Markus Wenk spearheads novel approaches in systems scale analysis of lipids and their interactors (lipidomics) and is recognized as one of leading investigators worldwide in this emerging field (www.lipidprofiles.com). He established SLING, the Singapore lipidomics incubator, an interdisciplinary program dedicated to innovation, education and partnership in lipidomics research at the National University of Singapore (NUS, www.sling.nus.edu.sg). Markus has published more than 130 research articles, several book chapters and is an inventor on 6 patent applications.
Natural variation of a signalling lipid
(Dai-ichi Tsuru, June 24th, 08:40)
Once viewed simply as a reservoir for carbon storage, lipids are no longer cast as bystanders in the drama of biological systems. The emerging field of lipidomics is driven by technology, most notably mass spectrometry, but also by complementary approaches for the detection and characterization of lipids and their biosynthetic enzymes in living cells (Wenk 2010 Cell 143(6):888-95).
Our recent results show extensive diversity in circadian regulation of plasma lipids and evidence for different circadian metabolic phenotypes in humans (Chua et al 2013 Proc Natl Acad Sci U.S.A. 110(35):14468-73). I will also introduce a strategy for capture of phospho-monoester lipids. Using this enhanced workflow we identified novel forms of sphingosine-1-phosphates, in tissue from human, mouse and fruit fly, respectively. (Narayanaswamy et al 2014, Anal Chem. 2014 Mar 18;86(6):3043-7).
Understanding better the fundamentals of natural variation in lipidomes as well as specific recognition of individual lipid species are the scientific aims of SLING, the Singapore Lipidomics Incubator. This centre is a global magnet for collaborating parties in lipidomics – from academia and industry – delivering new technologies and intellectual capital. SLING organizes the international Singapore Lipid Symposium (ISLS), a major symposium in lipidomic research in Asia Pacific and ‘i c lipid’, an intensive immersion course in mass spectrometry based lipidomics.
Department of Biochemistry and Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore