Metabolomics has the goal of delivering a holistic picture of the human metabolism at any given point of time. By identifying and measuring a wide range of small molecules via NMR-technology or mass-spectrography in body fluids like blood, urine, saliva or cerebrospinal fluid a metabolic signature of an individual is derived which can then be used to describe and classify normal and pathophysiological processes in this individual. In the working group Metabolomics the metabolic changes which occur during ageing are in the focus of research. Thereby, we constructed a measurement of biological age on the basis of NMR urine metabolome data. This measurement proved to be informative about age-related morbidities and mortality in three independent samples. Moreover, metabolites could be identified which were informative on mortality. These metabolites are now subject to experimental research in the collaborating Institute of Anatomy and Cell-Biology to identify the processes these metabolites are involved in. Another research focus is set on the mathematical modeling of metabolome data to derive criteria to test on the time-dependency of metabolomic signatures without having closed meshed longitudinally data. A third objective of the working group Metabolomics is the transferal of NMR-technology to clinical practice where still bio-informatic obstacles have to be solved.
Students with interest to write a thesis in metabolomics from the perspective of life sciences, mathematics or informatics are welcome to write a mail to Johannes Hertel.