Predicting human health from biofluid-based metabolomics using machine learning


Biofluid-based metabolomics has the potential to provide highly accurate, minimally invasive diagnostics. Metabolomics studies using mass spectrometry typically reduce the high-dimensional data to only a small number of statistically significant features, that are often chemically identified—where each feature corresponds to a mass-to-charge ratio, retention time, and intensity. This practice may remove a substantial amount of predictive signal. To test the utility of the complete feature set, we train machine learning models for health state-prediction in 35 human metabolomics studies, representing 148 individual data sets. Models trained with all features outperform those using only significant features and frequently provide high predictive performance across nine health state categories, despite disparate experimental and disease contexts. Using only non-significant features it is still often possible to train models and achieve high predictive performance, suggesting useful predictive signal. This work highlights the potential for health state diagnostics using all metabolomics features with data-driven analysis.

Scientific Reports
David Sontag
David Sontag
Associate Professor of EECS

My research focuses on advancing machine learning and artificial intelligence, and using these to transform health care.