Conway Metabolomics Core
Professor Lorraine Brennan directs the UCD Conway Metabolomic Facility, which uses mass spectroscopy technique for detecting and quantifying the metabolites of interest in a wide range of biological samples.

Metabolomics is the measurement of metabolites in biological samples and informs us about alteration in metabolic pathways under different conditions. We offer unique expertise and advice in performing metabolic phenotyping studies from experimental design through data acquisition to data analysis and biological interpretation.

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The facility for metabolomics is based on the state-of-the-art mass spectrometry for high-throughput metabolite identification and quantification.
The equipment includes one SCIEX QTRAP 6500plus mass spectrometer coupled to SCIEX ExionLC™ Series UHPLC capability. This QTRAP 6500plus system features the multi-component IonDriveTM Technology such as the IonDriveTM Turbo V Source and IonDrive High Energy Detector.
The improved polarity switching and MRM3 speeds allow faster chromatography and better throughput. Consequently, the system is very fast and sensitive; enabling the detection and quantification of the widest scope of molecules in the most challenging matrices.

Metabolite quantification

We provide targeted assays to detect and quantify a large number of related metabolites present in diverse areas of metabolism such as amino acid metabolism and lipid metabolism, reflecting a variety of physiological processes.
This assay is performed in conjunction with Biocrates AbsoluteIDQ ® p180 Kit using our SCIEX QTRAP 6500+ LC/MS instrument. This p180 Kit is a high-throughput method and provides highly robust, quantitative metabolomics data with excellent accuracy and precision.
Up to 188 metabolites from 7 compound classes can be measured with minimal sample volume, including the following metabolites:
  • 21 amino acids
  • 21 biogenic amines
  • 1 hexose
  • 40 acylcarnitines
  • 14 lysophosphatidylcholines
  • 76 phosphatidylcholines
  • 15 sphingolipids

Sample type

We are able to analyse a diverse range of sample types. A wide variety of biofluids  and matrices from different species can be used for targeted metabolomic analysis such as  biofluids (plasma, serum or urine), tissue, and cell culture samples.

Data processing and statistical analysis

We perform a number of quality checks to ensure highly robust and quantitative metabolomic data. We also apply univariate and multivariate statistical analysis to identify metabolites that may be linked to a specific metabolic pathway or can be used as metabolic biomarkers.

Targeted Metabolomics Workflow

Linear progression targeted metabolomics workflow

For bookings, please contact Dr Xiaofei Yin : email

Lorraine Brennan

Professor Lorraine Brennan is a recognised leader in the field of dietary biomarkers. Her recent work in the field has clearly demonstrated that urinary biomarkers can determine food intake to a high level of accuracy. This development has opened up new avenues for dietary biomarkers and marks significant progress in the field.

Xiaofei Yin

Dr Xiaofei Yin is a mass spectroscopist and works on setting up the reliable and reproducible research methods for the measurement of metabolites using mass spectrometry. Xiaofei obtained her PhD in human nutrition and then worked as a postdoctoral researcher in the group of Prof. Lorraine Brennan in University College Dublin. She has experience of sample preparation, mass spectrometric method development, data processing and statistical analysis.