Within the past decade, analytical instrumentation such as mass spectrometry, has become much more sensitive. This has enabled simultaneous analysis of hundreds to thousands of metabolites for the first time in an approach called metabolomics. These large metabolomics data sets allow us to map metabolite pathway changes that occur in various situations such as in the onset of disease or changes in diet. My research program focuses on resolving some of the major challenges in current metabolomics analysis of biological fluids and tissues: increasing accuracy and metabolome coverage of low abundance biologically-relevant metabolites, improving analysis of unstable metabolome such as eicosanoids and lipid peroxidation products and annotation of metabolite binding status and stability. The development of these improved strategies is essential for proper implementation of metabolomics and lipidomics in clinical and preventative health research.
We will apply these new analytical technologies, pioneered by our group, to biomarker discovery and validation in four different streams of interest in order to (1) develop new methods of testing to evaluate the neuroendocrine status of an individual and investigating whether such testing can be used to help support treatment decisions in bipolar disorder (2) evaluate the potential of two eicosanoids or extended metabolite panel for clinical diagnosis of anaphylaxis in urine of children or adolescents (3) evaluate the effect of diet on cardiovascular health, inflammation and oxidative stress and (4) evaluate exposure of the Quebec population to mycotoxins and study combined toxicity of low dose exposure to multiple mycotoxins.
Overall, the information generated by this program will establish my lab as the expert laboratory in high-throughput metabolomics/ lipidomics and unstable metabolome analysis, enable better execution and design of large-scale clinically relevant metabolomics and lipidomics studies, develop and validate new biomarker assays and permit personalized preventative health strategies complementary to genomic approaches.