Colourful molecular structure

New methods for analysis and visualisation of metabolic data

“Metabolomics” is the study of the small molecule “fingerprint” left by metabolic processes taking place in cells. Analysis of the data has typically involved reducing the data to manageable chunks through use of data reduction techniques such as principal components analysis. While this identifies the main metabolites that define processes it does not tell us how they are linked or how they fit into metabolic processes. We are developing new approaches that allow representation of metabolomic data as a network, while still retaining some elements of data reduction in order to remove the immense complexity associated with analysis. In conjunction with this, we are developing new ways to visualise these networks, taking advantage of the UNSW EPICentre’s high resolution data visualisation capability.