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Introduction to metabolomics 2022

ECTS credits:



Course parameters:

Language: English

Level of course: PhD course (with participation of a few master students)

Semester/quarter: September 2022

No. of contact hours/hours in total incl. preparation, assignment(s) or the like:

3 days of lectures and exercises (24 h)

Preparation by reading book chapters, articles and preparing data for analysis (20 h)

Writing report (16 h)

Course fee: The course is free for all PhD students enrolled at a Danish University and master students and staff at AU-FOOD. Participants from other places are charged a course fee of DKK 3000.

Capacity limits: max 25, min 10. PhD students have highest priority


Objectives of the course:

The purpose of the course is to give an up-to-date introduction to the basic methods in metabolomics. The course will cover nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and gas and liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (GC/LC-MS) methodologies used in metabolomics. A practical assignment is performed using NMR-based metabolomics.

Learning outcomes and competences:

At the end of the course, the student should be able to:

  • Arrange the place of metabolomics in context of genomics, proteomics, *omics
  • Compare and contrast the methods for a metabolomics study considering the benefits and the pitfalls of the methods
  • Describe and explain how to prepare samples from different foods and bio-fluids for metabolomic analyses
  • Evaluate and apply the appropriate experimental design in a metabolomics study
  • Describe appropriate design of experiments for metabolomic analyses
  • Explain the principles of metabolite detection and identification in LC-MS, GC-MS and NMR
  • Outline applications of metabolomics to your field of research
  • Apply multivariate data analysis methods relevant for metabolomic data
  • Critically evaluate metabolomic data described in scientific literature and describe your own results in a scientific way

Compulsory programme:

Attendance for a minimum of 80% of the theoretical and practical lessons is required to obtain the course diploma. Approved report.

Course contents:

Metabolism is the set of chemical reactions that occur in living organisms in order to maintain life and metabolites is the end products of these chemical reactions. Metabolomics is the systematic study of metabolite profiles in any biological sample and tissue. Set in a systems biology context, the metabolomics is the most recent member of the omics-family and it is complementary to genomics and proteomics.

The course gives an introduction to the use of metabolomics and its methods. The objectives are to give participants knowledge of advanced NMR and MS techniques, including hands-on experience with processing, analysis and identification of metabolites in such data.

Theoretical and practical aspects of these methods, including design of experiments, sample preparation, data acquisition, processing and further analysis will be discussed. The course will cover NMR- and MS-based metabolomics applied to various types of samples – meat and vegetable extracts, cells, milk, urine, blood, and feces – will be used as examples.



Enrolled in a science based Ph.D. programme. Master students can participate as a part their master project in agreement with the supervisor.


Name of lecturers:

Assistant professor Ulrik Kræmer Sundekilde, Department of Food Science, Aarhus University, Denmark

Postdoc Banny Silva Barbosa Correia, Department of Food Science, Aarhus University, Denmark


Type of course/teaching methods:

Lectures and exercises



Selected chapters and papers will be announced on Brightspace.


Course homepage:



Course assessment:

Passed/not passed assessment based on the written report considering the learning outcomes.



Department of Food Science


Special comments on this course:

The course is organized in combination with the PhD-course ‘Introduction to multivariate data analysis’ and it is encouraged to follow both courses, although the courses can be taken individually if necessary.


Monday, 5 September: Lectures, practicals and exercises

Tuesday, 6 September: Lectures and exercises

Tuesday, 20 September: Data preparation, workshop

28 September: Deadline for handing in report

7 October: Notice of assessment



Dept. Food Science

Agro Food Park 48, 8200 Aarhus N

Room 5910-116



Deadline for registration is 26 August, 2022. Information regarding admission will be sent out no later than two workdays after registration deadline.

Course fee: The course is free for all PhD students enrolled at a Danish University and master students and staff at AU-FOOD. Participants from other places are charged a course fee of DKK 3000.

Please sign up via this link: https://events.au.dk/metabolomics-2022/signup

If you have any questions, please contact Ulrik Sundekilde, e-mail: uksundekilde@food.au.dk

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