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Oxford has a wealth of resources that supports research activities across the OMH portfolio. These include equipment, a metabolomics facility, and a large number of biobanks and cohorts.

Equipment and Resources

Equipment and expertise for cell metabolism analysis

The following groups own an Agilent Seahorse XF Analyser. All the contacts are very willing to share their expertise with others. Instruments marked with an asterisk can be used by researchers outside the group (please contact for further details):

Old Road Campus

Mark Crabtree (Cardiovascular Medicine, WCHG)*. 96-well. Contact Tom Nicol 

Dimitra Peppa (NDM Research Building). 8-well in CL3. Contact Dimitra Peppa

Geoff Higgins (Oncology, Old Road Campus Research Building)*. 96-well. Contact Gonzalo Rodriguez-Berriguete

JR Campus

Adrian Harris (WIMM)*. 96-well. Contact Christos Zois 

Vicenzo Cerundolo (WIMM)*. 96-well. Contact Alastair Waugh 

South Parks Road

Richard Wade-Martin (DPAG)*. 96-well. Contact Brent Ryan

James McCullagh (Chemistry)*. 24-well. Fully functional as on October 2019 with hypoxia experiment capabilities. For further information about use including contact information see the Chemistry website

Susie Dunachie (Tropical Medicine Medawar Building)*. Two machines, 8-well and 96-well, both in CL2. Contact Barbara Kronsteiner-Dobramysl

MRC Harwell

Roger Cox. 96-well. Researchers are welcome to approach for advice and to discuss using the machine on a collaborative basis. Contact Liz Bentley

In addition, Karl Morten (Department of Women's and Reproductive Health) has a Clariostar instrument and is happy to talk to researchers about the system. He has recently written a book chapter that compares the systems for monitoring extracellular and intracellular oxygen on a time-resolved fluorescences plate reader - please contact him for more information. 


The McCullagh group in the Department of Chemistry focuses on the development and application of metabolomics and associated methodologies to help understand environmental, genetic and proteomic influences on metabolism in humans, micro-organisms and plants. The group is highly collaborative and has worked in a range of disease-related areas including cancer, diabetes and heart disease and immune-metabolism. If you are interested in working with them, please contact James McCullagh in the first instance.

Oxford Centre for Microbiome Studies (OCMS)

OCMS was established to provide a hub for microbiome science across Oxford. Its focus is on associating microbiome description with function in health and disease. The OCMS pipeline offers core infrastructure to support compete analysis of the microbiome including study set up and metgenomic, metatranscriptomic, metabolic, proteomic and bioinformatic capability.

Using stable isotopes to trace human metabolism in vivo and in vitro

OCDEM houses equipment for in vivo and in vitro human metabolic studies using stable isotope tracers. These can be used to trace dietary and non-dietary fats and sugars. Examples of in vivo studies include determining the fate of adipose tissue fatty acids, de novo lipogenesis, tracing liver fat metabolism, and tracing change over time. Studies in vitro include tracing fatty acid oxidation, glycogenesis and gluconeogenesis in adipocytes and hepatocytes. GC-MS, GC-G-IRMS and Gas Bench MS are available at OCDEM for plasma, tissue, cell and breath enrichment and there is capacity for future collaborations alongside on-going studies. For further details, please contact Leanne Hodson.

Biobanks and cohorts

Oxford is home to many local, national and international cohorts and biobanks that are relevant to metabolic-related conditions. These include:

  • Oxford BioBank - a cohort of around 9,000 healthy 30-50 year old men and women resident in Oxfordshire who have consented to be re-approached for a ‘recruit-by-genotype’ participation in physiological studies of complex intermediary phenotypes
  • Disease-specific cohorts for many diseases such as diabetes, Parkinson's disease and including those within the NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre such as the Oxford IBD cohort
  • China Kadoorie Biobank and the Mexico City Prospective Study - large-scale cohorts set up to explore the main genetic and environmental causes of common chronic diseases and premature death in these populations
  • UK Biobank - the Big Data Institute in Oxford is home to the data analyst, IT and epidemiological teams for UK Biobank