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Dr. Sofia Moco

Department of Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Sofia Moco is an assistant professor of Molecular and Computational Toxicology.

Cellular metabolism  

Metabolism is pervasive in every aspect of biology. Metabolic deregulations are behind major metabolic diseases, conditions, and lifetime changes. Sofia Moco and colleagues from our lab aims to achieve a quantitative and detailed understanding of cellular metabolism. We aim to achieve that by studying biochemical networks and using chemical stimuli (such as drugs, bioactive or toxic compounds) to probe their adapting metabolic capacity.  

We develop metabolomics workflows, based on state-of-the art liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC-MS) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) to measure a wide range of metabolites in human cells. We are interested to study effects on cellular bioenergetics, by monitoring metabolic intermediates of central carbon metabolism and redox metabolism.  

One of our research lines is to study the balance between catabolism and biosynthesis of cellular NAD+, a redox cofactor involved in 100s of metabolic reactions, and relevant in a myriad of metabolic conditions. We use a combination of steady-state metabolomics and metabolic flux analysis, by using stable isotopes, to study pathway contribution and turnover. 

Another research line is to monitor the metabolic fate of specific drugs / bioactives through their xenobiotic metabolism. Xenobiotic metabolism is essential in the clearance of exogenous compounds and involves complex degradation pathways, of relevance in drug development and toxicology. 

Our metabolism readouts are integrated with functional readouts, such as mitochondrial function, toxicity assays, and other cellular or disease outcomes. We believe that a comprehensive understanding of cellular metabolism and its intricacies is essential in understanding mechanism of action of drugs, avoiding toxicity events, and contributing to better clinical translatability of pharmaceuticals. 

More information about my research and publications can be found in my research portal profile.