Metabolomics is a tool for either discovering cellular responses to external stimuli such as toxicant administration or cataloging metabolic pathways in health and disease. In addition to examining endogenous molecular changes in response to stimuli, metabolomics can equally be applied to the examination of xenobiotic metabolites, the footprints of cellular metabolism that are left on xenobiotic molecules.
Our lab has considerable interest and experience developing cutting-edge metabolomic approaches for translational medicine including human and mouse drug metabolism and efficacy studies as well as biomarker screening for environmental exposures or disease pathogenesis and progression. In general biomarker research requires fundamental knowledge in many disciplines including biology, chemistry, epidemiology, and statistics. It is therefore a truly interdisciplinary science and one that hold great promise for disease diagnosis and prognosis but may ultimately provide insight in the design and development of targeted therapeutics.
See Penn State AgScience magazine article: Mastering Metabolomics: An Interview with Andrew Patterson.