US Researchers Led by Shankar Subramaniam Receive $12M Grant to Study Human Metabolism

Prof.  Shankar Subramaniam (Courtesy: UC, San Diego)

A research team led by professor Shankar Subramaniam of the University of California at San Diego has a received a $12 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study human metabolism.

The $12 million, four-year grant from NIH comes with the expectation that Subramaniam and his team will expand the Metabolomics Workbench, a searchable, interactive repository of data for all research in the field of metabolism, the study of the small molecules called metabolites that are found within cells and biological systems, the university said in a news report.

The Metabolomics Workbench project launched in 2012 with a $6 million grant from the NIH. This new infusion of funds will allow Subramaniam and colleagues to add a wide range of clinical data to the Workbench and take the project into the clinic itself, the university said.

This, in turn, will allow researchers and physicians to develop better tools to diagnose diseases through metabolite markers in blood, it said.

Subramaniam, who is a professor at the Jacobs School of Engineering, is one of the pioneers of the field of developing data and analysis environments for metabolomics. His research group focuses on systems biology and systems medicine, including diseases of the liver, muscles, brain, and vascular system, according to the report.

Metabolites are produced and consumed in the chemical reactions that take place in the body to sustain life, UCSD said.