Navigating the road ahead: addressing challenges for use of metabolomics in epidemiology studies
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Metabolomics platforms allow for the measurement of hundreds to thousands of unique small chemical entities, as well as offer extensive coverage of metabolic markers related to obesity, diet, smoking, and other exposures of high interest to health scientists. Nevertheless, its potential use as a tool in population-based study design has not been fully explored. As the field of metabolomics continues to mature, and in part, accelerate through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) investment of $65 million in the Common Fund’s Metabolomics Program (https://commonfund.nih.gov/metabolomics/index), it is time to consider those challenges most pertinent to epidemiologic studies.
To design and conduct high quality studies, at minimum the investigator must identify the general biological pathways of interest, the number of study participants and identify metabolomic endpoints a priori. Metabolomics provides a broad assessment of biology; therefore, investigators must...
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