Metabolites, the chemical entities that are transformed during metabolism, provide a functional readout of cellular biochemistry. With mass spectrometry based metabolomics technique, thousands of metabolites can now be quantitatively measured from minimal amounts of biological material, which has thereby enabled systems-level analyses. By performing global metabolite profiling, new discoveries linking cellular pathways to biological mechanism are being revealed and are shaping our understanding of cell biology, physiology and medicine. Although relatively new compared with its genomic and proteomic predecessors, research in metabolomics has already led to the discovery of biomarkers for disease diagnosis, fundamental insights into cellular biochemistry and clues related to disease pathogenesis.

    The research in Dr. Zhu lab focuses on the development of mass spectrometry based metabolomics technologies and metabolic phenotyping of various challenging diseases, mainly focusing on aging and aging dependent neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD).

LC-MS techniques, database and software:

Targeted metabolomics
Untargeted metabolomics
Lipidomics and lipid spectral library
Metabolite standard spectral database and metabolite identification algorithm
Application of new techniques like DIA (SWATH) and IM-MS techniques for metabolomics/lipidomics

Aging and aging related diseases:

Metabolic remodeling/homeostasis during aging
Metabolism regulation of aging in Drosophila melanogaster
Metabolite - protein interaction in neurodegenerative diseases

Metabolic phenotyping for clinical diagnosis and precision medicine:

Early screening of Esophageal Squamous-Cell Carcinoma (ESCC)
Metabolite biomarker discovery for the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD)