Metabolomics is the comprehensive study of small molecules called metabolites which collectively make up the metabolome. Downstream of genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics, metabolomics is the study of the products of metabolism, which are influenced by what we are exposed to. One of the major advantages of using metabolomics is that it provides the greatest insight into any given phenotype, as changes in the metabolome directly reflect the underlying biochemical activity and state of cells/tissues.
Our group actively utilizes high resolution mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance to biochemically profile clinical and biological samples to identify early diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers of disease. Our overriding goal is to be able to develop methods for diagnosing disease, in particular neurodegenerative disease, years before clinical symptoms become apparent and treatment modalities are most effective. To this end, we are also integrating other “omics” technologies into disease models to include proteomics and epigenetics. My primary objective is to identify novel metabolic pathways associated with the disease and explore them further using translational models and real time monitoring. We believe this logical workflow will allow us to identify innovative targets with clinical applications for the treatment of these diseases, and not just symptoms associated with them. By combining our interest in diagnostics and mechanism, the principle apothegm of our Metabolomics department is to get the “Right drug, to the right person at the right time”.