MetaboHUB

The infrastructure MetaboHUB


MetaboHUB is the French National Facility in Metabolomics & Fluxomics created in 2013 in the framework of the Program “Investissements d’Avenir” (Investment for the Future) launched by the French Ministry of Research and Higher Education and the National Agency for Science (ANR). MetaboHUB aims at providing state-of-the-art tools, services and support in metabolomics and fluxomics to academic research teams and industrial partners in the fields of nutrition, health, agriculture and biotechnology.

MetaboHUB gathers the complementary means (equipment, analytical techniques, software), expertise and competences of 4 partners, with the ambition to develop state-of-the-art metabolomics and fluxomics approaches to address major challenges in:

 

Health, clinical research and medicine Food and human nutrition
Santé, recherche clinique et médecine Nutrition Humaine et Alimentation
   
Agroscience, plant biology and green biotechnology Microbiology and white biotechnology
Agrosciences, biologie végétale et biotechnologies vertes Microbiologie et biotechnologies blanches
   
Ecotoxicology and environment
Ecotoxicologie et environnement
 

Brochures of MetaboHUB presentation

 
Download the brochure n° 1: General presentation Download brochure n°2 : Tools and applications
 

In all these fields, there is a growing and urgent need to perform large-scale identification and quantification of metabolites and to study metabolic networks and their dynamic functioning in order to explain and/or optimize biological processes. There is also a need for laboratories able to handle large-scale projects and gathering the skills necessary for metabolome and fluxome data acquisition, interpretation and integration into a systems biology approach.

The objective of MTH is to meet these needs while addressing the main current challenges of Metabolomics:

  1. large-scale metabolic profiling using 4 complementary analytical approaches (NMR, ultra-high resolution mass spectrometry, liquid/gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry),
  2. characterization of unknown compounds in biological matrices and of databases building,
  3. access to the dynamics of metabolic fluxes,
  4. implementation and integration of processing and data visualization bioinformatics tools.

MetaboHUB offers a full range of analytical methods to study the metabolism, so as to develop national and international cooperation and achieve decisive results on complex biological questions.

To do so, MetaboHUB has already undertaken:

  • The development of multisite technology for high-throughput metabolomics and fluxomics providing greater metabolome annotation with quantitative and targeted metabolomics;
  • The speed up of a strong synergism between the four partners, centered on research, development and standardization activities in the fields of analytical tools, and on the sharing of protocols, data bases, and bioinformatics;
  • The provision of access to high-class services to the national scientific community and industrial actors;
  • The transfer of knowledge and core competences by organizing training sessions.
     

Project duration: January 1st, 2013 to December 31th, 2019.
 

Why a national platform?

Metabolomics is a challenging field in terms of equipment and skills. Indeed, because metabolites display a wide variety of chemical formulas, metabolomics studies require several complementary analytical approaches and tools mainly nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), and mass spectrometry (MS) based technologies.

The development of metabolomics is closely linked to technological advances in large-scale analytical tools, appropriate informatics, statistics, and mathematical tools, and to the improvement of competences and know-how of the broad research community in system-level metabolic investigations.

Furthermore, as for genomics and proteomics, metabolomics studies are evolving to large-scale programs requiring technological capacities and transdisciplinary expertise to analyze a high number of samples and handle the considerable amount of data generated. Metabolomics requires various equipment, some of them are heavy in terms of expenses and functioning. The expertise in analytical tools, knowledge, and know-hows in signal processing, data analysis, annotation, data and metadata management, and storage capacities are critical to answer the current issues in metabolomics and further integrate with other ‘omic’ technologies. MetaboHUB aims at overcoming these technical and scientific frontiers by gathering state-of the art equipment, cutting-edge competences and the expert critical mass of its 4 components into a single coordinated upgraded national infrastructure.