VCU Lipidomics/Metabolomics Core Facility

The VCU Lipidomics Core Facility is determined to provide cost effective and highly quantitative lipid analysis for VCU faculty. While simultaneously having the greatest analytical capability on the east coast and the lowest cost per sample of any facility, we strive to provide thorough analyses with remarkable turnaround times. We currently offer quantitative analysis of sphingolipids, cardiolipins, eicosanoids, 3-PUFA-derived lipid mediators, steroid hormones, and cholesterol. While our instrumentation is currently state of the art, data will always be provided as easy to read excel files for the benefit of our users. The Lipidomics Core wants to work with you to give you the best data possible from a wide range of sample types, including blood, serum, tissue, cells in culture, or culture media.

Core Overview:

This Lipidomics Core is a key focal point for development of a sustainable critical mass of expertise in lipid signaling and state of the art analytical techniques. The core is located in newly renovated space on the 2nd floor of Sanger Hall in room 2-012. The primary service is LC-MS/MS quantitation of known lipid species using established protocols defined as either published methods in peer-reviewed journals or previously developed methods within the lipidomics facility.

The facility is built around four tandem triple quadrupole/linear ion trap mass spectrometers, two high-end AB SCIEX 4000 QTRAPs, an AB SCIEX 5500 QTRAP, and the newest mass spectrometer, an AB SCIEX 6500 QTRAP, which us the greatest capability on the East coast in the quantitative analysis of small molecules. These instruments have the necessary resolution and sensitivity for a broad range of qualitative and quantitative lipid and metabolite analyses required for exhaustive characterization of lipid signaling molecules and metabolic pathways. The lipidomics facility provides both qualitative and quantitative analysis of lipid species utilizing high performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). The AB SCIEX 4000 QTRAPs are mainly utilized for the analysis of high level lipids (e.g. SM, S1P (in serum), ceramides, LPA, CL, etc...). The 5500 and 6500 QTRAPs are used for eicosanoids allowing us to analyze 152 of these lipids in a single run and for examining low abundant lipids and protein:lipid interactions due to their high sensitivity. This facility has led to >50 peer-reviewed publications including two Nature papers, a Science paper, and a paper in Cancer Cell. This facility has also aided VCU researchers in obtaining national awards as well as led to the funding of numerous extramural grant applications for VCU faculty. Overall, VCU has one of the most capable Lipidomics facilities in the country.

Sample Submission:

Before submitting samples, you must contact us to set up appropriate logistics. Some lipids are unstable and require immediate analysis. Our goal is to provide you with the best data possible! All data will be delivered as an easy to read Excel file. All samples must be accompanied by a sample submission form signed by a PI. Please note that normalization is required. Dr. Jeremy Allegood should be contacted for sphingolipid and cardiolipin analysis. Contact Dr. Shanaka Wijesinghe for eicosanoids, steroids, phospholipids, and cholesterol.



Lipid Cost Cost to MCC Members Description
Cardiolipins $18.00 $13.50
Cholesterols $18.00 $13.50
Eicosanoids $27.00 $20.25
LPA $18.00 $13.50
Phospholipids $18.00 $13.50
Sphingolipids $18.00 $13.50
Steroid Hormones $24.00 $18.00
Vitamin D $25.00 $18.75
Machine Time $10.00/hour $10.00/hour

*The core will provide standard methods and figure legend text for manuscripts as well as letters of support for grant applications.


  • 6500 QTrap

  • Coupled with a quaternary pump Shimadzu Nexera UHPLC system, the Applied Biosystems 6500 quadrupole linear ion trap mass spectrometer is the newest addition to our core and has the highest sensitivity of any QTrap currently on the market. The 6500 enables quantitation of more difficult eicosanoids while also pushing the core towards systems-level capabilities.

  • 5500 QTrap

  • The Applied Biosystems 5500 quadrupole linear ion trap mass spectrometer has lead to the development of LC-MS/MS methodologies which allow the analysis of “x” eicosanoids in a single run and methods for 58 sphingolipids in a single run. The sensitivity of the 5500 has allowed for the quantitation of lipids bound to immunoprecipitated proteins for publications in both Science and Nature.

  • 4000 QTraps

  • The Lipidomics core currently has two Applied Biosystems 4000 quadrupole linear ion trap mass spectrometers. One connected to a traditional HPLC and the other to a Shimadzu Nexera UHPLC. While we consider these to be our daily workhorse instruments, they still allow sub-fmol limits of quantitation on sphingolipids and cardiolipins!

Director of Analytical Lipidomics:
Charles Chalfant, PhD
Dept. of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Professor & Vice Chair
Endowed Chair of Cancer Cell Signaling
  •      804-828-9526
Operational Director:
Jeremy Allegood, PhD
Dept. of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Room 2-006 & 2-012
Sanger Hall
  •      804-827-9909
Assistant Scientific Director:
D. Shanaka Wijesinghe, PhD
Dept. of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Room 2-006 & 2-012
Sanger Hall
  •      804-828-9678