frequently asked questions
Frequently Asked Questions
- Do you also provide services for clients outside UC Davis?
Yes! Roughly half of our current and past projects have been conducted with researchers who are not based at UC Davis.
- Do you also work with industry?
Yes! We provide fee-for-service based services for a range of industrial partners, from agriculture to biotechnology and pharma.
Such services do not take part in the industrial partner's IP strategy, and we keep strict confidentiality.
- Can you give us example data sets?
Yes! Depending on your study question, we will be happy to communicate with you and send blinded example data sets to you.
- What is the difference between Core Services and Advanced Services?
For Core Services, we have established protocols and UC Davis - approved rates. Such core services are available to everyone by fees.
Advanced Services rely on research collaborations with established laboratories in metabolomics (Fiehn, Lebrilla, Newman, Hammock, Gaikwad, Cherry, Weimer). These research laboratories engage in Pilot and Feasibility studies, interpretation of data, submission of NIH grant proposals and writing and submitting research papers. If the PIs of the Advanced Service laboratories are interested in a certain project, they may also engage in select fee-based study cooperation beyond the Pilot and Feasibility projects. The degree of collaboration would be determined on case-by-case basis, but generally, at least a full postdoctoral month salary support plus consumables must be granted.
- What is your turnaround time?
This question is very hard to answer and may depend on current work load in a specific laboratory, in addition to the complexity of the scope of work. For small projects of an average size of 50 samples, the queue of current projects in the Metabolomics Central Service laboratory (mass spectrometry lab), we currently have about a 60-90 day turnaround time. We are hiring more staff and adding instrumentation to shorten this time!
- Can you do large studies with thousands of samples?
Yes! The West Coast Metabolomics Center has been selected by the TEDDY consortium to study the metabolomic signatures of the onset and environmental factors contributing to childhood diabetes (type 1 diabetes). This study started in the end of 2012 and will finish in the end of 2015 with more than 8,000 blood plasma samples analyzed by untargeted metabolomics using GC-TOF MS and UPLC-QTOF MS/MS.
- What is your throughput per month?
In the four months from June-October 2012, the Metabolomics Central Service laboratory has analyzed over 4,000 samples by mass spectrometry. In addition, the different laboratories of the Advanced Service core add to the overall capacity!
- How many metabolites can you identify?
The Center targets more than 1,000 known compounds by its various platforms. In primary metabolism by GC-TOF, we regularly identify and quantify 120-200 metabolites, depending on the sample. For lipidomics by UPLC-QTOF MS, we identify and quantify up to 300 metabolites. More importantly, we also provide detailed analysis of a range of other structures that are hard to analyze, from glycans (Lebrilla laboratory) to steroids (Gaikwad lab) and eicosanoids and lipid mediators (Hammock and Newman labs). Therefore, we believe that the functional interpretation of metabolite signatures are important, not only the number of identified compounds!
But we are also engaged in identification of novel metabolites by accurate mass analysis, see Advanced Services (Fiehn laboratory).
- Can you measure my favorite target compounds?
Please ask us! We are happy to develop and implement new assays and metabolite targets, including internal standards for absolute quantification.
- Do you perform flux analysis?
We have all necessary instrumentation to study metabolic fluxes. Nevertheless, if clients need data fast, we will recommend U.S.-based laboratories that have more experience in this area than we do ourselves.