Overview Overview

This funding is to establish a center in Lipidomics and Pathobiology, which will support MUSC investigators in their efforts to understand the role of a class of fatty molecules, known as sphingolipids, in regulating cell growth, cell death and cell aging. 

The center emphasizes the mentoring of junior faculty and the development of specific shared research facilities for use by the entire MUSC research community.

The Lipidomics Core Facility builds on unique expertise at MUSC in sphingolipid biology, chemistry and analysis and their role in signal transduction and cell regulation. This expertise supports the facility's pivotal role in MUSC's COBRE in Lipidomics and Pathobiology. Sphingolipid metabolism assumes a key role in the complex mechanisms regulating cellular stress responses to environmental changes. Several sphingolipid metabolites act as bioactive molecules, and their individual contribution to the regulatory pathways that govern cell growth are being established.This offers promises for new molecular insights into tumor growth and metastasis and emphasizes the needs to analyze sphingolipid components, examine sphingolipid chemistry and regulation of sphingolipid metabolic pathways. Monitoring changes in sphingolipid composition in normal and cancer environments will provide one of the missing links in the search for a novel and effective therapy. The Lipidomics Core Facility provides expertise, analysis and synthetic molecular tools to examine the role of sphingolipids in cancer research.

Focus

The Lipidomics Core Facility focuses on three key areas:

  • Assisting investigators in the experimental design and selection of lipids of interest, and interpretation of the analytical data.
  • Analyzing different tumor tissue and cancer cell lines for their contents of the key sphingolipids known to play a significant role in signal transduction, cell proliferation and induction of cell death.
  • Providing homogenic synthetic sphingolipids and their analogs for use in cellular, in vitro and in vivo studies in cancer research.