Metabolomics is the study on quantitative measurements of the dynamic multi-parametric metabolic responses to pathological, physiological stimuli or genetic modifications in biological systems, and has evolved as the small molecule counterpart of transcriptomics and proteomics. It is a system-wide approach for investigating in vivo metabolic profiles that will provide information on environmental perturbation, pharmacology, toxicology, disease and gene function to dissect the biological pathways that involve in these processes.
Metabolomics research at UVic-Genome BC Proteomics Centre is currently focused on developing and applying high-end mass spectrometry techniques including ultrahigh resolution Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (FTICR MS), orthogonal quadruple time-of-flight mass spectrometry (Q-TOF MS) with the capability of ion mobility spectroscopy (IMS), and ultrahigh performance liquid chromatography (UPLC) to provide unbiased and high-throughput metabolic profiling of biofluid (plasma, serum, urine), cell culture, tissue and plant.
To process and interpret the large volume of mass spectrometry data sets derived from metabolomic analyses, we also have developed and are being developing several customized software packages for streamlined and automatic data extraction, mining and integration. The processed data are saved in data formats that are amenable to the subsequent data visualization, statistics and multivariate analysis for metabolic biomarker discovery.