Validation of a simplified extraction and automated derivatisation method for absolute quantification of primary metabolites by GC-MS

Dr Chris Pook


Untargeted metabolite profiling has been used extensively to analyse differences in the metabolism of all sorts of experimental biological samples. However, this powerful and well-established technique is also complex, time-consuming and involves the risk of exposure to hazardous reagents. Several advances have been proposed which involve simplified sample preparation and extraction, reduced exposure of researchers to hazardous reagents, automation of the derivatisation process for improved throughput and accuracy and potentiation of absolute quantification of target compounds. These advances require validation, characterisation and refinement and application to a sample set as proof-of-concept. We have samples of human plasma and breast milk which would be useful to investigate. Alternatively, applicants are welcome to propose analysis of their own sample materials.


What we are looking for in a successful applicant

Skills such as mass spectrometry, chromatography, any other quantitative biochemistry or analytical chemistry, bio- or chemo-informatics, would be useful, but not essential. Good writing skills are essential.



To validate, characterise and apply a novel workflow for absolute quantification of primary metabolites by GC-MS.



Department: Liggins Institute

Main Supervisor: Dr Chris Pook

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