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Metabolite Discovery

A major focus of the Metabolomics Knowledge Center is on the discovery of new metabolic pathways for health-relevant small-molecules.

High-throughput characterization of fungal biosynthetic gene clusters

The fungal Genomes To Natural Products Network seeks to discover new classes of fungal natural products by recombinant expression of fungal biosynthetic gene clusters. Led by the Stanford Genome Technology Center, the GNPN is the Metabolomics Knowledge Center's longest-standing project, and their need for high-throughput identification and characterization of novel small molecules was a genesis of the Metabolomics Knowledge Center.

Fungal metabolite
Example fungal natural product

Complex chromatogram
Identification of compounds derived from fungal biosynthetic gene clusters


Stanford Genome Technology Center

  • Maureen Hillenmeyer - Director of the Genomes to Natural Products Program at the Stanford Genome Technology Center
  • Ron Davis - Director of the Stanford Genome Technology Center
  • Colin Harvey - Staff Scientist, Stanford Genome Technology Center
  • Bob St. Onge - Staff Scientist, Stanford Genome Technology Center

Stanford Chemical Engineering

Improved tools for analysis of plant-derived small molecules

The Sattely lab focuses on the discovery and engineering of plant biochemistry. Previous tools for analyzing metabolites in plant samples have limited chemical specificity, low throughput, and are not applicable to all molecules of interest. These limitations can hamper the pathway discovery, metabolite characterization, and pathway engineering research. In conjunction with the Sattely lab, we are developing analytical tools that address some of these limitations.

LC-MS analysis of plant-derived hydrocarbons
LC-MS analysis of plant-derived hydrocarbons with APCI


Molecular determinants of avian body color

Tom Cooke in Carlos Bustamente's lab is studying genetic determinants of coloration in birds. The Metabolomics Knowledge Center helps link genes identified in population studies to the small molecules that determine color.