Image courtesy of ISB


Metabolon scientists are collaborating with researchers on world-leading programs to use multi-omic deep phenotyping technologies, including metabolomics, to advance human health. A primary focus right now is improving our collective understanding of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the COVID-19 disease during this unprecedented pandemic. Metabolon has a strong history of working closely with scientists at the Institute for Systems Biology (ISB) like Dr. James R. HeathDr. Leroy HoodDr. Andrew MagisDr. Nathan PriceDr. John Earls and Dr. Sean Gibbons.

Now, we are teaming up with ISB again to understand and treat coronavirus. Longitudinal blood samples are being collected from patients with varying COVID-19 disease severity to track their health over time. One goal for the project is to understand better which patients are at the highest risk of severe infection so that we can most effectively deploy medical resources. The work will also help to develop a deeper understanding of effective immune and organ system responses during the onset and recovery of affected patients. 

The findings will be vital in helping to treat patients effectively and design optimal vaccines and therapies in response to viral outbreaks in the future. Similar to the SARs outbreak in 2003, this important work will also help us understand if there are any long-term health implications for those that recover from COVID-19.

Previous studies of viral infections suggest that patients’ metabolic profiles become altered during disease progression. These metabolic changes influence how a patient responds both through the degree of immune response and clearance of the virus from the lungs and other organs. Even in the early stages of the most recent COVID-19 pandemic, it was clear that pre-existing conditions such as coronary heart disease, diabetes, asthma, and hypertension have an impact on outcomes. As the virus has spread globally, no clear patterns of effects with age, gender and these pre-existing conditions have emerged. Given that therapeutic options are limited, and vaccine development remains in progress, there remain gaps in our understanding of the mechanisms of the virus to host interactions and the trajectory of the infection cycle that metabolomics studies looking across bodily systems will help reveal.

Metabolon is the industry leader in the ability to reveal metabolic perturbations across all biochemical pathways including amino acids, carbohydrates, lipids, nucleotides, microbiota metabolism, energy, cofactors and vitamins, xenobiotics, and novel metabolites. Given that metabolism represents the integration of genetic and non-genetic factors such as microbiome and lifestyle, it is a uniquely poised modality to assess health outcomes and severity of the disease, particularly relevant to understanding the trajectory of COVID-19 infection. Within this context, Metabolon has been given special dispensation by the state of North Carolina to continue all laboratory activity during this crisis due to our capacity to analyze human samples under both clinical and research environments. We are focused on maintaining our high levels of service while protecting our staff and maintaining the physical distancing protocols. We are committed to fast track mission-critical projects linked to COVID-19 research to support this vital work.

Our dedicated team of Study Directors, including experts with years of deep, infectious disease and drug development experience, are available now to address your questions, lead metabolomics study design and draft final biological interpretation reports. Please contact us today via to learn how our experts may be able to support expediting your COVID-19 research.


Wang, T et al. Comorbidities and multi-organ injuries in the treatment of COVID-19. The Lancet. 2020;395(10228): e52. 

Wu et al. Altered lipid metabolism in recovered SARS patients twelve years after infection. Scientific Reports. 2017:7(9110).