The NIH Common Fund’s Metabolomics program aims to increase national capacity in metabolomics by supporting the development of next generation technologies to enhance the sensitivity and speed with which specific elements of the cellular metabolome can be identified and quantified, providing training and mentoring opportunities, increasing the inventory of chemically identifiable metabolites through the synthesis and availability of high quality reference standards, and by promoting data sharing and collaboration.
Learn more here
NEW! Research from Metabolomics Program Mentored Research Scientist Dr. Mary Cloud Ammons provides insight into the unique metabolism of bacteria that colonize chronic wounds. Infection with bacterial communities contributes to the conversion of an acute wound to a chronic state. Using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectrometry, Dr. Ammons and her colleagues looked at the metabolite composition of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria from two classes: Drug-resistant highly virulent bacteria obtained from clinical isolates and non-virulent drug-sensitive lab strains. For each strain, they analyzed samples grown in standard liquid cultures and others grown under biofilm conditions that mimic the chronic wound environment. They found that both bacterial strains exhibited distinct metabolite profiles when grown in the wound-like environment. These results suggest the possibility of developing molecular markers that could be used to classify the bacteria found within a wound and determine conversion to a chronic wound state. The nature of the metabolites also provide clues to the biological changes that occur when bacteria are grown in chronic wound conditions, offering the potential to develop therapeutic agents that exploit their distinct metabolism. View the article abstract here.
Click on the image below to view Dr. Ammons' video contest submission that explains her research in plain language with the help of some animated bacteria!
Studying the ebb and flow of biological molecules in the metabolism with metabolomics
Dr. Gary Patti and his team at the Washington University School of Medicine have built on recent advances in the fields of metabolomics and bioinformatics to develop a new approach to studying the ebb and flow of biological molecules as they are processed during metabolism. Their approach combines two techniques called “untargeted metabolomics analysis” and “isotopic labeling” that allow them to track the fate of a biological molecule in an unbiased manner. This publication describes their unique experimental process and introduces a new software program they’ve developed to make data analysis easier. They describe a test case which experimentally validates their system and demonstrates that it can be useful in identifying new biochemical pathways. Their system also allows us follow the fate of individual biological molecules in response to environmental changes. Read the article abstract here.
Using metabolomics to understand the interplay of antibiotics and a pathogenic bacterium that can live in the gut:
Metabolomics Program Mentored Research Scientist Dr. Casey Theriot, utilizing the Michigan Regional Comprehensive Metabolomics Resource Center (MRC2 ), published in Nature Communications that metabolites produced by gut microbes change in response to antibiotic treatment and favor growth of the pathogenic bacterium C. difficile.
Researchers look at the relationship between metabolic health and the metabolites found in blood:
New work from the NIH West Coast Metabolomics Center at UC Davis describes how the metabolites found in the blood of women who are obese, sedentary and insulin-resistant change after the women participate in a weight loss and exercise intervention. Some of the metabolites that changed were derived from the gut, and may have originated either from diet or from gut-dwelling microbes. By revealing an association between improved metabolic health and an altered metabolite profile, this study and others like it could help us understand, diagnose and treat complex metabolic disorders like type 2 diabetes mellitus. Click here to access the research article.
Learn more about Metabolomics Initiatives
The NIH Common Fund is taking a comprehensive approach to increasing the research capacity in metabolomics by funding a variety of initiatives in this area, including training, technology development, standards synthesis, and data sharing capability for this new field.
View the Metabolomics Press Release.
Learn more about the Metabolomics Community
- Join the NIH Metabolomics Scientific Interest Group here.
- For Metabolomics data and resources, visit the UCSD Metabolomics Workbench.