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Approved Research

The Mendelian randomization of Metabolomics and Cancer

Principal Investigator: Dr Rong Zhong
Approved Research ID: 84980
Approval date: January 10th 2023

Lay summary

Modern omics-based technologies, including genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics, have greatly advanced our understanding of the pathophysiological process of human complex diseases and successfully identified a series of biomarkers that could lead to earlier diagnosis of diseases or therapeutic targets for disorders. Metabolomics characterizes downstream gene regulation and protein activity are considered to be more representative of clinical phenotypes, which can provide a new starting point for further investigations into the relationships between human metabolism and diseases. Mendelian randomization (MR) is a novel genetic epidemiological approach that uses genetic variants as instrumental variables to assess possible causal relationships between metabolite and cancer. In the past decade, MR has been widely applied to infer causal relationships using publicly available genome-wide association study (GWAS) summary statistics. In this study, we plan to conduct an MR study to assess the causal effects of metabolites on the risk of cancer and investigate the genetic variants that determine the variation of the metabolites, which also contribute to the development of cancer. We hope our study provides a unique resource and interesting insights for follow-up studies in basic science and clinical medicine to further unravel disease etiology.

The project is scheduled to begin in February 2022 and be completed in December 2024. The research plan is as follows:

1) February 2022 - December 2022: Genome-wide association analysis identifies genetic variations associated with metabolites.

2) January 2023 - December 2023: (1) Validation of the GWAS result using the data of our own. (2) Identify the genetic locus-metabolite pairs.

3) January 2024 - December 2024: summarizing research results, writing research papers.