Metabolites are small molecules that can be building blocks, intermediates or waste materials. At the molecular level, metabolites are the closest we can get to the actual living being, the phenotype. Metabolites are highly suitable for translational research, as they are virtually similar in humans and animals. And they form the link between fundamental biological processes and clinical phenomena, which makes them essential in a systems biology approach.
The Netherlands Metabolomics Centre (NMC) studies metabolites. Application of its research lies in understanding diabetes and distinguishing between benign, dormant and aggressive tumours. But also in preventing cardio metabolic risk, fighting obesity and
developing functional foods with cholesterol lowering properties.
Over 75 researchers at three universities, two university hospitals and two research institutes are closely working together on improving personalised health and the quality of life. The NMC brings together the knowledge and expertise of the Dutch genomics and life sciences community to develop new tools and techniques in such diverse areas as metabolite identification, quantitative profiling and biostatistics.
Furthermore, over 25 researchers from multinationals like Unilever,
MSD and DSM are closely working together with NMC, as are SMEs and instrument manufacturers like Spark Holland, Agilent and Waters.
NMC concentrates its research efforts on developing technologies relevant to the most pressing biological problems in a variety of fields, such as human health care, plant and nutrition sciences. NMC is internationally regarded as a leading centre, representing the world’s most extensive multidisciplinary approach in this new and exciting field. By forming direct links with existing NGI Genomics Centres, NMC ensures maximum transfer of technologies to end-user biologists.
Unique features of NMC are the Demonstration and Competence Lab where vast series of samples are analysed for industrial and academic partners and feasibility studies are carried out, and the Data Support Platform that develops open access metabolomics tools and a data warehouse.
Netherlands Metabolomics Centre factsheet