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Congratulations to the 2017 Lipid Division Award Lectures! 



St. Michael's University
Molecular probes to study the subcellular localization and dynamics of phospholipids and cholesterol
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Sunday, April 23, 2017




Leibniz Institut für Molekulare Pharmakologie
Phosphoinositide conversion in the endolysosomal system
8:45 a.m. - 9:15 a.m. Tuesday, April 25, 2017



A Tribute to Dr. Marion Sewer (1972-2016) 

Marion Sewer, a national and international leader in the field of steroid hormone biosynthesis, passed away on Jan. 28, 2016, at the age of 43.

Sewer grew up in Saint John, U.S. Virgin Islands. She graduated from Spelman College with a B.S. in biochemistry in 1993 and then went on to earn a Ph.D. in pharmacology at Emory University under the mentorship of Edward Morgan.

Sewer trained as a postdoctoral fellow at Vanderbilt University in the laboratory of Michael Waterman. She began her career in 2002 as a faculty member at Georgia Institute of Technology and moved in 2009 to the University of California, San Diego, where she rose to the rank of full professor.

Sewer’s work was at the leading edge of her field. Notably, she made the seminal finding that nuclear receptors are targets for sphingolipids. Her lab identified distinct sphingolipid and phospholipid species as endogenous ligands for the nuclear receptor steroidogenic factor 1, thereby revealing a novel role for nuclear phospholipids and sphingolipids in the control of gene transcription.

Sewer had a tremendous commitment to service within the scientific community. Among her many important roles, she served on several study sections for the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation, including membership on the molecular and cellular endocrinology integrated review group.

In addition, she chaired symposia at prestigious national and international meetings. In fact, she was a co-organizer of a session for the forthcoming 2016 ASBMB Annual Meeting. She also served on the editorial boards of the journals Endocrinology and Steroids and was secretary/treasurer of the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics’ drug metabolism division.

Improving diversity in science was a passion of Sewer’s. She worked tirelessly toward this mission as a member of Women in Endocrinology’s mentoring committee, a member of the Endocrine Society’s minority affairs committee and as deputy chair of the ASBMB’s minority affairs committee.


Congratulations to the new Lipid Division Award winners! 



Britta Brügger, Heidelberg University
From lipidomics to cellular functions: lipids as modulators of protein activity
Wednesday, April 1, 2015
This lecture is scheduled during the session, Lipid Magic: How Do They Do It?

View Lecture




Karen Reue, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles
The lipin protein family, cellular lipid storage and disease
Monday, March 30, 2015

View Lecture










Nordic Lipidforum Academy 2015 in Reykjavik, Iceland

The beautiful city of Reykjavik on Iceland will form the frame of the fourth Nordic Lipidforum Academy between May, 30th to June, 3rd. The Lipidforum Academy is a course aiming at giving PhD-students and employees in the fat and oil industry a broad overview of selected areas in lipid science and technology, as well as providing an arena for networking between scientist in academia and industry.

On the three earlier occasions that Lipidforum Academy have taken place (2007 in Gothenburg, 2009 in Copenhagen and 2011 in Ålseund), it has been great successes, in particular due to the very productive mix of participants from academia and industry, as well as skilled and engaged lecturers.

This year, the subjects covered will be “Lipids as Raw Material”, covering (fish) marine and vegetable oils, “Lipids in Food”, “Lipids in Pharma” – covering a case story on “EPANOVA” and a lecture on Lipids in Drug Delivery, “Lipids in Nutrition”, with particular focus on lipid nutrition in early life, “Lipids in skin and skin-care” and “Enzymes in Lipid Technology”. On top of this, the participants will also perform a small literature based project group work, on an area not covered by the lectures.

The course ends, just in time to continue to the 28th Nordic Lipidforum Symposium in Reykjavik, starting on June, 3rd and closing on June, 6th. We are convinced that this course will be as successful as the previous ones, considering the strong group of lecturers including for example Prof. Anna Nicolaou, The University of Manchester, Prof. Gudmundur Haraldsson, University of Iceland and many others distinguished specialists in their fields.

You can find more information at the Lipidforum homepage: or by contacting us.


The Italian Society for Fats and Oils Researches (Società Italiana per lo Studio delle Sostanze Grasse - SISSG) is proud to host the Euro Fed Lipid congress 27-30 September 2015 in Florence.

The symposium will be hosted in Firenze Fiera Congress and Exhibition Center located inside the 18th century Villa Vittoria, at walking distance from the historical centre of one of the most beautiful towns of Italy, rich of artistic masterpieces, with an ancient history rich of arts and science.

Palazzo Vecchio, Piazza della Signoria, Ponte Vecchio, the Dome, Galleria degli Uffizi are world wide well known symbols of this ancient town, where Leonardo da’ Vinci began his work, before moving to Milan and other Europeans towns.
Tradition in hosting science in Florence dates back to 1753, when the “Accademia dei Georgofili” was established, the headquarter is in the Uffizi Gallery building.

With such a background, the choice for the 2015 Euro Fed Lipid congress in Italy was really easy!

Science, however is still alive in Florence and its region, Tuscany, with different University (Florence itself, Pisa, Siena) and a number of research centre (National Research Council of Italy - CNR) where research is actively carried out on several topics, enclosing Agricultural and Food Science which are the basis of the topics to which Euro Fed Lipid looks to.

Tuscany agricultural landscape is well known for food production and some of these like extra virgin olive oil will be one of the topics of Euro Fed Lipid congress, however, within the frame of a developed agricultural and food industry production, other topics like Plant lipids and oilseeds as well as Animal Science will surely meet interests outside of the “traditional” Euro Fed Lipid attendants.

Social program could surely ensure a number of interesting possibilities while the traditional gala dinner will be hosted at Palazzo Borghese, a wonderful ancient residence. Symposium topics will be Analytics, Authenticity & Lipidomics, Bioscience, Biocatalysi & Biochemistry, Lipid oxidation & Antioxidants, Lipids in animal Science, Health and Nutrition, Microbial & Algae lipids, Oliseeds, Plant breeding & Plant lipids, Oleochemistry & Biodiesel, Olive oil, Physical chemistry, Processing, sustainability & Industrial innovation.

The Scientifc Committee, established by involving scientists from Europe and outside and SISSG will be delighted to welcome an huge number of Lipid Scientist in Florence!

Click Here for more information.




Lipids - In Vivo Dynamics, Protein Partners, and Signaling
March 29, 2015 – April 1, 2015, Boston, MA

This year marks the 42th anniversary of the publication of the fluid mosaic model of cell membranes by Singer and Nicholson. While it was a seminal paper in the lipid field, the authors did make one unfortunate mistake by depicting lipids as “bland” molecules, serving primarily as a passive barrier and a host for membrane proteins, an idea that has been adopted by many standard biochemistry textbooks. Much has changed since then and now it is hard to find any area of biology where lipids do not play “crucial” regulatory roles. The critical roles of lipids are ever expanding to many unsuspected areas, and that is the topic of our first session: Multi-Talented Lipids.

Recent advances in chemical biology and molecular imaging technologies have allowed researchers to identify new lipid-binding proteins, specifically manipulate diverse lipid signaling, and directly monitor lipid dynamics and lipid-mediated cellular activities with high spatiotemporal resolution. These exciting new developments will be covered in two sessions, Lipids Meet Chemistry and Lipids Caught in Action, as well as a workshop, Chemical and Optogenetic Manipulation of Lipid Signaling.

With all this functional information, the time is ripe for mechanistic investigation on how lipids can perform such diverse regulatory roles, with a special emphasis on how lipids regulate the structure and function of their effector proteins. In the final session (Lipid Magic: How Do They Do it?), we will witness how state-of-art structural and analytical tools have led to mind-boggling new discoveries that answer this important question. Overall, these sessions will not only present new functional information on lipids and new technologies to study lipids but also help change the way both experts and non-experts think about and study lipid-mediated cellular processes. Everyone is invited to this lipid celebration.

View the Walter A. Shaw Young Investigator Award in Lipid Research Lecture


 See the PROGRAM in detail. 



From Protein Trafficking to Lipid Sorting: A Fascinating Lipid Journey

In the newest “Lipid News” article, Fred Maxfield discusses how he became interested in lipid trafficking that eventually led him to some seminal discoveries. As Fred notes in his article “Basic mechanisms for maintaining distinct lipid compositions in different organelles are only partially understood, which means that this is an area where fundamental principles are still awaiting discovery”. And much was discovered. This article outlines Fred’s discovery of lipid sorting and trafficking using a variety of state-of-the-art techniques. It’s a wonderful story that highlights discovery that arises from the interdisciplinary approaches of cell biology biochemistry and biophysics of membranes. It’s a fun read and one that captures the excitement of graduate student that still lives in an established investigator.

See the full article


LIPID NEWS: Desperately seeking Sputnik for fundamental science

It is clear that researchers and the public need something around which they can rally, but what should it be?

Check out the new thematic series on Fat-Soluble Vitamins in the Journal of Lipid Research. This series is introduced by Mary L. Chang ASBMB Publications Manager for the Journal of Lipid Research in the August issue of ASBMB today:

Vitamins A, D, E and K are the four fat-soluble vitamins required to maintain good health in higher organisms. The July issue of the Journal of Lipid Research marks the beginning of a thematic series on these vitaminscoordinated by editorial board member William S. Blaner of Columbia University. The special section in the July issue includes an introductory editorial by Blaner and four reviews from experts on vitamin A. Subsequent issues this year will explore vitamins D, E and K.

In developing countries, vitamin A deficiency remains a major public health concern, and much research is focused on identifying populations most at risk. Coordinated efforts in molecular research to develop vitamin-A–fortified plant sources could help eradicate this public health problem. Epidemiologic studies are being conducted to understand how dietary intake of the vitamin might be related to development or incidence of certain diseases. The four thematic reviews in July’s JLR focus on vitamin A’s molecular actions and its metabolism.

In one review, Abdulkerim Eroğlu and Earl H. Harrison of Ohio State of University explore the research insights on carotenoid conversion to vitamin A, carotenoid metabolism to create apo-carotenoids, and the actions and metabolism of carotenoids in higher animals.

Columbia University’s Sheila M. O’Byrne and William S. Blaner’s contribution to the series examines how vitamin A is stored in the body as retinyl esters, how they evolved, and how mobilization of these stores is achieved through the actions of specific vitamin-A–binding proteins and enzymes.

Natalia Y. Kedishvili of University of Alabama at Birmingham reviews what is known of the formation of retinoic acid and how it is broken down and eliminated from cells and tissues.

In the fourth and final review, Ziad Al Tanoury, Aleksandr Piskunov and Cecile Rochette-Egly of France’s Institut de Génétique et de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire discuss what is known about the retinoic acid receptors, how retinoic acid can affect genomic expression and the nongenomic effects of vitamin A.

ASBMB science writer Raj Mukhopadhyay has written some fascinating lipid-related blog posts. Check out one of the latest posts showcasing research indicating that gut bacteria may be a source of male steroid hormones. There are many more fascinating posts to browse on her blog Wild Types!





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