Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Mass Spectrometry
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

UC Davis Receives $9.3 Million Grant for Metabolomics Center

Published: Monday, September 10, 2012
Last Updated: Monday, September 10, 2012
Bookmark and Share
The new center will bring together existing UC Davis service facilities in mass spectrometry, nuclear magnetic resonance and imaging.

With a $9.3 million startup grant from the National Institutes of Health, the University of California, Davis, has announced plans to open the West Coast Metabolomics Center, a high-tech consortium of research and service laboratories that will help scientists better understand and develop more effective treatments for complex diseases like diabetes, cancer and atherosclerosis.

The facility, which will be housed within the UC Davis Genome Center, will celebrate its grand opening Oct. 8 with a mini-symposium featuring UC Davis and regional scientists, and corporate supporters.

Metabolomics is a new field that looks at the biochemical changes taking place in living cells during metabolism. The West Coast Metabolomics Center at UC Davis will use more than 30 mass spectrometers — instruments for analyzing chemical structures — to target thousands of different molecules produced in cells, allowing researchers to look at changes taking place at specific times and under specific environmental conditions.

“The NIH recognizes metabolism as a very important part of human physiology and disease processes,” said Oliver Fiehn, professor of molecular and cellular biology and director of the new center. “When you analyze metabolism, you can tell the state of the body at the onset and during the progression of diseases ranging from cardiovascular disease to cancer.”

It will help researchers throughout the western U.S. with small grants for annual pilot and feasibility studies, provide courses, statistics and bioinformatics services, and perform metabolomic analyses on a fee-for-service basis. The center is designed to be self-sustaining within five years.

One of researchers who plans to use the new center is UC Davis Professor Bruce German, who studies lipid metabolism, especially in milk production, in the Department of Food Science and Technology.

“This new center shows the effects of the university’s long-term investments into biochemistry and genomics,” German said.

Juvenile diabetes
One of the center's first big projects will be as part of a large international study, led by the NIH, to look for environmental causes of childhood diabetes. Juvenile, or Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that causes the body to destroy pancreatic cells that produce insulin, and people with the disease must inject insulin regularly in order to survive.

Called the TEDDY study — The Environmental Determinants of Type 1 Diabetes in the Young — the project will track nearly 8,000 children over a three-year period to try to identify factors such as infections, diet, stress or other conditions that may trigger the disease.

“We know that children who get Type 1 diabetes all have certain gene signatures, but most children with those same genes don’t get the disease,” Fiehn said. “Researchers now believe there’s an environmental trigger — something that activates those genes and causes the disease. Metabolomics is a way to try to identify those environmental triggers by seeing what’s happening inside the cells over time. In addition, metabolomics is a chemical screening tool that might find further environmental cues, including pollutants.”

The West Coast Metabolomics Center will analyze blood samples taken from children every three months during the study period, providing data to researchers that may help them identify a single factor or series of factors that trigger the disease. The TEDDY consortium will pay more than $1.5 million for the services provided by the new center.

Individualized medicine
Another promising aspect of metabolomics research is creating individualized treatments for people with certain diseases, or choosing the best available treatment for a patient.

Metabolomics could be used to determine the best dose of treatment for a patient. People with higher metabolisms may need higher doses of drugs than people with lower metabolisms, for example.

"Understanding metabolomics and disease response will help scientists to develop new therapeutic strategies," said Professor Ralph de Vere White, director of the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center. "This metabolomics research center will allow the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center to advance this exciting area in cancer research, more deeply understand underlying mechanisms, and improve treatment options for patients."

The West Coast Metabolomics Center at UC Davis has received instrumentation support from mass spectrometry equipment companies Agilent Inc. and LECO Corporation.


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,000+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.


Scientific News
HIV Particles Used to Trap Intact Mammalian Protein Complexes
Belgian scientists from VIB and UGent developed Virotrap, a viral particle sorting approach for purifying protein complexes under native conditions.
Altered Metabolism of Four Compounds Drives Glioblastoma Growth
Findings suggest new ways to treat the malignancy, slow its progression and reveal its extent more precisely.
Coding and Computers Help Spot Methane, Explosives
Coded apertures improve and shrink mass spectrometers for field use.
Why Bearcats Smell Like Buttered Popcorn
Researchers pinpoint chemical compound that gives rare animal its popcorn-like scent.
UCSD Scientists Receive NIH Grant to Combat Antibiotic Resistance
Interdisciplinary program will use systems biology approaches to understand how antibiotics work in concert with patient’s immune system.
Virus Causing Tilapia Die-Offs Identified
Discovery of the virus causing Tilapia die-offs in Israel and Ecuador points the way to protecting a fish that feeds multitudes.
Novel Collagen Fingerprinting Identifies A Neanderthal
Study from the universities of Oxford and Manchester uses ZooMS technique to identify traces of an extinct human.
Hope for Combating Muscular Dystrophy
Decoding a sugar molecule and identifying a mechanism linking it to MS could help in the development of therapy for the disease.
Decoding Sugar Molecules Offers New Key For Combating Muscular Dystrophy
Japanese scientists find a rare sugar unit called ribitol 5-phosphate within the sugar molecules on the surface of muscle cells. Mutations in 3 genes linked to muscular dystrophy affect the creation of this sugar molecule.
A Vision for Precision Medicine
The University of Manchester and the University of Dundee partner to share disease screening data.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

SELECTBIO Market Reports
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,000+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,500+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!