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  1. Science & Research (NCTR)

Jinchun Sun Ph.D.

Visiting Scientist — Division of Systems Biology

Jinchun Sun
Jinchun Sun, Ph.D.

(870) 543-7391

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About  |  Publications 


Dr. Jinchun Sun studied chemistry at Lanzhou University, China and graduated with a B.S. degree in 1996. She earned an M.S. degree in analytical chemistry in 2000. She then attended University of Kentucky in 2001 and received her Ph.D. in 2006.  Dr. Sun was hired as a postdoctoral fellow working at NCTR in 2006. Since 2008, she has been employed in the Division of Systems Biology as a visiting scientist. She is a research chemist and her research has been continuously focused on the use of mass spectrometry for metabolomics-based analysis of urine, serum, and tissue samples. Dr. Sun hopes this research will elucidate potential translational biomarkers and mechanisms of toxicity and disease that will improve and protect human health. To date, she has published over 30 papers in scientific journals, contributed to two book chapters and two review papers. Currently, Dr. Sun serves as an editor for the Journal of Drug Metabolism and Toxicology and as an editor for the Journal of Metabolomics and Metabolites.

Research Interests

Dr. Sun’s field of expertise is in mass spectrometry-based metabolomics. She looks to discover novel and more effective biomarkers of diseases at different stages as well as biomarkers of preclinical and clinical safety issues. She studies these topics as part of an FDA-wide biomarkers-development effort. Dr. Sun directs and coordinates highly sophisticated investigations into the development and implementation of new and improved hypotheses in the metabolomics field. She also works with academic and pharmaceutical-research groups to identify biomarkers of toxicity and disease, and to elucidate mechanisms of toxicity or disease progress. Dr. Sun plans, organizes, performs, oversees, and coordinates collaborations with other researchers from different scientific backgrounds.

She applies her research experience to develop novel liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry methodologies to discover more effective and non-invasive biomarkers of diseases or toxicity. These studies are diverse, ranging from preclinical animal studies to clinical studies involving human subjects. The goals of these projects are, firstly, to investigate potential biomarkers and mechanism of toxicity and disease using LC/MS-based metabolomics to analyze biofluids, including urine, serum, and tissue extracts. Secondly, they look to use pharmacokinetics investigations of drug metabolism (using 21 individual chemical compound studies) through urine analysis using metabolomics profiling approaches. Finally, they hope to foster collaborative efforts with other FDA agencies, academia, and pharmaceutical companies.

Dr. Sun has a strong understanding of the separation and purification from small biomolecules, which are critical for the development and qualification of biomarkers.
She is also knowledgeable in a sundry of analytical technologies including:

  • LC-MS/MS
  • MALDI-Tof-MS
  • LC-Tof/MS
  • LC/triple Quad MS
  • Liquid chromatography (including RP-HPLC and SPE)
  • Gas chromatography.

Professional Societies/National and International Groups

American Chemical Society
2009 – Present

American Society for Mass Spectrometry
2005 – Present

Metabolomics Society
2009 – Present


Selected Publications

Metabolomics Evaluation of the Effects of Smokeless Tobacco on Oral Microorganisms.
Sun J., Jin J., Beger R.D., Cerniglia C.E., Yang M., and Chen H.
Toxicol In Vitro. 2016, 36:133-41. doi: 10.1016/j.tiv.2016.07.020. Epub 2016 Jul 30.

Comprehensive Analysis of Alterations in Lipid and Bile Acid Metabolism by Carbon Tetrachloride Using Integrated Transcriptomics and Metabolomics.
Sun J., Schmitt T., Schnackenberg L.K., et al.
Metabolomics. 2014, 10: 0. doi:10.1007/s11306-014-0665-7.

LC/MS-based Metabolomics Applications in Biomarker Discovery.
Sun J., Schnackenberg L.K., and Beger R.D.
Future Science Medicine. Book chapter. 2014.

Evaluating Effects of Penicillin Treatment on the Metabolome of Rats.
Sun J., Schnackenberg L.K., Khare S., Yang X., Greenhaw J., Salminen W., Mendrick D.L., and Beger R.D.
J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. 2013, 932:134-43. doi: 10.1016/j.jchromb.2013.05.030.

Metabolomics as a Tool for Personalizing Medicine: 2012 Update.
Schnackenberg L.K., Sun J., and Beger R.D.
Personalized Medicine. 2013, 10: 149-161.


Contact Information
Jinchun Sun
(870) 543-7391
Technology & Discipline
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