Spatial Metabolomics

Highly sensitive and precise analytical methods or their combination already allow quantitative investigations of the metabolome – i.e. all metabolic products of an organism – at the cellular level. What is currently lacking, however, are analytical methods with which the metabolome can also be completely mapped with its spatial and temporal details. This spatial and temporal information is important in order to be able to detect pathological changes in cells, for example to analyse the cellular metabolic heterogeneity in heart diseases or tumours in order to understand their early development. Such a molecular analysis of highly dynamic metabolic processes and changes in tissue poses a great challenge for research.

In 2021, ISAS established the junior research group Spatial Metabolomics. Over the following five years, the research group, funded by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, BMBF), is going to develop a multi-method approach that will allow the parallel analysis of metabolic processes under spatial and temporal aspects. For this purpose, the team will combine two complementary analytical techniques such as mass spectrometry (MS) imaging and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy for their multi-omics analyses. The goal is to use future to enable new and improved treatments in precision medicine for cardiovascular diseases and cancer.

The Federal Ministry for Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, BMBF) is funding the MSCoreSys-associated junior research group Spatial Metabolomics under the funding number 161L0271.