Student Hosted Colloquium: Peering into the Lipid World

Seminar | November 13 | 11 a.m.-12 p.m. | 120 Latimer Hall

 Neal Devaraj, Department of Chemistry, UC San Diego

 College of Chemistry

Lipids remain one of the most enigmatic classes of biological molecules. Lipids were likely one of the first components necessary for life, yet our understanding of how lipid membranes could have arisen spontaneously is a mystery. Human cells produce thousands of unique lipid species, but the purpose for such diversity remains unknown. Dysregulation of lipid metabolism is a key factor in some of the most common diseases that afflict human beings. My lab is using imaging and chemistry to understand the assembly and function lipids. We are watching the formation of artificial cells that consist of synthetic membranes that can continually reproduce. We are designing specific chemical reactions to manipulate and image lipids within living cells during cell death and disease. Our ultimate goal is to answer fundamental questions about the origins of lipid membranes and build a functional understanding of the diverse array of lipids present in life today.

 Light refreshments will be served at 10:50 at The Coffee Lab, 510-643-0572