Thermo Fisher and UC Davis launch metabolomics centre

Metabolomics is a field where researchers identify diagnostic biomarkers for disease, discover drug targets, develop tools to predict drug response and enable precision medicine

Thermo Fisher Scientific and the University of California, Davis (UC Davis) West Coast Metabolomics Center have announced The Center of Excellence in Clinical Metabolomics, a research collaboration to provide the metabolomics community with practices and procedures to support the scale-up of cohort studies and clinical research.

Metabolomics is a field where researchers identify diagnostic biomarkers for disease, discover drug targets, develop tools to predict drug response and enable precision medicine. Advancements in this area are hoped to ensure patients receive more targeted medicines, increasing the likelihood those therapies will achieve their intended outcomes.

The Center of Excellence in Clinical Metabolomics, based on the UC Davis Sacramento campus, will explore targeted and untargeted metabolic profiling for population-based cohorts across translational research and precision medicine. It will develop standardised processes for the research community, including end-to-end metabolic profiling workflows; optimised liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) methods, protocols for analytical controls to monitor instrument performance; and training courses for staff, scientists and core lab managers.

"The progress we’ve made in the areas of vaccines and therapy development during the pandemic would have been impossible without ongoing commitments to invest in and share new scientific techniques, and this underscores the importance of our collaboration with UC Davis," said Mark Stevenson, Executive VP and COO of Thermo Fisher. "The work we’ll do here serves science by refining basic, but critical scientific techniques for metabolomics so they can quickly become clinically relevant."

As part of the collaboration, Thermo Fisher is providing its Orbitrap technology. The Center will generate data using the Orbitrap-based mass spectrometers in conjunction with the company’s Vanquish Duo UHPLC system for increased throughput. This instrument combination is provided to support the development of streamlined workflows for large-scale studies and translational research.

"We aim to provide advance training courses for early career community members as well as independent investigators and scientists, and this will be supported by state-of-the-art technology from Thermo Fisher," said Oliver Fiehn, Director, West Coast Metabolomics Center at the UC Davis Genome Center. "This collaboration will drive the creation of innovative analytical approaches for both untargeted and targeted applications, providing the metabolomics community with advanced methodologies for their vital work."

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