Zhanxuan Wu

Doctor of Philosophy, (Nutritional science)
Study Completed: 2021
College of Health


Thesis Title
Mass Spectrometry-based Metabolomics as a tool for biomarker discovery and diagnosing metabolic health

The discovery of biomarkers for development of cardiometabolic disease is crucial to help identify at-risk individuals. Metabolomics is a promising tool for discovering novel markers and generating mechanistic speculation. Ms Wu optimised two LC-MS platforms for the measurement of a wide range of metabolites in an untargeted manner. She applied this method to identify candidate markers for risk factors of cardiometabolic diseases, including elevated fasting plasma glucose and ectopic fat deposition in humans. The study reported an improved prediction of ectopic fat deposition by utilising metabolite markers compared to clinical measurements. It also demonstrated the usefulness of the metabolomic signature to identify a subset of normoglycaemic individuals with a worse cardiometabolic profile. The study findings highlighted the value of metabolomics as a promising tool to capture metabolic risk, and that candidate markers may offer opportunities for improved risk prediction and stratification.

Professor Marlena Kruger
Dr Karl Fraser
Professor Sally Poppitt