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  8. Jinchun Sun
  1. Science & Research (NCTR)

Jinchun Sun Ph.D.

Interdisciplinary Research Scientist — Division of Systems Biology

Jinchun Sun, Ph.D.

Jinchun Sun, Ph.D.
(870) 543-7121

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About  |  Publications 


Dr. Jinchun Sun received a Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Kentucky, where her research focused on developing a novel, liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC/MS)-based proteomics method to monitor pesticide exposure by detection of the modified butyrylcholinesterase (BChE), an enzyme present in serum, with pesticide adducts. Dr. Sun joined FDA’s National Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR) as a postdoctoral fellow in 2006. Since 2008, she has been employed in the Division of Systems Biology as a research chemist specializing in LC-MS-based metabolomics and lipidomics. Her research is focused on 1) the use of LC/MS-based metabolomics and lipidomics to evaluate perturbations in metabolome and microbiome-specific metabolites in samples collected in pre-clinical and clinical studies; 2) elucidating drug metabolism by profiling drug metabolites in biofluids, and; 3) discovering potential translational biomarkers and mechanism(s) of drug-induced toxicity and disease that will improve and protect human health. Dr. Sun has published over 52 papers in scientific journals and has contributed to two book chapters and two review papers.

Research Interests

Dr. Sun’s field of expertise is in mass spectrometry-based metabolomics and lipidomics. Dr. Sun applies her research experience in developing novel LC/MS methodologies to discover metabolic and lipidomic biomarkers of diseases or toxicity that are more effective than the current clinical markers. These diverse studies range from in vitro cell culture studies and preclinical animal studies to clinical studies involving human subjects.

Specific goals of Dr. Sun’s work include:

  • Investigating potential biomarkers and mechanism(s) of drug-induced toxicity and disease (for example, acute kidney injury and lung cancer) using cutting-edge LC/MS-based metabolomics technologies to analyze biofluids such as urine, serum, and tissue extracts. 
  • Evaluating pharmacokinetics of drug metabolism through urine analysis using global metabolomics profiling approaches.
  • Applying LC/MS-based metabolomics in the microbiome field to provide insight into the host-microbiome interaction.

Dr. Sun is participating in national and international quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) metabolomics committees to conduct and harmonize QA/QC practices in the metabolomics field to foster collaborative efforts with other federal agencies, academia, and pharmaceutical companies. Specific efforts include:

  • Participation in the Metabolomics Quality Assurance and Quality Control Consortium (mQACC), which was formed to provide guidance on best practice, quality standards, and the reporting of analytical and computational metabolomics methods. 
  • Member of the FDA OMIC working group, FDA Mass Spectrometry working group, and FDA Microbiome working group to better support FDA’s regulatory needs. 
  • Editor for the Journal of Data in Brief.

Dr. Sun is developing collaborations across FDA including investigating blood product quality after violet-blue light treatment—a novel potential pathogen reduction technology; studying mechanisms of Clostridioides difficile infection resistance using metabolomics; investigating the reconstructed human skin (RHS) barrier function by examining lipid profiling of stratum corneum layer from RHS models; and examining lipid profiling difference between neonatal serum and adult serum to elucidate whether children with impaired response to vaccines is related to obesity.

Professional Societies/National and International Groups

American Society for Mass Spectrometry
2005 – Present

Metabolomics Association of North America
2018 – Present

Metabolomics Quality Assurance and Quality Control Consortium
2018 – Present

Metabolomics Reporting Framework
2017 – 2018

Metabolomics Society
2008 – Present

Selected Publications

Metabolomics Evaluation of the Photochemical Impact of Violet-Blue Light (405 nm) on Ex Vivo Platelet Concentrates.
Sun J., Dahiya N., Schmitt T., Stewart C., Anderson J., MacGregor S., Maclean M., Beger R.D., and Atreya C.D.
Metabolomics. 2023, 19(11):88. doi: 10.1007/s11306-023-02050-6.

Reference Materials for MS-Based Untargeted Metabolomics and Lipidomics: A Review by the Metabolomics Quality Assurance and Quality Control Consortium (mQACC).
Lippa K.A., Aristizabal-Henao J.J., Beger R.D., Bowden J.A., Broeckling C., Beecher C., Clay Davis W., Dunn W.B., Flores R., Goodacre R., Sun J., et al.
Metabolomics. 2022, 18:24. doi: 10.1007/s11306-021-01848-6.

Serum Metabolite Profiles Predict Outcomes in Critically Ill Patients Receiving Renal Replacement Therapy.
Sun J., Cao Z., Schnackenberg L., Pence L., Yu L.R., Choudhury D., Palevsky P.M., Portilla D., and Beger R.D.
J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. 2021, 1187:123024. doi: 10.1016/j.jchromb.2021.123024. Epub 2021 Nov 6.

Bile Acid Profile and Its Changes in Response to Cefoperazone Treatment in MR1 Deficient Mice.
Sun J., Cao Z., Smith A.D., Carlson P.E. Jr., Coryell M., Chen H., and Beger R.D.
Metabolites. 2020, 10(4):127. doi: 10.3390/metabo10040127. PMID: 32225042.

Metabolomics Test Materials for Quality Control: A Study of a Urine Materials Suite.
Bearden D.W., Sheen D.A., Simón-Manso Y., Benner B.A. Jr., Rocha W.F.C., Blonder N., Lippa K.A., Beger R.D., Schnackenberg L.K., Sun J., Mehta K.Y., Cheema A.K., Gu H., Marupaka R., Nagana Gowda G.A., and Raftery D.
Metabolites. 2019, 9(11):270. doi: 10.3390/metabo9110270.  PMID: 31703392.

Evaluation of the Performance of Lipidyzer Platform and Its Application in the Lipidomics Analysis in Mouse Heart and Liver.
Cao Z., Schmitt T., Varma V., Beger R.D., and Sun J.
 J. Proteome Res. 2019, https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jproteome.9b00289.

Evaluation of Metabolism of Azo Dyes and Their Effects on Staphylococcus aureus Metabolome.
Sun J., Jin J., Beger R.D., Cerniglia C.E., and Chen H.
J Ind Microbiol Biotechnol. 2017. 44(10):1471-1481. doi: 10.1007/s10295-017-1970-8. Epub 2017 Aug 7. PMID: 28786013.

Metabolomics Evaluation of the Effects of Smokeless Tobacco on the Oral Bacterium Capnocytophaga sputigena.  
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.

Quality Assurance of Metabolomics.
Bouhifd M., Beger R., Flynn T., Guo L., Harris G., Hogberg H., Kaddurah-Daouk R., Kamp H., Kleensang A., Maertens A., Sun J., et al.
ALTEX. 2015, 32(4):319-26. doi: 10.14573/altex.1509161. 

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.

Identification of Metabolite Profiles of the Catechol-O-Methyl Transferase Inhibitor Tolcapone in Rat Urine Using LC/MS-Based Metabonomics Analysis.
Sun J., Von Tungeln L.S., Hines W., and Beger R.D.
J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. 2009, 877(24):2557-65. doi: 10.1016/j.jchromb.2009.06.033. Epub 2009 Jun 30.

Contact Information
Jinchun Sun
(870) 543-7121
Technology & Discipline
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