Australian National Phenome Center Breaks New Ground in Long COVID Research

PERTH, Australia  – March 18, 2022: Bruker today announces another significant milestone in its collaborator’s efforts to map the long-term risk of disease related to SARS-CoV-2 infection using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. Researchers from the Australian National Phenome Center (ANPC) have recently published results from a study that demonstrate the use of NMR to measure the increased cardiovascular risk in COVID-19 and post-acute COVID-19 syndrome (PACS) patients for research use only.1

Professor Jeremy Nicholson, Director of the ANPC, commented: “In our search for diagnostic markers for COVID19 and related pathologies we have uncovered new types of marker for cardiovascular disease risk- the supramolecular phospholipid composite signals. We now know that these metrics are of wider significance in assessing long term cardiovascular disease and can be readily measured using rapid NMR methods. The high speed and relatability of this approach with minimal sample preparation lends itself to large scale clinical translation”.

ANPC researchers have previously investigated the use of metabolic and lipidomic markers to predict phenotypic recovery (phenoreversion) using NMR and mass spectrometry (MS) measurements.2 They developed multi-variate modeling tools for spectroscopic and immunology data, to elucidate the underlying molecular pathways associated with metabolic abnormalities in PACS patients.

This latest phenomics research builds on these findings, using 1H NMR spectroscopy to measure supramolecular phospholipid composite (SPC) signals and a Statistical HeterospectroscopY in n-dimensions (SHY-n) approach to integrate several orthogonal methods. The data indicate the considerable potential of serum SPC signal measurement as a metric of cardiovascular risk based on a single NMR experiment using a 600 MHz Bruker Avance IVDr system and In Vitro Diagnostics research* (IVDr) methods. The team has optimised the NMR experiment3 for highly accurate quantification at high throughput. It follows in a series of seminal papers from the Bruker – ANPC collaboration on Long COVID.

ANPC will continue its groundbreaking molecular phenomics research to better understand metabolic drivers of disease. Metabolic phenotyping involves identifying and quantifying metabolites present in biofluids and tissue samples that provide information on a person’s current state of health and physiological function. This in turn provides information on disease progression and metabolic pathologies. This research is also enabling international partners of the molecular phenomics network, led by Professor Nicholson, to more rapidly benefit from the findings and create even larger datasets to work by method, SOP and data exchange between members.

Professor Jeremy Nicholson continued: “As the world continues its fight against COVID-19 and attempts to contain new variants, we are ramping up our efforts to comprehend the real long-term impacts of COVID-19 and develop new models to predict disease progression, patient risk assessment and to enable physicians to develop personalized treatment options. We have already come a long way in our knowledge of how the virus causes systemic disease, which we can characterize using distinct metabolic signatures developed using NMR and MS technology. As we look to optimize our framework to facilitate early intervention, longitudinal monitoring and improve long-term care for people with Long COVID, our latest findings deepen our understanding of specific cardiovascular-related biomarkers and their influence on patient recovery.”

Dr. Iris Mangelschots, President of the Bruker BioSpin Applied, Industrial and Clinical Division, commented: “This is an exciting development in the ongoing investigation into how SARS-CoV-2 infection can cause severe long-term systemic disruption. Thanks to the dedication and expertise of our collaborators at the ANPC, we come one step closer to turning these molecular phenomics insights into future patient assays. Bruker is developing MS and NMR spectroscopy methods under standard operating procedures to enable precise and efficient metabolic phenotyping and to allow research networks to collaborate globally.”

Read the full paper here.

* Bruker NMR Instruments are for Research Use Only. Not for Use in Clinical Diagnostic Procedures



  1. Masuda, R., Lodge, S., Whiley, L., et al. “Exploration of Human Serum Lipoprotein Supramolecular Phospholipids Using Statistical HeterospectroscopY in n-dimensions (SHY-n): Identification of Potential Cardiovascular Risk Biomarkers Related to SARS-CoV-2 Infection,” Analytical Chemistry, 2022, March 1.
  2. Holmes, E., Wist, J., Masuda, R., et al. “Incomplete Systemic Recovery and Metabolic Phenoreversion in Post-Acute-Phase Nonhospitalized COVID-19 Patients: Implications for Assessment of Post-Acute COVID-19 Syndrome,” J Proteome Res, 2021; 20: 3315-3329.
  3. Nitschke, P., Lodge, S., Kimhofer, T., Masuda, R., Bong, S.-H., Hall, D., Schäfer, H., Spraul, M., Pompe, N., Diercks, T., Bernardo-Seisdedos, G., Mato, J. M., Millet, O., Susic, D., Henry, A., El-Omar, E. M., Holmes, E., Lindon, J. C., Nicholson, J. K., & Wist, J. (2022). J-Edited DIffusional Proton Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopic Measurement of Glycoprotein and Supramolecular Phospholipid Biomarkers of Inflammation in Human Serum. Analytical Chemistry, 94(2), 1333–1341.

About the Australian National Phenome Centre

The Australian National Phenome Centre (ANPC), led by Murdoch University, will transform how long and how well people live, not just in Australia, but around the world. The work of the ANPC supports almost every area of bioscience. It reaches across traditional research silos and fosters a new, more collaborative approach to science. Long-term, the ANPC hopes to build ‘global atlases’ of human disease, providing insights into future health risks which everyone on the planet can benefit from. The only facility of its kind in the southern hemisphere, the ANPC brings together all five Western Australian universities and leading health and medical research institutes. It is linked to the International Phenome Centre Network and also has wide applications in agriculture and environmental science. The ANPC positions Perth and WA as a global leader in precision medicine, and enables quantum leaps in predicting, diagnosing and managing human disease. It is part of the Health Futures Institute at Murdoch University.

About Bruker Corporation

Bruker is enabling scientists to make breakthrough discoveries and develop new applications that improve the quality of human life. Bruker’s high performance scientific instruments and high value analytical and diagnostic solutions enable scientists to explore life and materials at molecular, cellular and microscopic levels. In close cooperation with our customers, Bruker is enabling innovation, improved productivity and customer success in life science molecular and cell biology research, in applied and pharma applications, in microscopy and nanoanalysis, as well as in industrial applications. Bruker offers differentiated, high-value life science and diagnostics systems and solutions in preclinical imaging, clinical phenomics research, proteomics and multiomics, spatial and single-cell biology, functional structural and condensate biology, as well as in clinical microbiology and molecular diagnostics. For more information, please visit:

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