Tel: +32 9 264 74 57
In recent years LCA (headed by Prof. Lynn Vanhaecke) has developed a strong expertise in high-resolution mass spectrometry based omics applications; i.e. metabolomics, DNA adductomics and lipidomics.
For many conditions linked to poor gut health (in particular IBD), personalized preventive strategies as well as predictive, diagnostic or prognostic markers of disease are currently lacking. It is our belief that unravelling the molecular basis by which the exposome (diet, gut microbiome, etc.) impacts the human (gut) metabolome may adress this hurdle. Therefore, our research aims to (1) develop a true molecular high-resolution mass spectometry based metabolomics platform (including both polar to medium apolar metabolites, lipidomics and DNA adductomics) to discriminate the metabolic phenotypes of healthy vs. diseased individuals (in human and animal studies), and (2) unravel the impact of the exposome on host metabolome (e.g. impact of treatment on digestive metabolome in relation to disease progression).
In this context, methodologies for the most frequently reported specimens that allow monitoring of systemic alterations of metabolites in humans (i.e. tissue, blood and urine) are available at LCA. A novel methodology for the detection of polar metabolites in feces was recently developed and validated (Vanden Bussche et al., 2015), whilst a new methodology for fecal lipidomics has also been finalized (Van Meulebroek et al., in preparation). Indeed, in relation to gut health, feces comprises a rich source of information that allows assessment of the complex interactions between the gut microbiota and the host, and as such best reflects the dietary input and biochemical events that have occurred during digestion. Additionally, methodologies for DNA adductomics, a recently breached branch of metabolomics, have succesfully been optimized in recent years (a.o. Hemeryck et al. 2015).
The application of the above mentioned methodologies for the discovery of reliable and robust biomarkers to enable early screening, diagnosis, surveillance, and primary prevention of disease (through e.g. dietary recommendations) belongs to the current research objectives of the LCA team.