Baker Institute – Metabolomics

Baker Institute – Metabolomics

The Metabolomics laboratory at the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute Dysregulation of lipid metabolism underpins multiple diseases including obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and age related dementia. While lipid metabolic pathways are well characterised, their dysregulation resulting from environmental and genetic influences are less well understood, particularly in a setting of chronic disease. The Metabolomics Laboratory has utilised state-of-the-art tandem mass spectrometry to developed the only high-throughput lipidomic platform in Australia and has performed some of the largest clinical and population lipidomic studies yet reported. These have enabled the characterisation of metabolic pathways and identified lipidomic biomarker profiles that are able to better predict disease risk and therapeutic efficacy. Modulation of the same pathways now holds potential as an interventional strategy to prevent, attenuate or treat the major chronic diseases.

The overarching goal of the Metabolomics Laboratory is:

To develop strategies to elucidate and combat the metabolic underpinnings of cardiometabolic disease.

We are applying our state of the art lipidomic capabilities to characterise the relationship between lipid metabolism and cardiometabolic disease. Clinical translation of the outcomes from these studies will deliver new diagnostic/risk assessment/monitoring tests and therapeutic interventions for chronic disease.

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Research focus

Building on our substantial body of work over recent years, the laboratory has five specific areas of focus:

  1. Population metabolism and biomarker discovery
    Application of high-throughput lipidomic technology to profile large population and clinical cohorts and identify new lipidomic biomarker profiles for chronic disease.
  2. Lipidomic/Genomic integration to identify causal pathways to metabolic disease
    Generation of combined lipidomic/genomic datasets for Mendelian randomisation studies to identify causal links between lipid metabolism and metabolic disease.
  3. Preclinical/mechanistic studies in metabolic therapy
    Our discovery strategies (themes 1 and 2) have identified several metabolic pathways that represent potential therapeutic targets. We are characterising the mechanisms and validating these targets in preclinical models.
  4. Translational metabolomics — new therapies for metabolic disease
    We have progressed one new therapeutic strategy to a phase 0/1 clinical trial with promising results. We are now moving towards the clinical validation required for commercialisation of this and other new therapeutic targets.
  5. Development of lipidomic and metabolomic capabilities in Australia
    We will continue to develop our lipidomic and metabolomic technology and make this available to the broader research community.

Laboratory Head profile

Associate Professor Peter Meikle is a NHMRC Senior Research Fellow. He leads the Obesity and Diabetes Program and is Head of the Metabolomics Laboratory. He is Editor in Chief of the Journal Metabolites and holds affiliate positions at the University of Melbourne, Monash University and the NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre, University of Sydney.

Alterations in metabolism underpin many chronic diseases including obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and age related dementia. While some metabolic pathways are well characterised, their dysregulation resulting from environmental and genetic influences are less well understood, particularly in a setting of chronic disease.

The Metabolomics Laboratory uses state of the art tandem mass spectrometry to obtain metabolic profiles from cell and animal models in addition to clinically relevant human samples. This approach is providing an improved understanding of disease mechanisms leading to new biomarkers for improved diagnosis and risk assessment as well as new therapeutic strategies in the areas of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

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Lab Facts

Expertise
Lipidomics
Lipid metabolism
Type 2 diabetes
Cardiovascular disease

Established Workflows
High throughput targeted lipidomics
Lipid flux analyses

Hardware
AB Sciex 4000 Q/TRAP with Agilent 1200 LC system
Agilent 6490 QQQ with Agilent 1290 LC system

Contact
Dr Peter Meikle
peter.meikle@bakeridi.edu.au
Baker IDI website

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