RCS The Metabolomics Core (RCS) has developed a diverse set of complementary metabolomics technologies that provide a rare combination of broad coverage and analytical precision, and deploys these tools in scientific and clinical collaborations that focus on metabolic signatures associated with functional decline in aging. The Duke Stedman Center's metabolomics core has been an integral component ofthe Duke's Pepper Older Americans Independence Center (OAIC) for the past 7 years and is now enhanced as an independent core. The metabolomics core is well known for its work in applying targeted mass-spectrometry (MS)-based metabolic profiling for understanding of disease and biological mechanisms. The Core will provide this analytic expertise to Pepper projects. Supported projects include: Pilot Projects (one in Year 1), Pepper Research Career Development awardees (two in Years 1-3), External Projects (five in Years 1-5), and future pilot and career development projects as they are selected and initiated. Ofthe external projects, one will characterize metabolomics biomarkers related to successful aging through the lifespan, and three interventional projects will critically address the modifiability of pertinent metabolites with treatments aimed at improving function (weight loss, protein supplements, exercise). Importantly, the lab has also developed and applied non-targeted gas chromatography (GC)/MS methods to obtain broader surveys of metabolic changes in biological systems. Use of non-targeted GC/MS allows measurement of analytes that are not included in the targeted modules, and thereby represents a tool for discovery and hypothesis formulation. Through activities of RC3, we propose to expand the scope ofthe targeted methods and have proposed two development projects that have evolved from our research in aging, thereby providing more powerful tools to support our work. It is also important to note that the RC3 team has recently engaged with other Pepper Centers, thereby forming important collaborative connections between the Duke Pepper OAIC and those groups. Success of RC3 will be highly innovative, because it will provide "one-stop shopping" access to comprehensive targeted (quantitative) and non-targeted (discovery) metabolomics tools via a single portal. Importantly, faculty and staff associated with this core are highly experienced in metabolic research, and will assist Duke's Pepper OAIC faculty and fellows with study design and interpretation, thus ensuring a maximally productive interaction of users with this core.
The Metabolomics Core provides analytic tools to help elucidate metabolic signatures underlying age-related functional decline. In common with the Biochemical Pathways Core (RC2), the goal is to identify and validate biomarkers that predict risk for functional decline and to monitor the efficacy of interventions targeted toward improving physical function, metabolic health, and longevity.
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