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[] Metabolomics in Chronobiology: Metabolic Alterations by Sleep Loss and Circadian Function

Department of Systems Pharmacology and Translational Therapeutics, Perleman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
20 November 2017
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Almost all organisms have a molecular clock which is responsive to external circadian cues, such as light:dark and temperature cycles. In turn, numerous rhythmic physiological processes are cyclical, such as energy balance, the sleep:wake cycle and cardio-metabolic function. Recently, time-dependent changes in metabolism and metabolic function have come to the fore via implication in various disease pathologies such as cancer and other metabolic diseases. Metabolite measurement through the circadian day requires reliable and quantitative methods to ensure temporal differences are accurately captured. Appropriate study design and data processing measures essential for detecting rhythmicity in metabolomics data are also required. Here a combination of analytical approaches based on nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) and liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC-MS) will be used in chronobiology measurements from both clinical and model systems. The tools included COLMeD, an LC-MS optimization strategy based on design of experiments methods, and NMR targeted profiling. Application of these tools to novel biological questions in the chronobiology area, such as the effects of sleep deprivation and interaction of the molecular clock with oncogene function will also be considered. Future developments in these technologies are anticipated vis-à-vis validating these early findings, given that metabolomics has only recently entered the ring with other systems biology assessments in chronobiology studies.


chronobiology, sleep, circadian rhythms, nmr, lc-ms

Cite this article as

Weljie, A. Metabolomics in Chronobiology: Metabolic Alterations by Sleep Loss and Circadian Function. In Proceedings of the The 2nd International Electronic Conference on Metabolomics, 20–27 November 2017; Sciforum Electronic Conference Series, Vol. 2, 2017 ; doi:10.3390/iecm-2-05001

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Metabolomics in Chronobiology: Metabolic Alterations by Sleep Loss and Circadian Function

Video from the Keynote Speaker, Dr. Aalim Weljie (University of Pennsylvania, USA)


Author biographies

Aalim Weljie
Aalim M. Weljie, Ph.D. is a Research Assistant Professor of Systems Pharmacology and Translational Therapeutics at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. He received his B.Sc. in Chemistry and Certificate in Engineering from Mount Allison University in New Brunswick, Canada in 1996, and his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Calgary, Canada in 2003. He completed an industrial post-doctoral fellowship with Chenomx Inc where he developed expertise in quantitative NMR metabolomics, followed by a visiting scientist fellowship from EMBO to the University of Cambridge in the lab of Dr. Jules Griffin. Dr. Weljie was the co-Director of the Metabolomics Research Center at the University of Calgary from 2008 until he was recruited to Penn in 2012 in Pharmacology and the Institute of Translational Medicine and Therapeutics. Dr. Weljie’s current research interests focus is ‘Chrono-metabolomics’, including translational studies of metabolism and molecular clocks, such as sleep disruption, circadian rhythms and the influence of diseases such as cancer on the clock-metabolism connection as well as aging processes. In addition to contributions to analytical methods for metabolomics, Dr. Weljie has reported novel cross-species biomarkers of sleep restriction, and continues to investigate the circadian nature of numerous metabolites in vitro and in vivo.

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