“Metabolism by Masses, Metabolomics for the Masses, and Masses of Metabolomes.”, Prof. Dr. Nicola Zamboni, ETH Zurich, Switzerland

Speaker: Nicola Zamboni, ETH Zurich, Switzerland

Host: Team BMP, BioMed X


Our lab investigates cellular metabolism. From bugs to human cells, we are interested in discovering the structure, regulation, and ways to modulate it. For these purposes, we primarily rely on two approaches: mass spectrometry (metabolomics and stable isotope flux analysis) and computational data integration.

The role of these approaches in biomedical research changed drastically over the past 10 years to address increasingly challenging questions. One of the key developments of our group was on high-throughput and yet non-targeted metabolomics using flow-injection on high-resolution mass spectrometers. To date, we can routinely profile thousands of complex biological samples on a single day. More recently, we extended our platform to allow real-time metabolome analysis of living cells and also implemented high-throughput 13C metabolic flux analysis. This massive throughput enabled us to perform conceptually novel study types. For example, we completed several genome-wide screens with tens of thousands of samples.

Fueled by this wealth of information, our research focus shifted from data generation to data interpretation, i.e. to the generation of testable hypotheses on mechanisms and to functional target discovery.

About Nicola

  • Since 2005 Principal Investigator and later Adjunct Professor, Institute of Molecular Systems Biology, ETH Zürich
  • 2004 –2005 Postdoctoral fellow, Stanford Genome Technology Center, Stanford University, USA
  • 2003 PhD, Institute of Biotechnology, ETH Zürich

Nicola Zamboni graduated in 2003 in the group of Jay Bailey at ETH Zurich in the field of metabolic engineering and 13C metabolic flux analysis. As a PostDoc in Stanford, he developed and applied metabolomics-based approaches for unraveling metabolic changes in eukaryotic cells. Since 2005, he is a PI at the Institute of Molecular Systems Biology in Zurich. His lab focuses on the development of mass spectrometry and computational methods to characterize metabolic dynamics in complex systems and reverse engineer cellular regulation.