Many of the interactions between microbes and human cells are mediated by soluble molecules. Metabolomics, the analytical measurement of such molecules, is thus key to better understand the functional interactions of the human-microbial symbiosis. However, there is currently a limitation of how many samples can be run through such analysis because there is a lack of sufficient capabilities, both in terms of hardware and personnel. In addition, there is a lack of standardisation across the globaly available platforms, making it difficult to compare findings across different patient cohorts.
Prof. Segal’s lab will contribute towards both making relevant multi-omic data sets of large human cohorts available as well as to support other reseachers in analysing their samples in a standardised fashion. For example, carrying out metabolomic measurements of participants in the human phenotype project (Project 10k), a large-scale cohort aimed at identifying novel drivers of disease, has the potential to identify novel metabolites predicting and/or driving disease. The metabolomic measurements will be compared with all the other deep phenotyping data obtained throughout the project in order to find mechanistic links to disease.
The main goal of this project is to increase the metabolomics throughput by an estimated 7’000 samples per year. This will ensure that future scientific goals can be met adequately, namely:
- Mapping the metabolomic profile across large scale healthy and diseased cohorts
- Identifying metabolites associated with disease states
- Identifying metabolites driven by gut bacteria
Metabolomic measurements are key across the majority of Seerave Foundation projects. An additional goal is thus to establish collaborations between the platform set up at the Weizmann institute and other Seerave projects that can contribute samples from relevant cohorts. In addition, there may be significant synergies between The Periodic Table of Food Initiative in terms of aligning standardization of metabolomic measurements.
Arrival of metabolomics hardware