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Metabolic Network connects UMass Medical School metabolism researchers

Date Posted: Sunday, February 02, 2020


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Researchers at University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) have launched the second season on the UMass Metabolic Network (or MetNet for short), which is a campus-wide special interest group that connects many laboratories and scientists who study various facets of metabolism and metabolic regulation. Regular meetings will feature in-house lectures and external invited experts, and provide attendees the opportunity to learn new biology, find potential collaborators, and advance new technologies. 

MetNet researchers are particularly interested in how an imbalance or disruption of metabolism can result in human diseases ranging from obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular and fatty liver disease, altered immunity, infection, neurological disorders and cancer. The goal is not only to create a community, but to develop a pipeline for accelerated translation of UMMS research into therapeutics.

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"We are constantly trying to acquire new technologies and resources to advance high-level discovery-based metabolomics on campus," said David Guertin, PhD, Associate Professor, Program in Molecular Medicine at UMMS. “and we hope that the MetNet will be one way to identify what interests our scientists have, and what resources they need to be successful.”

Instruments such as the Seahorse Extracellular Flux analyzer as well as gas and liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (GC-MS and LC-MS) will allow UMMS scientists to generate new data and hypotheses with state-of-the art technologies, which can help develop novel strategies for immunotherapy and cell engineering.   

Studying metabolism is also important because metabolic enzymes are highly druggable as further discussed by MetNet co-organizer and cancer biologist  Dohoon Kim, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Molecular, Cell and Cancer Biology at UMMS.

“Metabolism is at the base of everything we work on and understanding how the network of metabolites [the products of metabolism] are interconnected in a cell or between organs is fundamental to understanding disease, added Dr. Guertin. “Connecting our impressive network of metabolic researchers within UMass Medical School will only further enrich our already collaborative culture.”

Explore the MetNet community on their website: umassmed.edu/metnet.

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