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 Letter from the Directors
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The Lipid Research Division (LRD) of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) is alive and well. We, George Carman (Rutgers University) and Robert Stahelin (Purdue University) are the new Co-Directors of LRD. We thank Vytas Bankaitis (Texas A & M) for his service as Director over the past three years. We also thank Dan Raben (Johns Hopkins) and Binks Wattenberg (Virginia Commonwealth University), who were co-founders of the LRD, and Barbara Gordon (Executive Director of ASBMB) for their continuing leadership and support. The LRD will continue to serve as a voice of its members who work on the biochemical, biophysical, physiological, and cellular processes where lipids play important roles.

The well-being of lipid-related research stems from our funding base, and a major goal of LRD is to lobby granting agencies (e.g., NIH, NSF, USDA, etc.) for appropriate expertise in providing sound and fair reviews of our applications. To this end, the LRD provides program staff with the names of people who are willing to serve as regular or ad hoc members of study sections and review panels that review lipid-related applications. We need your help in identifying those who are willing to serve. We also need your help in identifying study sections that sometimes review your work and may be in need of additional expertise.

Lipid-related programs have been a large part of the annual meeting of the ASBMB, and the LRD will continue to have a voice on lipid-related program decisions. It is essential that we capture a broad set of lipid researchers as lipid and –omic related research remain the next frontier in systematic approaches to understanding lipids in health and disease. Lipids have gained increased attention in research linked to cancers, infectious diseases, metabolic disorders, and neuroscience among other areas of research. Maintaining a strong foothold on increasing membership in these areas as well as capturing classic research in lipid biochemistry, lipid-mediated gene regulation, lipid-protein interactions, etc. will ensure we can provide the most up to date themes at ASBMB lipid related meetings and workshops as well as highlights of new research.

We will continue to publish feature articles in the ASBMB Today, and here at the Lipid Corner, you will find feature articles about the field, and most importantly, news about colleagues and their exciting work. To highlight new and exciting lipid research, a committee of young scientists is being established to spearhead these efforts. This committee will consist of postdoctoral trainees and graduate students with distinct expertise within the LRD. They will be responsible for highlighting lipid research on a regular basis on the Lipid Corner web site and a new LRD Facebook page. If you have a postdoctoral trainee or graduate student that you think would be a good fit for this committee, please let us know.

The identity of the LRD is an important thing to consider for all ASBMB members. Please encourage your colleagues to apply for ASBMB membership if they haven’t already. Also encourage your postdocs, graduate students, and even undergraduates to become ASBMB members and associate with the LRD. Your trainees could be future LRD leaders in the decades to come. Lastly, we need your input on any topics new or old as you see fit so please do not be hesitant to contact us.

 

George Carman

Rob Stahelin