The Center for Innovative Technology at Vanderbilt is a collaborative shared resource facility for mass spectrometry research and has an array of cutting-edge instrumentation for numerous types of mass spec analyses available. We specialize in global, untargeted metabolomics and as s a result, our Center offers support in numerous phases of the analytical pipeline to our clients. We provide several routine and/or advanced services that can be tailored to the goals of individual research projects and a wide range of biospecimens. If needed, new workflows can be established for method development, targeted biomolecule measurement acquisition, and/or metabolite validation.
The goal of metabolomics is to measure the complex collection of small molecule metabolites present within a fluid, cell, or tissue. Unlike an organism’s genome, metabolomic measurements are dynamic and thus the analysis results are context dependent. Consequently, data either identifies reproducible steady state, and/or temporal changes associated with disease state, toxicant exposure, or drug administration. Metabolite identifications are assigned based on high mass accuracy measurements, isotope distributions, tandem MS fragmentation patterns, and comparisons with spectral libraries and standards. Data analysis results can reveal unique biochemical fingerprints of cellular processes specific to each sample. For this reason, results can be exploited as a discovery-based approach for generating novel hypotheses or used for a better understanding of physiological processes mediated by genetic or environmental perturbations.