Group Leader: Balázs Papp
In his HCEMM project (entitled as “Impact of natural selection on the human metabolome and its links to diseases”), his senior group aims to integrate evolutionary, statistical genetics and metabolomics approaches to study healthy and diseased variation in human metabolism. Metabolism is central to life as it provides the building blocks and energy for all biological processes. While its fundamental tasks are highly conserved across all life forms, there are substantial differences in the details of how metabolism works across species and individuals. Humans are no exception. Any two of us show large metabolic differences and many diseases are known to involve changes in metabolism. However, not all metabolic differences are harmful and identifying those that impact human health is of paramount importance for medicine. Our laboratory uses computational approaches to study the variation of metabolism both within human populations and between different species. Our goal is to uncover the signatures of natural selection acting on human metabolism and thereby increase our understanding of healthy and diseased states with the ultimate aim of predicting harmful variations in personal metabolome profiles.