The importance of lipids as regulators of many different biological processes has just recently emerged, due to previous limitations in analytical techniques.
SLING’s work involves both (i) the development of new analytical methodologies and technologies in lipidomics (with a specific interest in low abundant signalling lipids, like phosphoinositides and sphingosine-1-phosphate) and (ii) the study of processes in which lipids play important roles such as plants growth, viral infection mechanisms, neuronal pathologies, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, obesity, cancer.
Recently activity is also focusing on high throughput lipidomics for clinical research. In this field, SLING is interested in measuring the natural variation of lipids in healthy individuals, a necessary step to be able to proceed with disease biomarker studies.
At the same time, SLING’s research explores the use of mass spectrometry to study native protein-lipid complexes, to discover the identity and the binding stoichiometry of natural ligands of proteins with previously unknown functions.