Metabolomics is the systematic study of the small‐molecule metabolic products of cells, tissues, organs and biological fluids over discrete time scales and under specified conditions. As one of the ‘omics’ platforms of systems biology (complementing genomics and proteomics), metabolomics provides important insights to the genetic, developmental and environmental modulators influencing cellular behaviour, signalling and phenotypic diversity.

Metabolomics technologies have proven invaluable in essential research areas spanning drug discovery and personalised medicine, early diagnosis of diseases, nutrigenomics, biomarker discovery and agriculture. Driven by growth in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, metabolomics is receiving significant investment internationally and is now an established and unique cross-disciplinary platform engaging the fields of biochemistry, biology, computer science and mathematics.

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