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Introduction to metabolomics and its application in life-sciences


The goal of metabolomics is to identify and quantify the complete biochemical composition of a biological sample. With the increase in genomic, transcriptomic and proteomic information there is a growing need to understand the metabolic phenotype that these genes and proteins ultimately control.

The aim of this course is to provide an overview of metabolomics and its applications in life sciences, clinical and environmental settings. Over 2 days we will introduce different techniques used to extract metabolites and analyse samples to collect metabolomic data (such as HPLC, or GC-based MS and NMR), present how to analyse such data, how to identify metabolites using online databases and how to map the metabolomic data to metabolic pathways.

The course content will predominantly be based on analysing samples from model plant species such as Arabidopsis thaliana but the procedures are transferable to all other organisms, including clinical and environmental settings.


Alex Murphy, University of Cambridge

Matt Davey, University of Cambridge

Reza Salek, EMBL-EBI


Audience and Prerequisites

  • This course is aimed at researchers with an interest in metabolomics and its applications.
  • Graduate students, Postdocs and Staff members from the University of Cambridge, Affiliated Institutions and other external Institutions or individuals.


Syllabus, Tools and Resources

During this course you will learn about:

  • Different metabolomics techniques for data collection
  • Metabolomics data processing and analysis overview, including the basics of conducting univariate and multivariate statistics
  • Using pathway databases to perform metabolic pathway and network analysis
  • Working with metabolomic databases and exploring chemical databases
  • Overview of EMBL-EBI MetaboLights database for metabolomics data


Learning Objectives

After this course you should be able to:

  • Evaluate advantages and limitations of some analytical techniques used in metabolomics studies
  • Recognize the principles behind data analysis and metabolite identification including key multivariate statistics
  • Access and use a number of key online resources for metabolomics research



Book Here



Day 1


Introduction to metabolomics: what it can and cannot do

Reza Salek / Matt Davey


Question and coffee break



Application of NMR in metabolomics

Reza Salek





Targeted and untargeted metabolomics introduction

Alex Murphy


How to identify one metabolite practical (online prac)

Matt Davey


Coffee break



Quantifying metabolites (online practical)

Alex Murphy

Day 2


Pathway Analysis theory and practical

Matt Davey


Coffee break



Metabolomics databases and resource (e.g. MetaboLights)

Reza Salek





From simple statistics to multivariate stats + online practical

Matt Davey


Study Design and Data clinic (sign up required)

Matt and Alex

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