a novel host factor for potyviral infection, 92(5), 846-861.

    2017 - View publication details

  3. Aung, B., Gao, R., Gruber, M.Y., Yuan, Z.C., Sumarah, M., Hannoufa, A. (2017). MsmiR156 affects global gene expression and promotes root regenerative capacity and nitrogen fixation activity in alfalfa, 26(4), 541-557.

    2017 - View publication details

  4. Visagie CM, Yilmaz N, Renaud JB, Sumarah MW, Hubka V, Frisvad JC, Chen AJ, Meijers M, Seifert KA. 2017. A survey of xerophilic Aspergillus from indoor environment, including descriptions of two new section Aspergillus species producing eurotium-like sexual states MycoKeys 19: 1–30. DOI: 10.3897/mycokeys.19.11161

    2017 - View publication details

  5. Joshi J, Renaud JB, Sumarah MW, Marsolais F (2017) Combining isotope labelling with high resolution liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry to study sulfur amino acid metabolism in seeds of common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris). Plant Sulfur Metabolism in Higher Plants. Fundamental, Environmental and Agricultural Aspects. Series: Proceedings of the International Plant Sulfur Workshop. De Kok LJ, Hawkesford MJ, Haneklaus SH, Schnug E, eds. Springer. pp. 135-144

    2017 - View publication details

  6. Kambhampati S, Pandurangan S, Renaud JB, Austin RS, Sumarah MW, Marsolais F (2016) Combined transcriptomic and metabolomic approaches provide new insights into C/N partitioning in roots of Arabidopsis thaliana. Poster presentation. CSPB/CSHS 2017. Vancouver, July 4-7

    2016 - View publication details

  7. Greenhouse pest control takes a new push-pull approach

    2016 - View publication details

  8. Topp, E., Renaud, J., Sumarah, M., Sabourin, L. (2016). Reduced persistence of the macrolide antibiotics erythromycin, clarithromycin and azithromycin in agricultural soil following several years of exposure in the field, 562 136-144.

    2016 - View publication details

  9. Ma, Z., Marsolais, F., Bernards, M.A., Sumarah, M.W., Bykova, N.V., Igamberdiev, A.U. (2016). Glyoxylate cycle and metabolism of organic acids in the scutellum of barley seeds during germination, 248 37-44.

    2016 - View publication details

  10. Kambhampati S, Pandurangan S , Renaud J, Austin R, Sumarah M, Marsolais F (2016) Combined transcriptome and metabolome analysis of asparagine treated Arabidopsis roots provide new insights into N metabolism. Oral presentation. Plant Biotech 2016. Kingston, June 19-21

    2016 - View publication details

  11. Visagie, C.M., Renaud, J.B., Burgess, K.M.N., Malloch, D.W., Clark, D., Ketch, L., Urb, M., Louis-Seize, G., Assabgui, R., Sumarah, M.W., Seifert, K.A. (2016). Fifteen new species of Penicillium, 36(JUNE), 247-280.

    2016 - View publication details

  12. Renaud, J.B., Sumarah, M.W. (2016). Data independent acquisition-digital archiving mass spectrometry: Application to single kernel mycotoxin analysis of Fusarium graminearum infected maize, 408(12), 3083-3091.

    2016 - View publication details

  13. Kilpatrick, K., Pajak, A., Hagel, J.M., Sumarah, M.W., Lewinsohn, E., Facchini, P.J., Marsolais, F. (2016). Characterization of aromatic aminotransferases from Ephedra sinica Stapf, 48(5), 1209-1220.

    2016 - View publication details

  14. Hannoufa, A., Scott, I. and Sumarah, M. (2016). Exploring Natural Plant Volatile Emissions in Insect Pest Management. Sustainable Agriculture Workshop University of Western Ontario London 2016/04/14 - 2016/04/14

    2016 - View publication details

  15. Qi, T.F., Renaud, J.B., McDowell, T., Seifert, K.A., Yeung, K.K.C., Sumarah, M.W. (2016). Diversity of Mycotoxin-Producing Black Aspergilli in Canadian Vineyards, 64(7), 1583-1589.

    2016 - View publication details

  16. Abdellatif, L., Sumarah, M.W., Gan, Y.T., and Hamel, C. (2015). Metabolites from plant growth promoting rhizobacteria isolated from the rhizosphere of lentil growing in the Canadian Prairie (Notice of Discovery).

    2015 - View publication details

  17. Khan, A.H., Wana, J., Sumarah, M.W., Macfie, S. M., and Ray, M.B. (2015). "Advanced oxidation pre-treatment of benzalkonium chlorides (BACs) prior to biological treatment.", 2015 AIChE Annual Meeting, Salt Lake City, USA, November 8-13, 2015, pp. 446-455.

    2015 - View publication details

  18. Sumarah, M.W., Walker, A.K., Seifert, K.A., Todorov, A., and Miller, J.D. (2015). "Screening of Fungal Endophytes Isolated from Eastern White Pine Needles.", in Jetter, R. (ed.) - The Formation, Structure and Activity of Phytochemicals: Volume 45 of the series Recent Advances in Phytochemistry, Springer, Chapter 8, pp. 195-206.

    2015 - View publication details

  19. Khan, A.H., Topp, E., Scott, A., Sumarah, M., Macfie, S.M., Ray, M.B. (2015). Biodegradation of benzalkonium chlorides singly and in mixtures by a Pseudomonas sp. isolated from returned activated sludge, 299 595-602.

    2015 - View publication details

  20. Renaud, J.B., Kelman, M.J., Qi, T.F., Seifert, K.A., Sumarah, M.W. (2015). Product ion filtering with rapid polarity switching for the detection of all fumonisins and AAL-toxins, 29(22), 2131-2139.

    2015 - View publication details

Research facility

1391 Sandford Street
London, ON N5V 4T3


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

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