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Lipidomics Programme



$10mil Competitive Research Programme over 5 years, by National Research Foundation



Lead Principal Investigator:

A/Prof Markus Wenk
Tel    :    6516 3624
Email   :    markus_wenk@nuhs.edu.sg


Co-Principal Investigators:

Prof Barry Halliwell

Prof Wong Lim Soon

A/Prof Yao Shao Qin

Adj A/Prof Veronique Dartois

Dr Martin James Lear

Dr Paul A MacAry


Department of Biochemistry
Centre for Life Sciences (CeLS)
28 Medical Drive
Level 04-21
Singapore 117456


Website: www.lipidprofiles.com



Genes encode for proteins which, together with environmental factors, lead to the metabolite inventory of an organism. Lipids are a critically important class of metabolites, yet many functions remain poorly understood, in particular at the molecular level.


Lipid research has made great strides with recent developments: Firstly, genetic and cell biological research has provided new insights into molecular mechanisms of lipid action. Secondly, deregulated lipid metabolism is increasingly shown to play an important role in numerous human diseases. Thirdly, novel tools for lipid detection being developed very rapidly.


It should be stressed that lipidomics (systems level scale analysis of lipids and their interacting factors) is a discipline which, due to its focus on lipids, is intrinsically allied with many other fields of research. Hence, a research programme in lipidomics will develop its full potential best if integrated with other fields such as life sciences, nutritional sciences or environmental sciences  - both academic as well as corporate settings.



Development of novel (lipid based) biomarkers are a key focus in our group:


  1. Ovarian and gastric cancers
  2. Neurodegenerative Diseases: Alzheimer's disease, stroke and schizophrenia
  3. Inflammatory disorders: Rheumatoid Arthritis and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)
  4. Infectious Diseases such as Tuberculosis and Dengue fever



Selected Publications

Cremona O, Di Paolo G, Wenk MR, Luthi A, Kim WT, Takei K, Daniell L, Nemoto Y, Shears SB, Flavell RA, McCormick DA, and De Camilli P (1999). Essential role of phosphoinositide metabolism in synaptic vesicle recycling. Cell 99, 179-188.


Wenk MR, Pellegrini L, Klenchin VA, Di Paolo G, Chang S, Daniell L, Arioka M, Martin TF, and De Camilli P (2001). PIP kinase Igamma is the major PI(4,5)P(2) synthesizing enzyme at the synapse. Neuron 32, 79-88.


Di Paolo G, Pellegrini L, Letinic K, Cestra G, Zoncu R, Voronov S, Chang S, Guo J, Wenk MR, and De Camilli P (2002). Recruitment and regulation of phosphatidylinositol phosphate kinase type 1 gamma by the FERM domain of talin. Nature 420, 85-89.


Wenk MR, Lucast L, Di Paolo G, Romanelli AJ, Suchy SF, Nussbaum RL, Cline GW, Shulman GI, McMurray W, and De Camilli P (2003). Phosphoinositide profiling in complex lipid mixtures using electrospray ionization mass spectrometry. Nat Biotechnol 21, 813-817.


Wenk MR (2005). The emerging field of lipidomics. Nat Rev Drug Discov 7, 594-610.


Guan XL, He X, Ong WY, Yeo WK, Shui G, and Wenk MR (2006). Non-targeted profiling of lipids during kainate induced neuronal injury. FASEB J 20, 1152-1161.


Chan R, Uchil OD, Jin J, Shui G, Ott DE, Mothes W, and Wenk MR (2008). Retroviruses Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Murine Leukemia Virus are enriched in phosphoinositides. J Virol 82(22), 11228-11238.


Guan XL, Souza CM, Pichler H, Funato K, Wenk MR, and Riezman H (2009). Functional Interactions between Sphingolipids and Sterols in Biological Membranes Regulating Cell Physiology. Mol Biol Cell 20(7), 2083-95.


Nakamura Y, Koizumi R, Shui G, Shimojima M, Wenk MR, Ito T and Ohta H (2008). Arabidopsis lipins mediate eukaryotic pathway of lipid metabolism and cope critically with phosphate starvation. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 106(49), 20978-20983. 


Yang P, Liu K, Ngai MH, Lear MJ, Wenk MR and Yao SQ (2010). Activity-based proteome profiling of potential cellular targets of orlistat – An FDA-approved drug with anti-tumor activities. J Am Chem Soc 192, 656-666.