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Theme 2: Project 5 - Approaches to analysis of the serum and urinary metabolome

As part of our work on the exposome, we will investigate a series of analytic approaches for the analysis of the human metabolome, using data derived from the EU FP7 Combi-Bio project and the AIRWAVE study (Theme 3). Combi-Bio is providing a rich dataset on the serum metabolome from the untargeted analysis of 8,000 samples from three cohorts using both Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) and Ultra Performance Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (UPLC-MS). Both serum and urine (N=3,000) are being analysed in AIRWAVE using the same methods. We will investigate:

  • Development of novel procedures for combining NMR across datasets for large cohort studies (e.g., sorting data to help alignment, identifying regions where standard alignment fails, normalisation)
  • New methods for data pre-processing of large cohort UPLC-MS datasets (e.g. dilution filters, drift corrections, etc.)
  • ¬†Comparison of reproducibility between NMR and MS based metabolic phenotyping datasets based on repeated analysis of QC samples
  • Meta-analytic approach using multiple and single marker models for complex multi-cohort and multi-mode UPLC-MS data
  • Strategies for analysing multi-omics data from multi-cohort studies.

These methodological advances will feed into analytical protocols for the deep exploration and combination (across platforms, cohorts) of metabolomic data to investigate the exposome and the links to health. 

Lead researchers

Professor Paul Elliott

Health Protection Research Unit Deputy Director & Imperial College London Lead

Imperial College London

Professor Frank Kelly

Health Protection Research Unit Director

King's College London