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Metabolomics Core


The Metabolomics Core at Mayo Clinic is an analytical facility specializing in mass spectrometry techniques. Its main role is to support investigators whose studies are funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and involve the use of stable isotope-labeled compounds as tracers.

Areas of supported research include the study of protein, glucose and fat metabolism, as well as the study of energy expenditure using the doubly labeled water technique. The core mainly serves Mayo Clinic investigators, but can accommodate requests from industry and non-Mayo investigators.

The core's range of assays includes qualitative and quantitative profiling of metabolites (metabolomics measurements). A wide selection of mass spectrometers is available to cover the different types of measurements required in these studies.

The core serves investigators who are doing human research to gain an understanding of the mechanisms of particular disease states, which will ideally lead to earlier detection and better treatments. The metabolomics analyses are used specifically to screen diseases for the detection of biomarkers that can be used to identify diseases at different stages.

The Metabolomics Core evolved from the Biomedical Mass Spectrometry Core, which was established in 1994 within the former Mayo Clinic General Clinical Research Center. The majority of facility users have traditionally been endocrinologists, but expansion of the core's services and equipment is widening its scope to include investigators in areas such as oncology, cardiology, hepatology, pulmonology, gastroenterology, neurology and pathology.

Services and equipment

  • Services and assays. Consultations and more than 30 assays are available in the core. View services and assays.
  • Equipment. The Metabolomics Core has nearly a dozen mass spectrometers. View equipment.

Accessing the core

  • Study startup. Mayo Clinic and external investigators interested in using the Metabolomics Core should contact Charles Ford, core manager.

    If needed, core staff members are able to assist investigators with study design and the use of tracers.

  • Sample submission. Presentation of samples for analysis by the core must be accompanied by a completed sample submission form. Mayo investigators may complete and submit the form online (must be logged in to the Mayo network) or obtain a paper copy in Alfred 5-417.

    After initiating a study, external investigators will receive information from the core manager about how to submit samples.

  • Sample analysis. During the study, the core will analyze early samples to help fine-tune study parameters. After analyzing pilot samples, though, the core typically does not analyze samples as they are obtained during a study — statistically and practically, it is preferable to run all the samples at the same time. Analysis begins only after the principal investigator informs the core that the protocol is complete.

    However, if data is needed to meet upcoming grant renewal or abstract submission deadlines, the core can accommodate requests to analyze samples during an ongoing protocol.

    Sample analysis is prioritized in this order:

    • Samples required for grant renewal and abstract submission deadlines
    • Samples from completed NIH- or Mayo-funded protocols
    • Samples from completed investigator-initiated, industry-sponsored protocols


Contact Charles Ford, core manager, or Mai Persson, core supervisor, with questions about fees.

Location and hours

The Metabolomics Core is located in Alfred 5-417 at Mayo Clinic Hospital, Saint Marys Campus. Core staff are generally available Monday-Friday from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.


K. Sreekumaran Nair, M.D., Ph.D.

Charles Ford

Mai Persson

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