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Raftery Laboratory

Daniel Raftery, PhD

Research Overview

Metabolomics

Characterization of the human metabolome promises immense benefit to understanding of biological functions in health and disease. Significant interest in "metabolomics" stems from the high sensitivity of metabolite profiles to even the modest stimuli, which is potentially important for detecting the onset of disease and other biological states. The human metabolome is more complex: currently, human body is thought to contain about 5,000 or possibly even more metabolites. The improved characterization of the metabolome promises immense benefits by directly reflecting cellular activities at the functional level, linking genotypes and phenotypes, and providing new understanding of complex biological statesin health and disease. Our research in the area is focused on discovering multiple metabolite biomarkers from specimens such as biofluids and tissue which enable identification of altered metabolic pathways and differentiation of diseases with significantly improved sensitivity and specificity.

Human and Animal Studies

Our investigation in the area of metabolomics focus on applications to both basic as well as clinical research. The information rich analytical techniques of mass spectrometry (MS) an nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy are the primary methods that we extensively use for these investigations.

In particular, we are extensively exploring altered metabolic profiles in a variety of congenital diseases using advanced NMR and MS methods, as show below:

Inborn Errors of Metabolism

(Click to view larger image.)

inborn errors in metabolism using NRM & MS methods

Source: Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. (USA) 104(28), 11540-11544 (2007)