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LIPID MAPS Gateway - A global open access community-driven resource for all things lipid


Essential to life, lipid (fats) make up 30% of our bodies, and 60% of our brain. They are sources of energy, hold our cells together and allow our cells to communicate during both health and disease.

Coming from our diet and made in our cells, our bodies contain literally thousands of different types of these unique molecules. Problems with lipid biology underlie all our major diseases including cardiovascular, metabolic disease, thrombosis and cancer, while aspirin exerts its beneficial effects through preventing a lipid molecule from being made in our circulation.

The LIPID MAPS Gateway was created in 2003 at the University of California San Diego by Professors Ed Dennis, Shankar Subramianiam and colleagues. At that time, the LIPID MAPS consortium became the global lead in championing the newly emerging field of Lipidomics (lipid biology and analysis) to the international research community.

Now supported by a Biomedical Resources grant from the Wellcome Trust (led by Professor Valerie O’Donnell, Cardiff School of Medicine), LIPID MAPS recently relocated the database and administrative functions to the UK and is now managed by a global consortium that comprises colleagues from the University of California San Diego, the Babraham Institute, Cambridge and Cardiff University.

Lipid researchers worldwide rely on the LIPID MAPS Lipidomics Gateway. This unique open access database now contains over 43,000 classified structures, of which around half are curated, making it the largest public lipid-specific database in the world.

The website also provides access to lipid specific software tools, protocols, standards, tutorials and publications, and is an essential information source for lipid researchers across the globe. With over 2 million page views annually from all corners of the world, LIPID MAPS is third behind only Google and PubMed as the most widely-used academic resource for lipid researchers.

This is a shortened version of the full article that features in edition 30 of ReMEDy.

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