Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Spectroscopy
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 2,900+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,200+ 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
Revealing the Secrets of 19th Century Fashion Industry
The dye industry of the 19th century was fast-moving and international, according to a state-of-the-art analysis of four purple dresses.
How Nanoparticles Damage Immune Cells
New evidence points to protein oxidation, a common means of molecular damage.
Single Molecule Detection of Contaminants, Explosives or Diseases
A technique that combines the ultrasensitivity of surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) with a slippery surface invented by Penn State researchers will make it feasible to detect single molecules of a number of chemical and biological species from gaseous, liquid or solid samples.
Extracting Uranium from Seawater
An ultra-high-resolution technique used for the first time to study polymer fibers that trap uranium in seawater may cause researchers to rethink the best methods to harvest this potential fuel for nuclear reactors.
Innovation Boosts Study of Fragile Biological Samples
Researchers have found a simple new way to study very delicate biological samples – like proteins at work in photosynthesis and components of protein-making machines called ribosomes – at the atomic scale using SLAC's X-ray laser.
Clues for Battling Botulism
Scientists decipher details of deadly toxin's cloaking mechanism that could guide development of new vaccines, treatments.
The US ARL in Maryland Combines Raman Spectroscopy and AFM
Characterizing electrochemical energy storage materials.
Closing the Loop on an HIV Escape Mechanism
Research team finds that protein motions regulate virus infectivity.
New Analysis Technique for Chiral Activity in Molecules
Professor Hyunwoo Kim of the Chemistry Department and his research team have developed a technique that can easily analyze the optical activity of charged compounds by using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy.
Miniaturizable Magnetic Resonance
Microscopic gem the key to new development in magnetic lab-on-a-chip technology.
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
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
2,900+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,200+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!