and Mass Spectrometry

Metabolomics Science
A Historical Timeline of Metabolism and Metabolomics

     This timeline highlights some of the conceptual and technological advancements that have permitted the field of metabolomics to evolve into what it is today.

      Contributions       Year
  • 300 BC

  • 131

  • Quantitative basis of metabolism
    Santorio Sanctorius, considered to be the founding father of metabolic studies, publishes his work on ‘insensible perspiration’ in De Statica medicina, and determined that the sum total of visible excrement (urine, feces, sweat) was less than the amount of substance ingested. This work is considered the first effort to obtain physiological data and provide a quantitative basis to pathophysiology via meticulous study and precise instrumentation.

  • 1614

  • Diabetes measure qualitatively by sweetness
    Thomas Willis, an English physician, performs the first qualitative analysis of urine and found that individuals with diabetes mellitus and diabetes insipidus could be distinguished by the sweetness of this biological fluid. This work, entitled Pharmaceutice rationalis, was published in Oxford.

  • 1674

  • 1776

  • 1905

  • 1905

  • Urea cycle (aka ornithine cycle)
    The urea cycle (also known as the ornithine cycle) is a cycle of biochemical reactions occurring in many animals that produces urea ((NH2)2CO) from ammonia (NH3). This cycle was the first metabolic cycle discovered (Hans Krebs and Kurt Henseleit, 1932). In mammals, the urea cycle takes place primarily in the liver, and to a lesser extent in the kidney.

  • 1932

  • Krebs cycle
    The Krebs Cycle - Hans Adolf Krebs postulated the citric acid cycle (also known as the tricarboxylic acid cycle(TCA cycle), the Krebs cycle, or the Szent-Györgyl-Krebs cycle). This work and that which preceded Kreb's work provided an understanding to the big picture of cellular respiration... a series of enzyme-catalysed chemical reactions.

  • 1937

  • 1943

  • 1946

  • Metabolic patterns in human health
    Williams, R.J., et al., Biochemical Institute Studies IV. Individual metabolic patterns and human disease: An exploratory study utilizing predominantly paper chromatographic methods.
    U. Texas Publication No. 5109, Univ. of Texas, Austin, 1951,204pp
    [Ed. note: Readers may be interested in a fuller account of these studies: Williams, R.J., Biochemical Individuality, The Basis for the Genetotrophic Concept, Univ. of Texas Press, Austin, 1956 (paperback)].

  • 1951

  • 1951

  • Argininemia
    First described in 1958 Allan et al. in Lancet, and associated with amino acid metabolism. Ultimately the disease is associated with the disregulation of the arginase enzyme resulting in elevated levels of arginine and citrulline

  • 1958

  • 1960

  • 1966

  • 1974

  • 1990

  • 1990

  • 1995

  • 1998-9

  • 2003

  • 2004

  • 2005

  • XCMS bioinformatics platform for untargeted metabolomics
    A bioinformatic platform XCMS was developed for untargeted mass spectrometry based metabolomics. XCMS facilitates comparative analysis by allowing for peak picking, nonlinear retention time alignment using endogenous metabolites as internal standards, statistical analysis of the observed metabolites and searching the METLIN database for metabolite idnetification

  • 2006

  • MZmine introduced
    MZmine: toolbox for processing and visualization of mass spectrometry based molecular profile data.

  • 2006

  • 2007

  • metaXCMS meta-metabolomics analysis approach
    metaXCMS: A major challenge in interpreting metabolomics data is distinguishing metabolites that are causally associated with the phenotype of interest from those that are unrelated but altered in downstream pathways as an effect. To facillitate the distinction a second-order("meta") analysis of untargeted metabolomics data from multiple sample groups representing different models of the same phenotype was developed - Analytical Chemistry

  • 2010

  • 2010

  • 2011

  • 2012

  • 2012