Emerging applications of metabolomics in drug discovery and precision medicine

Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2016 Jul;15(7):473-84. doi: 10.1038/nrd.2016.32. Epub 2016 Mar 11.


Metabolomics is an emerging 'omics' science involving the comprehensive characterization of metabolites and metabolism in biological systems. Recent advances in metabolomics technologies are leading to a growing number of mainstream biomedical applications. In particular, metabolomics is increasingly being used to diagnose disease, understand disease mechanisms, identify novel drug targets, customize drug treatments and monitor therapeutic outcomes. This Review discusses some of the latest technological advances in metabolomics, focusing on the application of metabolomics towards uncovering the underlying causes of complex diseases (such as atherosclerosis, cancer and diabetes), the growing role of metabolomics in drug discovery and its potential effect on precision medicine.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Atherosclerosis / metabolism
  • Atherosclerosis / prevention & control
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Diabetes Mellitus / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus / prevention & control
  • Drug Discovery / methods*
  • Drug Discovery / trends
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical
  • Humans
  • Metabolomics / methods*
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Precision Medicine*


  • Biomarkers