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About Metabolomics Australia PDF Print E-mail

Metabolomics Australia is committed to ensuring state-of-the-art services that keep up with emerging trends.We receive government funding for new technologies and constantly develop new techniques.We also employ advanced bioinformatics for data analysis and interpretation services and work closely with the Australian Bioinformatics Facility to continually enhance our capabilities.

 

Metabolomics Australia Research Nodes

Each of our five Metabolomics Australia nodes offer synergistic technologies that can be employed individually or collaboratively to provide research services.

 

  • Murdoch University offers a strong focus on fungal metabolomics and high resolution mass spectrometry
  • University of Queensland offers specialised expertise in metabolomic engineering and fluxomics at the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology

 

History

Metabolomics Australia was established in 2007 as part of the Commonwealth government’s National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS).  The strategy aims to boost biomolecular research in Australia with a more strategic approach to infrastructure investment. Metabolomics Australia, together with Proteomics Australia, Genomics Australia and the Australian Bioinformatics Facility all fall under the guidance of Bioplatforms Australia and were established to develop high level expertise in ‘omics and informatics technologies.  Each platform receives government funding and co-investment from their partners to acquire critical, high cost research infrastructure.

 

The role of Bioplatforms Australia is to nationally co-ordinate infrastructure investments and increase researcher access to Australia's ‘omics capabilities.  Funding of around $158 million was allocated to Bioplatforms Australia through the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) together with cash and in-kind contributions from State Governments, research organisations and commercial partners.  In 2009, a further $50 million was granted to Bioplatforms Australia under the Commonwealth Government’s Education Investment Fund Super Science initiative which will also be used to expand national scientific infrastructure.

 

Objectives

Metabolomics Australia seeks to:

 

  • establish and maintain a sustainable state-of-the-art metabolomics service with a supporting computational data storage and analysis capacity;
  • work with genomics and proteomics NCRIS platforms and other groups to develop an integrated approach to defining the molecular profile of living systems;
  • provide open access for academia and industry;
  • provide training in advanced metabolomics technologies;
  • promote the dissemination and uptake of the technology through workshops and conferences;
  • leverage other relevant science, technology and innovation infrastructure to achieve strong socio/economic benefits relevant to national research priorities;

 

What is Metabolomics?

Metabolomics is defined as the non-targeted detection and quantification of small molecules (metabolites) in biological materials.  Metabolite profiles reflect the actual cellular condition of samples and offer:

 

  • useful indicators (biomarkers) for disease or health consequences of genetic engineering;
  • biomarkers to test drug compounds or environmental factors;
  • a means of discovering new biomolecules (bioprospecting); and
  • indicators for monitoring food quality.

Metabolomics requires reliable sampling and precise capture of thousands of metabolites from the sample of interest.  Utilising a wide variety of complementary analytical platforms is critical for identifying and quantifying the large numbers of chemically diverse primary and secondary metabolites typically found.  The use of advanced informatics for data extraction, mining and interpretation are also critical.