Metabolomics Platform (MEP) functions as a service and research unit. It was created back in 2016 with the aim to:
- Provide the advisory, analytical (experimental) and bioinformatics support to the research groups interested in performing the state-of-the-art, mass spectrometry-based, qualitative and quantitative analysis of metabolome, along with lipidome
In addition, MEP has its own research and development goals to:
- Develop & implement new methodologies for polar and lipid metabolite analyses
Apply these methodologies to human population (epidemiological) and clinical intervention studies to enhance the understanding of metabolic alterations with reproductive ageing (e.g., sex differences related to hormonal transitions)
Metabolome, along with lipidome, refers to a small molecule complement of organelles, cells, organs and biofluids. Following significant advancements in mass spectrometry-based technology, computing power and bioinformatic solutions, we can today measure not only the highly abundant metabolites implicated in energy production and storage (i.e., nutrients, energy currency metabolites, metabolic by-products, structural lipids and lipid reserves) but also the low abundant metabolites, which are responsible for the information flow through chemical signaling. These signaling molecules provide us the additional insights into the metabolic signaling and the regulation of essential biological processes, from cell growth, differentiation and activation to cell proliferation and apoptosis. Several recent metabolomics data-driven studies show that “the metabolites are perhaps the body’s most important signaling molecules” (David Wishart).
The next-generation metabolic profiling is a powerful quantitative biology and high-throughput phenotyping approach that allows us to measure metabolite abundances and deduce pathway activity (through labeling assays), thereby facilitating the study of metabolic mechanisms, from model systems to human population studies. Metabolomics Platform team, working alone or in collaboration with specific research groups, aim to improve the understanding of the metabolite’s role at the system level, in different physiological conditions (e.g., in healthy, ageing and diseased individuals) and in response to stimuli (e.g., treatments).
The Metabolomics Platform is intended for use by researchers at FBM, other UNIL faculties and outside entities (including other academic institutions across Switzerland and industrial partners, based on service agreements).