The Southeast Resource Center for Integrated Metabolomics (SECIM) integrates existing strengths to create a comprehensive resource for basic and clinical scientists to obtain state-of-the-art metabolomics data and analyses. Advanced Mass Spectrometry (MS) Core 3, led by Prof. Yost, will provide advanced MS services to SECIM users. Core 3 will provide biomarker identification, will help to improve protocols for global metabolomics services in Core 1 (MS Services), will provide imaging mass spectrometry (IMS) to users, and in collaboration with Dr. Chris Beecher will provide Isotopic Ratio Outlier Analysis (IROA), a patented technology that can greatly simplify metabolomics studies. The biomarker identification service builds on a long tradition in the UF Department of Chemistry of MS identification of unknown molecules, and it will coordinate closely with Core 2 (NMR). The Yost group has developed MALDI imaging techniques that allow metabolite detection and localization in heterogeneous biological tissues with unprecedented sensitivity. When biomarkers are discovered in Cores 1 and/or 2 with global metabolomics. Core 3 will be able collect IMS data on tissues to show the distribution of biomarkers in normal vs. diseased or treated tissue. IMS will capture information that is completely inaccessible through conventional extracts, and these studies will bridge to high-resolution magic angle spinning (HRMAS) tissue studies in Core 2. Core 3 will closely interface with Core 1, with identical Q-Exactive instruments obtained through a SECIM partnership with Thermo Fisher located side-by-side for joint protocol development and redundancy in the global metabolomics pipeline. The IROA technology will be developed and deployed on the Q-Exactive platform, following up on preliminary studies between SECIM investigators, NextGen Metabolomics, and Thermo Fisher that demonstrate IROA. Core 3 will also coordinate with Core 2 and Bioinformatics Core 4 to expand the IROA study design and integrate NMR into the IROA workflow.
The major goal of metabolomics is the measurement and characterization of metabolites from living organisms, including people. Small molecule metabolites are sensitive to disease, treatment, and many environmental factors, and they can be used as indicators of disease in diagnosis or as markers to assess the outcome of treatment.
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