Overview Overview

The Center of Biomedical Research Excellence for Lipidomics and Pathobiology supports MUSC investigators in their efforts to understand the roles of a class of fatty molecules, known as sphingolipids, in regulating biological processes. The center emphasizes the mentoring of junior faculty and the development of specific shared research facilities for use by the entire MUSC research community.


Sphingolipids assume a key role in the complex mechanisms regulating molecular, cellular, and whole-organism processes important in disease, including regulation of cell signaling pathways, cell division and migration, apoptosis, autophagy, development, cancer, diabetes, inflammation, and many others. This offers promises for new molecular insights into disease processes.  Approaches used to address important questions in the field of bioactive sphingolipids include analysis of enzymes, detection and quantification of bioactive sphingolipids in cells and tissues, developing novel small molecule inhibitors of specific sphingolipid metabolic pathways, and testing hypothesis in mouse models where specific pathways of sphingolipid biosynthesis have been disrupted.  Thus, the COBRE provides resources and direction for cores including the Protein Expression Core, the Lipidomics Core Facility, which has both analytical and synthetic capabilities, and the Animal Core, which collects, curates, and maintains specific mouse strains for use in sphingolipid-related studies.


In addition to these facilities, the COBRE provides competitive intramural Pilot Project awards annually.  Awardees and other affiliates of the COBRE obtain intense mentoring through collaborations with senior investigators as well as by presenting at the Lipid Signaling Bi-monthly seminar series and at the COBRE annual retreat.  Through these efforts, which have led to multiple extramural grants from the National Institutes of Health, the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, and other awarding agencies, the COBRE continues to expand the scope and quality of multi-disciplinary sphingolipid research across MUSC. 


Funded by an Institutional Development Award (IDeA) from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health.

Current COBRE Award:
NIH Award 5P30GM103339-03
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Previous Awards:
NIH Award 5P20RR017677-10
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Administrative Supplement Award
NIH Award 3P20RR017677-08S1

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