Metabolomics: A global biochemical approach to drug response and disease

Rima Kaddurah-Daouk, Bruce S. Kristal, Richard M. Weinshilboum

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

484 Scopus citations


Metabolomics is the study of metabolism at the global level. This rapidly developing new discipline has important potential implications for pharmacologic science. The concept that metabolic state is representative of the overall physiologic status of the organism lies at the heart of metabolomics. Metabolomic studies capture global biochemical events by assaying thousands of small molecules in cells, tissues, organs, or biological fluids - followed by the application of informatic techniques to define metabolomic signatures. Metabolomic studies can lead to enhanced understanding of disease mechanisms and to new diagnostic markers as well as enhanced understanding of mechanisms for drug or xenobiotic effect and increased ability to predict individual variation in drug response phenotypes (pharmacometabolomics). This review outlines the conceptual basis for metabolomics as well as analytical and informatic techniques used to study the metabolome and to define metabolomic signatures. It also highlights potential metabolomic applications to pharmacology and clinical pharmacology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)653-683
Number of pages31
JournalAnnual Review of Pharmacology and Toxicology
StatePublished - 2008


  • Electrochemical array detection
  • HPLC
  • Mass spectroscopy
  • Metabolomic signatures
  • NMR
  • Pharmacometabolomics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology


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