The metabolomics area is formed by the Metabolomics facility of the COS that covers a wide range of capabilities in metabolome analysis and data handling. The expertise is guaranteed by professionals with extensive experience on mass spectrometry, magnetic nuclear resonance and data analysis. The Metabolomics team at COS focuses its activity on profiling and quantifying small, naturally occurring compounds that collectively constitute the so-called metabolome. Small molecules serve as direct signatures of biochemical activity and therefore are easier to correlate with phenotype. Thus, through comparative, untargeted metabolite profiling, metabolomics provides a powerful strategy for understanding changes associated with a unique phenotype or disease state at the molecular level.
Extracting metabolites from tissues, biofluids, or cell cultures and subsequent analyses through liquid and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC/MS and GC/MS) as well as nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) allows us to simultaneously analyse many low molecular weight biochemicals. This process (“untargeted metabolomics”) has the capacity to implicate unanticipated metabolites or pathways in a unique phenotype and, thereby, provide insight into cellular mechanisms and disease pathology.
To complement LC/MS, GC/MS and NMR profiling in solution, COS has incorporated two additional components to its research: i) MALDI imaging to localise dysregulated metabolites with micrometre resolution to regions in tissues or cell type and ii) intact tissue NMR using high resolution magic angle spinning (HR-MAS) to characterise such dysregulated metabolites. These complementary technologies offer a powerful approach to investigating the biochemical basis of disease and relies on a unique breadth of training experiences. The ultimate goal for COS research is hypothesis-driven omics integration, particularly for metabolomics and the other omics. COS investigate the biochemical basis for diseases beginning with a non-hypothesis-driven approach and using metabolomics technologies.
The Metabolomics area of the IOT can guide researchers at any project phase or from start to finish.
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