RTI International - Regional Comprehensive Metabolomics Resource Core

RTI International is offering the opportunity for our members to collaborate with their metabolomics experts to discover biomarkers, reveal mechanistic insights, synthesize metabolite standards, determine characteristics of exposure, and receive training in metabolomics as it relates to nutrition and/or obesity research.


Study Design Consultation

  • Review literature to determine relevancy, level of innovation, and likelihood of success in proposed area of research
  • Define needs for approval from Institutional Review Board or Animal Care and Use Committee
  • Review metadata associated with samples in biorepository for appropriate samples selection
  • Provide guidance on:
    • Sample collection and storage
    • Types of analytical methods that best address study needs
    • Types of metabolite standards and best positions for isotopic labeling
    • Relevant environmental measures

Types of Assays

  • Broad spectrum metabolomic via UPLC-Q-TOF-MS, 2D-GC-TOF-MS, and NMR
  • Targeted quantitative NMR
  • Targeted quantitative endocannabinoid analysis
  • GC-MS for the measurement of organic acids, free fatty acids, and total fatty acids
  • LC-MS/MS for the measurement of acylcarnitines, acyl coenzymes, and amino acids
  • Multidimensional NMR
  • Metabolic flux analysis
  • ICP-MS for metals, minerals, and metallomics
  • Environmental measures such as particulate matter mass, tobacco smoke, endotoxins, indicators of molds and fungi, NO2, volatile organic compounds, pyrethroids, non-persistent pollutants, phthalate monoesters, organophosphorus pesticides, perfluorinated octanyl sulphonates, organochlorine, flame retardants, and metabolites of PCBs and PBDEs.

Data Analysis

Following signal detection, RTI scientists apply statistical and mathematical tools (e.g., Umetrics, Spotfire, SAS) to identify data trends that show the correlation of specific signals with the phenotypic response under investigation. Identified signals are mapped to biochemical pathways through the use of specialized software, such as GeneGo, and expert biochemist interpretation to derive biomarkers and mechanistic insights.

Analytical Capabilities

RTI has experience in the analysis of exogenous and endogenous compounds in cells, tissues, and biological fluids collected from animal models or human subjects. Their analytical capabilities for targeted and broad-spectrum analysis include:

  • Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy
  • Liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS(n), UPLC-Q-TOF-MS, ion mobility)
  • Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS, 2D-GCTOFMS)
  • Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, Orbitrap, and MALDI imaging

RTI Metabolite Synthesis Capabilities

The RTI facility is well equipped and staffed for the synthesis and characterization of unlabeled metabolites as well as labeled compounds (such as 13C, 15N, 14C).

Tier 1: Consultation and Initial Planning Support

Tier 1 services will involve meetings between RTI and the NORC research base member to discuss the project and determine the level and type of metabolomics services appropriate for the project.

Tier 2: Statement of Work

Tier 2 services will be provided to projects that have a clear path to success. RTI will work with interested investigators to develop a statement of work or protocol, budget, and timeline.

Tier 3: Metabolomics Analysis or Synthesis

Tier 3 studies will involve metabolomics analysis and synthesis.

For more information, please visit contact:

Susan Sumner, PhD
Director, NIH Eastern Regional Comprehensive Metabolomics Resource Core
RTI International
3040 E. Cornwallis Road, PO Box 12194
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-2194
T: (919) 541-7479
E: ssumner@rti.org

* Please inform Dr. Sumner that you are a member of the NORC research base.

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Service Request Form

To request services from RTI International, please complete the online service request form.