Even the simplest blood tests of today – which monitor about 20 substances in our body – have powerful predictive and diagnostic power. For example, high cholesterol suggests possible heart trouble, and abnormal glucose could indicate pre-diabetes.
Now imagine that routine and low-cost bloodwork could check for thousands of compounds all at once, as well as calculate the balance between them. Such a real-time status check would provide doctors with unparalleled knowledge for diagnosing patients and creating personalized profiles for the most effective treatment of disease.
“Metabolomics is poised to revolutionize the field of preventive medicine. It holds tremendous potential (…) not only for detecting diseases but also for enabling individuals to proactively monitor their overall physiological well-being even before the onset of illness.” – Prof. Ehud Gazit
The Super Blood Test
We are entering such an era at TAU’s new Metabolite Medicine Division at the BLAVATNIK CENTER for Drug Discovery. This suite of labs is the most advanced at an Israeli university for the emerging science of metabolomics – the study of small molecules called metabolites that our bodies produce every second of our lives as part of ongoing cell processes. Sometimes, all that is required is to identify the one metabolite culprit that is throwing the body off balance.
“Metabolomics is poised to revolutionize the field of preventive medicine. It holds tremendous potential as a cornerstone and indispensable tool, not only for detecting diseases but also for enabling individuals to proactively monitor their overall physiological well-being even before the onset of illness,” explains Prof. Ehud Gazit, the Founding Director of the Metabolomic Medicine division.
“Unlike genetics, which cannot be easily altered, the composition of metabolites provides a valuable reflection of the body’s physiological state, making it possible to optimize towards an ideal state through dietary interventions, physical activity, and lifestyle modifications,” he says.
“The establishment of the Metabolite Medicine division at the BLAVATNIK CENTER for Drug Discovery is highly important for the entire biomed framework of Tel Aviv University.” – Dr. Ludmila Bozhansky
Driving Real-Life Implementation
Using state-of-the-art equipment, scientists will be able to identify specific metabolic signatures in laboratory and patient cell culture samples, learn about their mechanisms of action, and develop AI-aided data analysis tools. The ultimate aim of the Metabolite Division is to connect promising university discoveries with Israeli hospitals for clinical samples and testing, and with the pharma industry for creating or repurposing drugs.
“The establishment of the Metabolite Medicine division at the BLAVATNIK CENTER for Drug Discovery is highly important for the entire biomed framework of Tel Aviv University,” says Dr. Ludmila Buzhansky, the Managing Director of the BLAVATNIk Center for Drug Discovery. “By leveraging the capabilities of metabolomics and benefiting from the exceptional expertise now available at TAU in this field, our researchers develop interdisciplinary collaborations that drive innovation and knowledge dissemination across diverse domains within the university community and beyond.”
Source: TAU Review