Metabolomics Service Center


Metabolomics is the analysis of all metabolites in blood, tissue and organelles.  The Metabolomics Service Center at Boston Medical Center is an analytical facility specializing in mass spectrometry techniques that offers a menu of analyses of known metabolites involved in carbohydrate, lipid, amino acid, energy and redox pathways.

Our goal is to provide investigators with the expertise and equipment to perform metabolite profiling in order to facilitate the analysis of major metabolic pathways in humans, animals and in vitro systems. The Metabolomics Service Center primarily serves Boston University investigators, but will gladly accommodate requests from industry and non-BU investigators as well.


The mission of the Metabolomics Service Center is to perform assays and assist in the interpretation of the results. The following assay modules have been developed for the quantitative measurement of:

  • Plasma vitamin D metabolites (25(OH)2D3, 25(OH)D2 3epi-25(OH)D3, cholecalciferol, ergocalciferol)
  • Tryptophan metabolic pathway (tryptophan, kynurenine, kynurenic acid, anthralinic acid, xanthurenic acid, indoxyl sulfate and indoxyl acetate)
  • Nucleotides (ATP, ADP, AMP, cAMP, CTP, CTP, CMP, GTP, GDP, GMP, cGMP, UTP, UDP, UMP)
  • Glycolysis metabolites ( Glucose, fructose 1,6-biphosphate, 2,3-diphosphoglycerade, 3-p-glycerade, 2-p-glycerate, phospho(enol)pyruvate, lactic acid)
  • Tricarboxylic acid cycle metabolites (acetyl-CoA, citric acid, isocitric acid, fumarate, malic acid, oxaloacetic acid, pyruvic acid, succinyl CoA, succinic acid, Ketoglutaric acid).
  • GSH and GSSG
  • Plasma amino acids (alanine, arginine, glutamine, leucine, isoleucine, lysine, methionine, proline, Phenylalanine, serine, tryptophan, tyrosine, threonine, valine )
  • Other metabolites (citrulline, betaine, L-ornithine, taurine, cystamine, homocysteine, glutamic acid, L-carnitine, acetylcholine, thiamine, niacinamide, creatine, creatinine, trimethylamine N-oxide, 2-aminoisobutyric acid, ϒ-aminoisobutyric acid, serotonin, 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA), 5’-adenosylhomocystein, spermine, spermidine, triiodothyronine, thyroxine)

Other metabolite assay modules can be developed and validated in response to the emerging needs of Boston University investigators.

Please note that not all of the service can be provided at all times because of equipment availability and limited manpower. Please contact us for the assay time and sample preparation procedure.



API 4000 Triple Quadrupole Mass Spectrometry,

Gas chromatography Mass Spectrometry

Agilent 1200 LC systems


The Metabolomics Service center is located at 670 Albany St, 2nd floor, Rm 231.




Anqi Zhang, Ph.D.

617 414-2944


Useful Links:

Metabolite and tandem MS data base:

Human Metabolome Database: