Lipids On Demand
Lipids, or fats, are a diverse group of biological molecules that act as energy stores, components of membranes, and initiators of signaling pathways that allow cells to coordinate actions and communicate with one another. With such important roles, it follows that the dysregulation of lipid metabolism occurs in many diseases. These crucial molecules, however, are notoriously challenging to study using traditional genetic and biochemical approaches.
With this Beckman Young Investigator Award, Jeremy M. Baskin, Chemistry and Chemical Biology/Weill Institute for Cell and Molecular Biology, is developing a multidisciplinary approach termed synthetic lipid biology to create individual lipids on demand within live cells. This technology will allow researchers to modify membrane content with great precision for the purpose of studying the effects of individual lipids on cellular behaviors.