Molecular Phenotyping Core

The Molecular Phenotyping Core (MPC) provides analytical tools to MNORC investigators to permit molecular phenotyping of model systems to enhance nutrition and obesity research.

Molecular phenotyping studies constitute a critical element in providing new insights into metabolic derangements that underlie  obesity, its complications and nutritional disorders.  The broad array of services provided by the MPC will assure that a larger cohort of investigators can take advantage of the technology. In addition to providing instrumental infrastructure, the Core staff will provide consultation and collaboration to apply molecular phenotyping studies in nutrition and obesity research. 

Identification and quantification of metabolites  are provided in association with the Michigan Regional Comprehensive Metabolomics Resource Center (MRC2) and the Biomedical Research Core Facilities (BRCF Metabolomics core). Epigenomic studies will be facilitated through the BRCF Epigenomics Core.

Our services include:

  • Consultation and training in molecular phenotyping analyses including metabolomics, in vitro metabolic assessment including mitochondrial metabolism via Sea Horse Analyzer, epigenetics and optogenetics.
  • Access to senior personnel highly skilled in molecular phenotyping techniques.
  • Access to state-of-the-art instrumentation and services for molecular phenotyping analysis.
  • Develop and/or implement new technologies beneficial to MNORC investigators.

Research Facilities 

Lipidomics Lab

This new laboratory provides interested researchers an opportunity to quantify and identify lipids and other biological material in cells, organs or other biological fluids of test animals or in human subjects. The laboratory works with individual investigators to develop directed methods for metabolite analysis. The analytic platforms include mass spectrometry instrumentation in several configurations (GC/MS, LC/MS, MS/MS) and NMR-based mass isotopomer analysis for measurement of flux in specific metabolic pathways.

Directed Metabolomics Lab

As a part of the Michigan Nutrition and Obesity Research center (MNORC), the Directed Metabolomics Core Laboratory provides the University of Michigan research community with the ability to perform quantitative assays for a wide variety of small molecules of biological origin (metabolites). The laboratory works with individual investigators to develop appropriate methods for metabolite analysis. We work with a wide range of sample types, including (but not limited to) cells, tissues, and biological fluids from human subjects, research animals, or other organisms. Typical assays we perform are listed below; however, our capabilities are by no means limited to the compound classes in the list. Our primary analytical platforms are LC-MS/MS (triple quadrupole), LC-MS (time of flight), GC-MS (electron ionization and chemical ionization), and GC (flame ionization detection).

Undirected Metabolomics Lab

The Undirected Metabolomics Lab is firmly committed to the development of the science of Metabolomics, and discovery of advanced metabolomic techniques. In order to accomplish this goal, we freely collaborate with researchers from all over the world to acquire a diverse collection of sample types and experimental designs. The Undirected Metabolomics Facility platform is based on four interwoven and fully integrated aspects: hardware, informatics, robotics, standards-based QA/QC. The Metabolomics platforms designed by Metabolic Analyses follow the dictum of parallel analyses using a variety of detectors and a variety of separation systems. Mass spectrometry, given its high sensitivity, and the richness of physical detail afforded, has always been the primary means of making these measurements. Our platform design has therefore favored a combination of LC/MS, GC/MS, or CE/MS.

Contact Us

Subramaniam Pennathur, MD

Director, Molecular Phenotyping Core

Alla Karnovsky, PhD

Associate Director, Molecular Phenotyping Core