The comprehensive qualitative and quantitative study of all the small molecules in an organism.

Technology to drive breakthrough science

The Buck’s Metabolomics Core has analytical and informatics capabilities for untargeted (comprehensive) and targeted analysis of metabolites and peptides from biofluids (plasma and serum) and tissue extracts from vertebrate and invertebrate animal models.

Along with relative and absolute levels of metabolites, the platform has also developed comprehensive metabolic flux analysis workflows in cell culture, biofluids, and invertebrate disease models, providing a snapshot of the metabolic state of normal and disease states. This has provided novel insights into the metabolic connections that regulate numerous disease states, from metabolic to neurodegenerative diseases.

  • Birgit Schilling, PhD . Core Director

    Birgit Schilling, PhD, is the director of the Metabolomics Core and an Associate Professor at the Buck Institute. She received her diploma and PhD in chemistry from the University of Hamburg and Clausthal University of Technology in Germany and did a postdoctoral fellowship with professors Al Burlingame and Brad Gibson at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Schilling joined the Buck Institute Proteomics Core in 2000 and has more than 25 years of experience in mass spectrometric (MS) technologies. She specializes in quantitative proteomics in the context of aging as well as MS method and workflow developments, such as for post-translational modifications, protein secretomes, exosomes, biomarkers, protein turnover, and proteostasis. She is a leader in the field of applying novel MS scan types, such as data-independent acquisitions (DIA) and parallel reaction monitoring (PRM), and corresponding data processing. Dr. Schilling oversees all proteomics projects and coordinates all collaborations.

  • Ben Ambrose . Research Associate

    Ben received his B.S. in biophysics at Arizona State University in 2023. While at ASU, he developed and tested a flow-based device for the non-destructive collection of volatile metabolites. In 2022, he was awarded the Fulbright Canada Killam Fellowship and studied at the University of Alberta during the fall semester. Through his work, Ben aims to understand better the underlying mechanisms of age-related diseases. Outside of the lab, he enjoys photography, disc golf, and movies.

  • Prasanna Ashok Kumaar, PhD . Scientist

    Dr. Ashok Kumaar graduated as a Topper with Masters in Biochemistry & Biotechnology from Annamalai University, India. She secured a competitive 5-year National Research Fellowship for pursing her PhD at Anna University, India. Her research focused on developing analytical methods and engineering yeast strains for production of therapeutic proteins and enzymes. Before joining the Buck, she worked as a Research Fellow at Washington State University developing mass spectrometry methods to quantify small molecule drugs and studying interactions between DNA repair and chaperone proteins. Her interest in mass spectrometry approaches to study metabolomic and proteomic changes during aging brought her to the Buck in 2020.

  1. Agilent 6520 quadrupole time-of-flight (QTOF) mass spectrometer with 1260 UHPLC

The Agilent 6520 QTOF LC/MS/MS system delivers a combination of mass accuracy, mass resolution, and sensitivity perfect for untargeted metabolite profiling of biological samples.

Agilent 6520 Q-TOF features:

  • Attomole sensitivity
  • ≤2-ppm MS mass accuracy
  • 5-ppm MS/MS mass accuracy
  • Mass resolution to 20,000
  • Ionization modes – electrospray ionization (ESI)
  • Broad mass range from m/z 25 to 20,000
  1. Sciex 4000 QTRAP mass spectrometer with Shimadzu prominence UFLC

The Sciex 4000 QTRAP LC/MS/MS is a hybrid triple quadrupole/linear ion trap system ideal for targeted metabolite profiling of biological samples.

Sciex 4000 QTRAP features:

  • High sensitivity
  • Full-scan MS, MS/MS, and MS3, multiple reaction monitoring (MRM), precursor ion (PI), and neutral loss (NL) scan types
  • Unit mass resolution
  • Ionization modes – electrospray ionization (ESI)
  • Mass range up to 2,000 Da
  1. Varian 2100T GC/MS ion trap mass spectrometer

Varian 2100 T GC/MS/MS features:

  • High sensitivity
  • MS modes (full-scan, selected ion storage [SIS], MS/MS)
  • Ionization modes – electron ionization (EI)
  • Accurate library searches with commercial databases: NIST, Wiley, and PMW
  • Mass range: 10 to 650 u

Birgit Schilling

Skyline for Small Molecules: A Unifying Software Package for Quantitative Metabolomics.

Adams KJ, Pratt B, Bose N, Dubois LG, St John-Williams L, Perrott KM, Ky K, Kapahi P, Sharma V, MacCoss MJ, Moseley MA, Colton CA, MacLean BX, Schilling B, Thompson JW; Alzheimer’s Disease Metabolomics Consortium.J Proteome Res. 2020 Apr 3;19(4):1447-1458. doi: 10.1021/acs.jproteome.9b00640. Epub 2020 Mar 26.

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