Metabolomics Research

Eastern Regional Comprehensive Metabolomics Resource Core

RTI serves as the Eastern Regional Comprehensive Metabolomics Resource Core (RTI RCMRC), funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Common Fund. The RTI RCMRC team is directed by Dr. Susan Sumner and is one of six RCMRCs in the United States working in a consortium to

  • Establish national standards for metabolomics
  • Increase national capacity to provide metabolomics profiling and data analysis services to basic, translational, and clinical investigators
  • Foster collaborative efforts that will advance translational research using metabolomics approaches
  • Facilitate institutional development of pioneering research, metabolomics training, and outreach

RTI RCMRC Capabilities

The RTI RCMRC has a wide range of instrumentation to facilitate broad spectrum and targeted metabolomics analysis of polar or nonpolar components, as well as methods for targeted analysis of metabolites and minerals. Our capabilities include

Mass spectrometry in metabolomics
  • Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy
  • Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS, UPLC-Q-TOF-MS)
  • Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS, 2D-GCTOFMS)
  • Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, Orbitrap, and MALDI imaging

The RTI RCMRC has experience with analysis of cells, organ tissue (e.g., liver, uterus, testes, brain), biological fluids (e.g., urine, serum, plasma, amniotic fluid), and exhaled breath collected from human subjects or animal models.

Following signal detection, RTI scientists apply statistical and mathematical tools (e.g., Umetrics, Spotfire, SAS) and use their expertise to identify data trends that show the correlation of specific signals with the phenotypic response under investigation. Identified signals are mapped to biochemical pathways through the use of specialized software, such as GeneGo, and expert biochemist interpretation to derive biomarkers and mechanistic insights.

Consultants and Partners

Consultants to the RTI RCMRC include the following internationally renowned metabolomics scientists from Imperial College, London:

  • Jeremy Nicholson, PhD, a founder of metabolomics, chair of biological chemistry, and head of the department of surgery and cancer
  • Elaine Holmes, PhD, a professor of chemical biology and a pioneer in chemometric analysis
  • Ian Wilson, PhD, recognized for his many contributions in analytical chemistry, including bringing standard approaches for use in time-of-flight chromatography coupled-mass spectrometry metabolomics

The David H. Murdock Research Institute (DHMRI), established in 2009 in Kannapolis, NC, brings additional expertise and state-of-the-art equipment to the RTI RCMRC.

Training Program

The RTI RCMRC offers training to undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. This training program aims to develop a pipeline of future metabolomics investigators. The intern will gain experience using state-of-the-art metabolomics technologies (e.g., chromatography-mass spectrometry, NMR spectroscopy) for measuring endogenous metabolites in cells, tissues, and biological fluids. Interns will also gain experience with software and statistical methods for identification of metabolites and pathway mapping.

NIH Common Fund Metabolomics Program Resources

Learn about available resources for metabolomics research at the six regional cores.

Nominate compounds for synthesis by the Metabolite Standards Synthesis Core.

Find and use resources and data sets at the NIH Common Fund Metabolomics Data Repository and Coordinating Center.

Further Resources

Spotlight
Susan Sumner

RTI International to co-host metabolomics symposium March 7

RTI International will co-host and co-sponsor the National Institutes of Health Eastern Regional Comprehensive Metabolomics Resource Core Symposium at its headquarters in Research Triangle Park, N.C., March 7.

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