Metabolomics

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Metabolomics, the profiling of the many small molecules in blood, urine or tissues, provides an opportunity for investigators to obtain a snapshot of metabolism. Several commercial and academic metabolomics platforms exist. An investigator needs to select the platform that best fits their needs and budget. Once a platform is selected, samples must be collected properly, and diet, sample collection timing, and storage of samples must be considered.


Services
The NORC works with the following research partners to support metabolomic profiling: 

UNC Metabolomics Laboratory
The Metabolomics laboratory is located in the Center for Drug Safety Sciences at the Hamner Institutes for Health Sciences, 13 miles away from UNC in Research Triangle Park, and houses a 600MHz NMR system. High throughput capabilities are available using the 100 sample automation robot for tube based samples or the high throughput fluidics system for the micro-coil probe.  The latter can take samples from either vials or well-plate formats and inject them directly into the probe and then recover the samples after analysis.  The lab has acquired state of the art software for data acquisition and processing along with suites of both commercial and home written software for data reduction and pattern recognition analysis, as well as quantitative measurement of metabolite concentration and 13C isotopomer (i.e., isotope isomers) fractional enrichment.

Michigan Regional Comprehensive Metabolomics Resource Core (MRC2)
The Michigan Regional Comprehensive Metabolomics Resource Core (MRC2) offers a wide variety of services to assist investigators at every step of metabolomics research, from study design, sample collection, data analysis and interpretation of data.  Services include well developed targeted and untargeted metabolomics platforms, lipidomics, and fluxomics, as well as statistical and bioinformatics tools to for data analysis  and visualization.

RTI International – Regional Comprehensive Metabolomics Resource Core
For investigators wanting a closer collaboration in the design, conduct, and interpretation of experiments using metabolomics, the Research Triangle Institute (RTI) can also provide support to our members. The RTI’s Regional Comprehensive Metabolomics Resource Core provides design assistance, data interpretation, untargeted metabolomic profiling (using separation and detection by three independent mass spectrometric platforms), and NMR spectroscopy. This option is geared towards investigators who want a more customized configuration for metabolomics.

David H. Murdock Research Institute & Metabolon
The DHMRI Metabolomics Laboratory provides methods for targeted and broad spectrum analysis using mass spectrometry (MS) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) technologies. Through the linking of metabolites to known biochemical pathways, investigators can develop mechanistic insights that show promise in staging disease, monitoring therapeutic treatments, and developing or improving intervention strategies. The DHMRI Metabolomics Laboratory has partnered with Metabolon, Inc.,an industry leader and pioneer in metabolomics, to provide high throughput metabolite identification, quantification and analysis of nearly any sample type. Samples are processed in either Metabolon’s biomarker discovery lab or its CLIA-certified and CAP-accredited clinical diagnostics lab using a multi-platform approach incorporating GC/MS, GC-FID and UPLC/MS/MS.  Metabolon’s proprietary software and extensive biochemical reference library of 14000+ known and novel metabolites (including complex lipids) allow them to offer broad global metabolic profiling, metabolite class-specific focused panels, and custom-built targeted assays.  All study results are expertly interpreted by Ph.D. biochemists, and deliverables are provided via a secure, interactive client portal featuring a suite of statistical and bioinformatics tools. Metabolon has conducted more than 3000 metabolite studies and contributed to more than 350 publications across a wide variety of research areas.