The Metabolomics Advanced Services Core combines capabilities for metabolomic data analysis from six metabolic laboratories located at UC Davis: the Fiehn Genome Center metabolomics laboratory (primary metabolism and complex lipids), the Hammock NIEHS superfund laboratory (eicosanoids and vitamins), the Lebrilla mass spectrometry laboratory (glycans), the Newman WHNCR laboratory (lipid mediators), the Cherry laboratory (imaging) and the Gaikwad laboratory (steroids). These methods will be available for service in Pilot &Feasibility studies and through recharge-rate fee structures. The laboratories will further advance and expand these methods for cross-platform integrated metabolomic studies. All services will be promoted by the Administrative Core, with samples to be delivered through the Central Service Core and managed by the centralized LIMS software. Advanced methods that have been automated and validated to be applicable for fast, high-quality operation will be transferred to the Central Service Core to accelerate throughput and turnaround times for regional and national clients. The Advanced Services laboratories will help with metabolomics training and pilot projects administered by the Promotion &Outreach Core. The core will provide comprehensive capabilities for metabolomic studies. Faculty and staff will collaborate with regional scientists in study design, implementation and data interpretation of metabolomic projects in clinical and preclinical studies. The core will expand the scope of its current quantification capabilities of 1,069 identified metabolite targets. Using untargeted metabolomics, the core will provide discovery services that extend to novel metabolic intermediates, followed by subsequent structural annotations and validation measurements. Secondly, the Core will advance metabolomics services and transfer methods to the Central Service Core. Scientists will develop or adapt methods to accelerate sample preparation processes by automating liquid- and solid-phase handling steps using a robotic sample handling device. Data processing steps will be optimized, and final methods will be transferred to the Central Service Core for the most robustly quantifiable sets of target metabolites. Isotope-based flux analyses will be implemented and transferred to the Central Service Core on GC-MS basis. For untargeted metabolomics, generalized retention-index marker compounds will be used to enable alignment procedures across different matrices. Image-guided mass spectrometry will open a novel field in metabolomics using fluorescently labeled metabolites and drugs for spatially targeting metabolically active zones in tissues and cell types.
Comprehensive analysis of metabolism is critical to understand diseases such as diabetes, heart attack and stroke, or growth and progression of cancerous tumors. Development and advancement of tools enabling to establish holistic views onto bodily and cellular metabolism will help achieving this goal. The aim is to advance science and technology as well make metabolomic tools available to clinical and preclinical scientists.
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