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Program Snapshot

The Metabolomics program has transitioned from Common Fund support. Common Fund programs are strategic investments that achieve a set of high-impact goals within a 5-10 year timeframe. At the conclusion of each program, deliverables will transition to other sources of support or use within the scientific community.

The Common Fund’s Metabolomics program established resources, tools, and training opportunities that increased the national capacity for using metabolomics in biomedical research. Metabolomics is the scientific study of the chemical reactions that occur in organisms, cells, or tissues. Each reaction produces small chemicals called metabolites, which play critical roles in keeping our cells healthy and functioning properly. The goal of the Metabolomics program was to catalyze science around the role of metabolomics in human health by improving metabolomics methods and making them more accessible to the scientific community. To achieve its goal, the Metabolomics program 1) established resource cores that enabled researchers to incorporate metabolomics technologies into their field of research, 2) developed a repository that facilitates the sharing of metabolomics data, and 3) supported the development of tools that addressed challenges at each stage of the metabolomics data analysis and interpretation pipeline.

The Metabolomics program was supported by the Common Fund from 2012 to 2022. Currently, resources (including data and a subset of tools) developed through the program can be found on the Metabolomics workbench. The Workbench includes access to the National Metabolomics Data Repository (NMDR), which contains data from over 2,000 metabolomics studies that are available to the research community, and RefMet, a standardized nomenclature database that serves as a prerequisite for comparing metabolite data across studies.

Program Major Accomplishments

Highlights of the Metabolomics program’s accomplishments:

  • Established six Regional Comprehensive Metabolomics Resource Cores that broadened access to metabolomics by providing opportunities for investigators to incorporate metabolomic technologies into their basic, clinical, and translational biomedical research.
  • Developed the National Metabolomics Data Repository (NMDR) which houses 2,397 studies from over 40 countries. The repository contains 75,000 samples and 32,000 known metabolites. It also provides access to protocols and analytic tools that facilitate analysis of metabolomic data through cloud computing.
  • Developed experimental and computational approaches for improved compound identification in metabolomics that are being incorporated into laboratory pipelines for testing, validation, and dissemination.
  • Generated metabolomics specific tools that successfully addressed challenges in various points of the metabolomics data analysis and interpretation pipeline.
  • Trained students, fellows, and faculty from diverse demographic backgrounds in metabolomics research and analysis.

Please note that since the Metabolomics program is no longer supported by the Common Fund, the program website is being maintained as an archive and will not be updated on a regular basis.

Metabolomics Community 

Learn more about the Metabolomics Community:


Program Coordinator Art Castle discussed the Metabolomics program with Nature Methods!

Read the interview to learn more!

The Common Fund Supported Online Training Resources in Metabolomics

A variety of metabolomics training and education materials are now available on the Metabolomics Workbench.

Science Highlights

A New Way to Stage: Using Metabolites in Kidney Cancer Diagnosis

Birthing Biomarkers: Researchers Discover Metabolites associated with Pregnancy Complications

This page last reviewed on June 4, 2024