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Metabolomics and Small Molecules

Metabolomics is the study of low molecular weight substrates, intermediates, and products of metabolism which are often assessed in complex samples such as cells, tissues, or biological fluids. Metabolomics makes it possible to uniquely evaluate (metabotype) the biochemistry of an individual or system and is used to determine the molecular changes arising from disease, dysfunction, disorder, and therapeutic or adverse effects of xenobiotics.

In general, the Metabolomics Section will utilize both targeted and discovery metabolomic and exposomic measurements to evaluate different systems. For these analyses, the small molecules are extracted from biological or environmental samples and then analyzed using either targeted or discovery schemes.

Applications in Targeted Metabolomics and Exposomics

  • Absolute quantification of target small molecules using their heavy-labeled versions
  • Relative quantification of statistically significant small molecules without their heavy-labeled versions
  • Verification of pathway knockout experiments

Applications in Discovery Metabolomics and Exposomics

  • Detection of novel small molecule features changing in biological and environmental samples
  • Identification of new small molecules not known to exist in certain sample types

Multiple suites of software are available for data analyses. Data can also be transferred to Bioinformatics Research Center- and CHHE-supported servers and analyzed by the CHHE Environmental Data Science Group.

All requests for consultation, support and services must go through the STC portal. You can also watch a short video from Dr. Baker for more information.

STC Voucher Program

All full center members are eligible for the Systems Technology Core (STC) Voucher Program. Under this program, CHHE provides 50% of the costs up to $15K/member for $30K STC services for projects with EHS relevance.  

To participate, complete a STC voucher request, which includes estimated costs and a project description. The major approval criterion will be that funds must be used for EHS-related projects.

Update: Due to the pandemic and research restart, from July to December 31, 2021 CHHE full members can use their STC funds to get NGS sequencing done at external vendors such as Duke, UNC-CH, Novagene etc. CHHE will reevaluate this temporary change at the end of 2021.

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