Tao Huan

Assistant Professor


Faculty of Science

Research Specialization: Mass spectrometry-based metabolomics

Metabolomics, a newly emerging field of ‘omics’ research, is the study of the entire sets of small molecules (termed metabolome, molecular weight < 1500 Da), in a given biological system, such as a cell, organ, whole organism or biofluid. The metabolome is a close counterpart to the genome, the transcriptome and the proteome. Together these four ‘omics’ constitute the building blocks of systems biology. Unlike genes and proteins whose functions are subject to epigenetic regulation and post-translational modifications, respectively, metabolites serve as a direct functional readout of a current cellular state and therefore easier to correlate with phenotype. This fact has made metabolomics particularly useful in the study of environment-gene interactions, the identification of disease biomarkers, and the discovery of drugs.

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