NPC lab

Our diverse team of scientists is committed to strengthening the foundations of metabolomics and lipidomics research with the aim of improving its accessibility and value to basic science researchers, clinicians, epidemiologists and the broader public. "

Dr Elizabeth Want

Head of Section

The Section of Bioanalytical Chemistry develops and applies technologies, methods, techniques and tools to enable high fidelity measurement and analysis of the chemical composition of biological systems. Situated within the Division of Systems Medicine and serving the broader Faculty of Medicine, the group advances capabilities for fostering a deeper understanding of the mechanisms and impact of endogenous, microbial, and exposure-related metabolism.

The section houses the National Phenome Centre which serves as Imperial College London’s core resource for human health-focused metabolomics and a hub of analytical and data science proficiency within the UK. Bioanalytical Chemistry also supports the Molecular Phenomics programme of the Imperial Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) which aims to derive clinically actionable insight including diagnostics, therapies, and health monitoring potential from metabolomics and lipidomics data within a systems medicine context.


Research areas

  • Biological sample handling and preparation methods for clinical matrices
  • Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy for metabolic profiling and quantification
  • Chromatographic separations of complex sample matrices
  • Mass spectrometry for metabolic profiling and targeted quantification
  • Molecular imaging for spatially resolved characterisation of tissue metabolite composition
  • Data extraction methods and tools for high fidelity representation of spectrometric data
  • Statistical analysis methods tools for the exploration of metabolic data
  • Metabolite identification and de novo structure elucidation
  • Education in key metabolomics technologies, methods, and data analysis approaches

Facilities and major programmes

Training courses

Section leadership

Head of Bioanalytical Chemistry - Dr Elizabeth Want

My research focuses primarily on the development and application of novel mass spectrometry (MS) based techniques for metabolic phenotyping and on the fusion of mass spectrometric methods with chemometric analysis, which is currently a significant bottleneck in the analysis pipeline. Broadly, my research at Imperial College has involved the development, optimisation and application of UPLC-MS methodologies for the analysis of biological samples, largely in the context of metabolic phenotyping: serum, urine, tissue, amniotic fluid, and microdialysates. These developmental advances have resulted in shorter analysis times – and therefore higher sample throughput – key for large scale metabolic phenotyping studies. Peak detection and analytical reproducibility have been enhanced, improving metabolome coverage and the potential for biomarker identification and quantification.

Find out more about Dr Elizabeth Want

Meet the team

Dr Harry Whitwell

Dr Harry Whitwell
Proteomics Platform Lead

Stephane Camuzeaux

Stephane Camuzeaux
Mass Spectrometry Research Coordinator