Our research is at the interface between chemistry and medicine and we are experts in biotechnology and the use of data science to allow the detection of thousands of small molecules / lipids in order to understand the underlying biology in disease.
We can get molecular data with mass spectrometry instruments and perform data analytics, including machine learning, to understand this biology. In order to translate results into the clinic we also work with clinical trials and biomarker evidence portfolios for EMA approval. This field of research can be called systems medicine, because it integrates -omic data and clinical data together to understand health.
Large-scale diabetes prevention studies have clearly shown that type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed in people at high-risk by sustained changes in both diet and physical exercise. However, despite solid evidence for preventive actions, it remains a challenge to effectively identify and manage individuals in the general population who are at high risk of developing diabetes or those who already have undiagnosed diabetes.
1) Childhood Obesity. The main aim of the study is to identify metabolomics signatures in obese young individuals and obesity-related metabolic alterations, such as inflammation or oxidative stress. The study involves plasma samples from 1425 children, lipidomics will be employed to identify lipid signatures associated with obesity and its-related metabolic alterations.
2) AlcoChallenge. This project looks effect of drinking on lipid metabolism in liver during early stage of fatty liver disease. The study includes 30 participants with biopsy verified liver fibrosis (15 with alcoholic and 15 non-alcoholic fatty liver disease) and 10 healthy participants where participants received ethanol instillation into their stomach. Blood samples were collected at liver vein catheter and peripheral vein catheter at three time-points, baseline, 60 minutes and 180 minutes after ethanol instillation. We will employ lipidomics to identify lipid(s) affected by ethanol instillation.
RHAPSODY (“Risk Assessment and ProgreSsiOn of DIabetes”), focused on assessing the risk of progression of pre-diabetes to overt diabetes and of rapid deterioration of type 2 diabetes (T2D). This is achieved by a multi-omics analysis of large European cohorts. The Systems Medicine group will provided metabolomics data for over 6000 patients progressing into type 2 diabetes.
The purpose of POPs is to find additional, preferably biological, measurements that can help to stratify T2D patients into smaller more homogeneous subgroups using metabolomics, in order to enhance the efficacy of treatments given to each individual patient. This is to be carried out on ~700 volunteers from Steno, blood will be sampled initially at referral and at a 1 year follow up.
Personalising Treatment of Diabetic Nephropathy. By using a multidimensional ‘omics’ approach and a deep multidimensional phenotypic characterisation, we aim to search for novel proteins, metabolites and pathways that will point to the putative new mechanisms which underlie the early renal decline related to diabetic nephropathy.
The aim of the TARGET project is to identify human genetic variation and/or gut microbiome profiles which associate with childhood obesity, weight reduction, and/or weight maintenance/gain in obese children following a tailored weight loss intervention. The Systems Medicine group has analyzed over 1200 plasma samples using lipidomics platform in TARGET.
EMIF-AD (IMI funded)
This study is a part of the European Medical Information Framework for Alzheimer’s disease (EMIF-AD). The main aim of the project is to accelerate the discovery of novel diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers of AD and to unravel the underlying pathophysiological mechanisms. To achieve this, we utilize metabolomics approach to discover a panel of blood metabolites associating with brain amyloid pathology which may arise up to two decades before the onset of dementia. Blood samples from 696 participants are available for analyses (AD type dementia n=136, mild cognitive impairment (MCI) n=276, and cognitively healthy n=284).
This project (The Cognitive Aging Nutrition and Neurogenesis (CANN)) is a part of a randomized controlled trial in ‘at risk’ humans, investigating the cognitive benefits of combined ω3 flavonoid/fatty acid intervention. At SDCC, we aim to measure accurate plasma ω3 fatty acids (9 lipids) and test their association with cognitive effect of the supplement. The study will involve 615 plasma samples collected from 205 participants at three time-points; baseline, 3 months and 12 months.
Systems Medicine is also involved in the following projects:
BRIDGE, HYPOADAPT & HYPOANA, DPUK, TREM2 & LIPIDOMICS, GALAXY, TYPE 1 COMPENSATORS, ADIPOSE TISSUE METABOLIC FINGERPRINTING & MODELLING, INNODIA IMI, TIDBIT, PROFIL, MONOGENIC DIABETES, METABOLIC GPCR MEDIATED SIGNALING and NASH/NAFLD.