The Lipidomics group concentrates on the development and advancement of methods to improve lipid analysis. This topic is increasingly coming into the focus of current research. After the success of the omics technologies over the last two decades, there are now growing indications that non-coding biomolecules such as lipids and other metabolites influence the regulatory functions of the cell, and are thus involved in the genesis of complex illnesses, such as the metabolic syndrome, in disorders of the cardiovascular system, and in neurodegeneration and inflammatory processes. Lipids are not only important for energy homeostasis and as components of biological membranes, but also as key players of cellular signal transduction and thus necessary for integrating information and reacting to internal and external stimuli.
The chemical and structural diversity of lipids represents a particular challenge for the field of lipid analysis: unlike nucleic acid and proteins, lipids do not consist of repeated basic building blocks. According to current scientific knowledge, over 10,000 different species of lipids exist in complex cellular systems such as stem cells and blood cells. Nevertheless, profound knowledge and analyses in this field are still widely missing. The Lipidomics group aims to elucidate the functions that individual lipids have in the organism, the effects they have and how they are created. To this end, it refines analytical methods to simplify the examination of these molecule classes or even to make this examination possible in the first place. The focus here is on HPLC-based separation processes, extraction methods, and MS-based detection and quantification procedures.