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Direction of global LIPID research being set at Cardiff meeting

21 March 2018

LIPID MAPS advisory board
Members of the LIPID MAPS International Advisory Board meeting in Cardiff.

Lipids (fats) make up 30% of our bodies, and 60% of our brain. These molecules are essential to life.

They are sources of energy, they hold our cells together and they allow our cells to communicate during both health and disease. They come from our diets and are made in our cells, and our bodies contain literally thousands of different types of these unique molecules.

Lipid researchers worldwide rely on the LIPID MAPS Lipidomics Gateway. This unique database contains over 40,000 curated structures and has over 100,000 users globally. LIPID MAPS is now managed from Cardiff University, by a consortium including Valerie O’Donnell (Cardiff), with colleagues in University of California San Diego (Edward Dennis, Shankar Subramaniam) and Babraham Institute, Cambridge (Michael Wakelam). LIPID MAPS takes the global lead in curating and collecting new lipid structures into a single “one-stop-shop.”

The LIPID MAPS International Advisory Board recently met in Cardiff. International lipid researchers from USA, UK, Asia and Europe worked over two days, redesigning the website to enhance accessibility and usability, and will make key strategic decisions that will assist with the development and sustainability of this unique resource.

Now supported by a Biomedical Resources grant from the Wellcome Trust, LIPID MAPS has recently relocated to the UK. LIPID MAPS was created in 2003 via an NIH Glue Grant to Dr Dennis, and has taken the global lead in championing the field of Lipidomics (lipid biology and analysis) to the international research community. LIPID MAPS provides a globally accepted classification system, and the curated lipid structure database is the largest in the World. The resource provides access to tools, protocols, standards, tutorials and publications, and is an essential information source for lipid researchers across the globe.

Professor Valerie O'Donnell
Professor Valerie O'Donnell

Professor Valerie O'Donnell from Cardiff University said:

"The Advisory Board meeting is a milestone for us following the award of the Wellcome grant and I was delighted to welcome our colleagues to Cardiff. LIPID MAPS is undergoing a major redesign and relaunch (next 3-6 months) and our structure curation efforts have restarted in earnest, along with our new blog from Bill Christie.

A newsletter will be launched later this year, and we are actively looking to engage further with our userbase, to host essential systems lipidomics tools and resources on the site for the global community.  We are also delighted to welcome approaches from commercial entities interested in partnering with us to ensure the sustainability of LIPID MAPS for the lipid research community worldwide”

Members of the Advisory Board

  • Edward Dennis  (Advisory Board Chair), University of California San Diego, USA
  • Valerie O’Donnell, Cardiff University, UK
  • Shankar Subramaniam, University of California San Diego, USA
  • Michael Wakelam, Babraham Institute, UK
  • Al Merrill, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA
  • Fritz Spener, Medical University of Graz, Austria
  • Robert Murphy, University of Colorado School of Medicine Denver, USA
  • Takao Shimizu, University of Tokyo, Japan
  • Markus Wenk, National University of Singapore, Singapore
  • Bill Griffiths, Swansea University, UK
  • Eoin Fahy, University of California San Diego, USA

The management of the resource is shared jointly between Cardiff University, the Babraham Institute and the University of California San Diego.

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