Monday, October 8, 2012

Metabolomics Technologies Coming

NIH’s Common Fund is investing $14.3 million this year and will potentially invest more than $51.4 million over five years to accelerate an emerging field of biomedical research known as metabolomics. Researchers will study small molecules called metabolites found in cells and biological systems.

The sum of all metabolites at any given moment referred to as the metabolome is a form of chemical readout that can provide information on the state of health of the cell or body. The metabolome can provide a wealth of information about nutrition, infection, health, and disease status.

Metabolomics technologies have the potential to measure hundreds to thousands of unique metabolites, which can change as the result of disease, environmental exposures, or nutrition. In a clinical setting, metabolomics technologies can be powerful tools for diagnosis and disease follow-up. In basic research, these technologies will transform how investigators define the mechanisms underlying disease and then new strategies for treatment can be developed.

Three Regional Comprehensive Metabolomics Resource Cores include the University of Michigan, University of California at Davis, and Research Triangle Institute in Research Triangle Park, N.C were awarded during the first round of applications but there is also the potential for two to three additional awards at a later date. NIH will invest over $7 million this year in the first three centers with plans to invest over $28 million over five years.

In addition to the three awards, a Data Repository and Coordination Center (DRCC) awarded to the University of California in San Diego with funding of $2 million this year with plans to invest $6 million over five years. The DRCC functions as a coordinating hub so that the awardees can function as a consortium.

Go to for more information on the awards.