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Cardiff Lipidomics Group

We use mass spectrometry to discover new lipid mediators of innate immunity and inflammation.


Our research is divided into two main themes.

Esterified Eicosanoids in innate immunity

We discovered several families of new lipids that are generated on acute activation by innate immune cells. They display diverse bioactivies including promoting coagulation and regulating leukocyte anti-bacterial responses. Our hypothesis is that they play a physiological role in wounding responses, but their dysregulation could contribute to venous thrombosis and atherosclerosis. Current studies led by the group are focused on understanding their function in health and disease

Discovery of new lipid mediators using high resolution LC/MS/MS and bioinformatic approaches

We develop new methods to enable discovery of additional lipid classes of importance for health and disease. We roughly estimate that only 50% of existing lipids in mammalian cells have been structurally characterized to date. Thus, many key discoveries remain to be made regarding this important class of endogenous biomolecules.


  • Wellcome Trust Programme  (£1.3m grant) to host the worlds largest curated lipid database and associated resources. The grant will allow Cardiff University’s Systems Immunity Research Institute; the Babraham Institute, Cambridge; and the University of California San Diego (UCSD) to continue the important work of identifying and analysing lipids – the molecules our bodies use to regulate normal processes such as blood clotting, fighting infection and development.
  • Wellcome Trust Programme (£1.2M, 2011-2016): Aims to understand the cell biology and biophysics of the lipids and to determine their role in venous thrombosis in a clinical study.
  • British Heart Foundation Programme (£820K, 2012-2017): Aims to determine the role of the new lipids in development of atherosclerosis in mouse models.
  • Medical Research Council Research Grant (£820K, 2015-2019): Aims to determine the role of the lipids in normal skin physiology and wound responses in vivo.
  • Wellcome Trust Enhancement Award (£120K, 2014-2016): Aims to develop total synthesis approaches for generating new lipids for biological studies.
  • European Research Council Advanced Grant (€2.9M, 2014-2019). Developing a high-resolution method termed LipidArrays that will enable the diversity and number of lipids in biological samples to be characterized. We are particularly focusing on cell development, cardiovascular disease and dementia in this study. Significant method development has included developing new software in collaboration with School of Computing and Informatics.


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