Integrating bioinformatics approaches for a comprehensive interpretation of metabolomics datasets

Dinesh Kumar Barupal, Sili Fan, Oliver Fiehn

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Access to high quality metabolomics data has become a routine component for biological studies. However, interpreting those datasets in biological contexts remains a challenge, especially because many identified metabolites are not found in biochemical pathway databases. Starting from statistical analyses, a range of new tools are available, including metabolite set enrichment analysis, pathway and network visualization, pathway prediction, biochemical databases and text mining. Integrating these approaches into comprehensive and unbiased interpretations must carefully consider both caveats of the metabolomics dataset itself as well as the structure and properties of the biological study design. Special considerations need to be taken when adopting approaches from genomics for use in metabolomics. R and Python programming language are enabling an easier exchange of diverse tools to deploy integrated workflows. This review summarizes the key ideas and latest developments in regards to these approaches.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Opinion in Biotechnology
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes


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