Core to the understanding of integrative pathobiology is the deep mining of metabolic information within cells, tissues, organs and bodily fluids. This information encodes detailed information about the biochemical and genetic processes that underlie the states of health and disease as well as the success or failure to respond to therapy.
Birmingham has a world-leading identity in metabolomics, hosting the national NERC metabolomics facility and supported by extensive and state-of-the-art Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) and mass spectrometry facilities.
The Henry Wellcome Building for Biomolecular NMR Spectroscopy (HWB-NMR) boasts five 500 and 600 MHz spectrometers for routine metabolomics, equipped with autosamplers and several cryoprobes, as well as 800 and 900 MHz instruments.
HWB-NMR is a Wellcome funded national facility, an EU-NMR facility and now coordinates World Wide NMR (WW-NMR), an EU initiative which includes metabolomics facilities in China and Brazil along with other international NMR groups.
The Advanced Mass Spectrometry Facility includes both Thermo Fisher Scientific FT-ICR and Orbitrap Velos ultra-high resolution spectrometers equipped with Dionex LCs.
With multi-million pound investments from Advantage West Midlands (AWM) through the Birmingham Science City Translational Medicine Projects a further four mass spectrometers, including two Bruker maXis’, have recently been purchased for metabolomics and proteomics as part of the Translational Medicine research theme.
Collectively this represents amongst the very best array of multi-platform and state-of-the-art metabolomics instrumentation in the world.
Allied to this we have other established ‘omic’ technologies, for example second generation sequencing (454) recently funded by AWM.
*The abbreviation 'omics' as used here includes Metabolomics, Proteomics, Transcriptomics, Genomics, Cancer metabolomics and Environmental metabolomics.