Health Sciences Metabolomics and Lipidomics Core (HSMLC)

Our Services

Welcome to the Health Sciences Metabolomics and Lipidomics Core (HSMLC)

The HSMLC is a Health Sciences Core Research Facility located in the Department of Pharmacology & Chemical Biology. We provide assistance with projects that range in size from isolated experiments to major collaborations involving global analyses related to metabolites and lipids, and metabolic flux studies. We have working relationships with C3M, CMM and the Small Molecule Biomarker Core in order to facilitate highly collaborative research involving endocrinology and metabolism, the microbiome and quantitative biomarker analysis.

How to Plan Experiments

Our goal is provide the best assistance we can, beginning with the experimental design in order to provide you with the optimum data for your project. Ideally it is best to contact us before planning an experiment so we can assist with various parameters including numbers per group, sample storage and processing. However, many investigators have samples already stored from an ongoing study. In this event we can define realistic expectations of data output based on the sample condition and previous processing.

Sample Submission

Samples can be dropped off in the Biomedical Science Tower, Department of Pharmacology & Chemical Biology, E1314. Samples should be given to Steve Mullett ( or Stacy Wendell ( Please contact us to make arrangements. Please include (or email) a sample list and clearly labeled tubes. Please do not show up with samples without prior discussion with faculty or staff. You samples will likely not be accepted. Confusion regarding sample identity will delay processing.

Reagents we can provide

We can provide MS specific reagents if needed or tubes for sample collection in order to decrease sample processing time and preserve sample integrity. For example, glass tubes can be provided for lipidomics and tubes with beads can be provided for tissue homogenization. Please ask.


  • Investigators should expect to talk in person or by phone to discuss their project and expectations.
  • We will send an email outlining the agreed upon experiment specifics including sample number, processing and metabolites of interest. We will also send any required protocols for sample collection and an estimate of costs. Deviation from this plan at the time of sample drop off will significantly delay processing and will change costs for analysis.
  • Investigators will be kept informed of a timeline for when to expect data and if there are any issues that arrive.
  • After samples are process and data is analyzed we can meet with investigators to discuss experimental results and plan next steps.
  • We can provide verbiage for publications and grant submissions.

We look forward to collaborating with you!

Please find us online at

Acknowledgement of Interactions with the HSMLC

Most interactions with the HSMLC result in collaborative interactions. As with any collaboration where there is intellectual and experimental contribution to the work performed this is best reflected as co-authorship on subsequent papers. This involvement is self-evident. Publications are also a way of acknowledging collaborations to the scientific community, which is an important aspect of grant reviews.

In the event where the interaction is purely technical (you used resources and/or equipment without HSMLC input) then this is not a collaborative interaction and does not merit co-authorship. However, it is important to acknowledge the core and any core-associated grants. Please ask us. This is imperative for the future success for ANY Pitt investigator or core wishing to apply for NIH instrument grant funding.

If you are not sure of the best way to acknowledge the HSMLC please ask us.

Biohazardous Materials Policy

Animal and Human Specimens: All labs must have prior IACUC or human subjects approval prior to sample submission.

Recombinant or Synthetic Nucleic Acids: All labs must have prior IBC approval prior to sample submission.

Human Pathogens & Other Biohazardous Agents: All labs must comply with the University of Pittsburgh Biosafety Guidelines (EH&S Guideline Number 05-003, In addition please discuss with us so we best know how to mitigate any potential hazards in sample processing.