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Omics Measurements

Graphic for Omics Measurements; A blue circle containing compound molecules, a protein ribbon structure, and two analytical instruments.
Credit: A. Bayless/NIST

The NIST Charleston Proteomics and Metabolomics Team is dedicated to identifying and overcoming obstacles in the fields of metabolomics and proteomics. They utilize nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and mass spectrometry (MS) to create solutions that enable high-quality data generation and accelerate adoption with stakeholders, industry, and other government agencies, ultimately improving measurement harmonization.

Products and Services

The group is providing the metabolomics and proteomics community with metrological tools, such as Reference Materials (RMs) and data that will promote quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC) for emerging omics technologies. We aim to supply metabolomics researchers, commercial metabolomics service providers, and instrument vendors with quantitative and qualitative RMs that:

  • facilitate reproducibility, comparability, and harmonization of measurements within and between laboratories, measurement platforms, and large, multi-cohort and multi-laboratory studies
  • benchmark system performance
  • support the development of new technology, software, and measurement protocols
  • offer training tools for analyst competency

Linking data directly to a stable homogeneous material facilitates the development of quality control metrics for peptide and metabolite identification, bioinformatics, and systematic workflow evaluation. 

Programs and Activities

NIST promotes best practices in metabolomics and proteomics to expand technological capabilities within the omics space. Our work extends broadly to other scientific sectors and is further described in the following programs/projects.

  • Metabolomics Quality Assurance and Quality Control Materials (MetQual) Program The NIST MetQual Program has been created to demonstrate and improve the comparability of metabolomics measurements for industry, government, and academic laboratories through the use of NIST Reference Materials and Data (RMDs).
  • Molecular Innovation in Agriculture Building off existing pan-genomic and transcriptomic resources, NIST can provide insight at the protein and metabolite level into complex infectious agent-vector-plant problems that plague agricultural sectors across the US. These novel solutions will provide security to our economy, resilience against existing and emerging diseases, and long-term production sustainability.
  • Omics Technology to Advance Aquaculture NIST aspires to expand the nation’s aquaculture industry by utilizing state-of-the-art omics technology. This will help to enhance the science of aquaculture, leading to faster industry growth. The focus is on answering crucial questions related to aquaculture production, ranging from fish nutrition and health to reproduction.
  • Single-Cell Omics The new NIST CHO cell line expressing NIST mAb has created an opportunity to create the first-of-its-kind single-cell omics standard. Ongoing work will characterize the material at the protein level and validate its potential use as a single-cell QC material.
  • Environmental Metabolomics NIST has a well-established program for metabolomics using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) technology. By utilizing NMR, an unbiased and non-targeted discovery tool, and combining it with MS, a more sensitive approach, we can investigate the biochemistry of non-model organisms. This allows us to gain new insights while answering questions about the impact of various exposures and stressors, ranging from changes in the environment to pollution caused by industrial and urban activities.
  • Steroid Hormone Pathway Mapping The mapping of steroid hormone pathways can improve understanding and diagnosis of endocrine diseases and endocrine disruption.
  • Comparative Mammalian Proteome Aggregator Resource (CoMPARe) Program NIST is developing a portal to enable researchers to mine high-quality proteomic data from phylogenetically diverse species, to identify advantageous biological adaptations and drive human biomedical breakthroughs.

Outreach and Affiliations

Graphic containing logos for a number of omics measurement project collaborators
Credit: Compiled at NIST


Created November 14, 2023, Updated May 1, 2024