During the last few years, metabolomics has experienced an exponential growth of interest in life sciences. Sine it not only depicts genetic predisposition but also environmental influences like nutrition, exercise or medication, it offers great perspectives for diagnosis and treatment in medicine.
A general aim of our labs is to translate preclinical findings as much as possible into the clinical routine. As very interdisciplinary imaging research facility, we are dealing with many studies from neurology, oncology, inflammation and more. From those projects all kind of murine and cell culture samples are available for metabolomics analysis.
The analytical techniques we are using for preclinical research are also standard for human metabolomics and thus we are collaborating with several clinical partners in many different fields. Hereby we collect, prepare and measure hundreds of samples from huge clinical trials (e.g. Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, breast cancer, liver cancer, brain tumors, cardiac infarct, rare diseases and many more) upon their metabolite concentrations in blood, urine, liquor, feces or tissue. These results we often can set in context with our preclinical projects.
Our recently expanded metabolomics lab is equipped with state of the art sample preparation instruments (Covaris tissue CryoPrep and E220 focused ultrasonicator, Thermo speedvac, Christ lyophilizer) and a high-field 600 MHz IVDr NMR spectrometer (Bruker AVANCE III HD) with different probe heads. For precious samples like tissue extracts we use an ultra-sensitive 1.7 mm microprobe, reaching detection limits down to 500 nM. Currently, we are in the process to expand our analytical instrumentation with untargeted mass spectrometry (UPLC-qTOF-MS) and further periphery equipment for automated sample preparation. Within the framework of an industrial collaboration with Bruker BioSpin we work hand-in-hand to improve and validate diagnostic tests for clinical samples and are guiding our metabolomics lab towards integration into the international Phenome Centre Network. Bruker BioSpin hereby kindly provides us funding for staff support (PhD and technician) as well as free access to software tools and training courses.
We are always seeking for promising national and international collaboration partners and will be happy to hear from you!