Our group is heavily invested in the field of metabolomics, with an emphasis on clinical applications and technology development. Although metabolite levels in biofluids such as urine have been used since the Middle Ages for diagnostic purposes, our approaches can now measure thousands of species in a single 15-minute experiment. Our tools combine high resolution mass spectrometry and chromatography with computational tools such as machine learning to obtain a better understanding of a given biological system or organism at the system level. We are interested in developing new technologies for metabolomics, such as ion sources, new ways of identifying lipids and metabolites, and new methods for spatial metabolite mapping. We are also interested in applying such technologies to biomarker discovery for diseases such as cancer (ovarian, renal, prostate), cystic fibrosis and others. We also have efforts related to understanding the effects of traumatic brain injury at the metabolome and lipidome levels.
Here one of our graduate students, Carter Asef, describes how liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry-based methods are used for metabolomics research in just a few minutes below!