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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Microscopic cells [View Image]Investigators in this internationally recognized research group, which encompasses a large portion of the department’s research efforts, are using biochemical molecular and genetic approaches to further understand metabolism, signaling and function of bioactive lipids in health and disease.
New and unexpected biological functions, biosynthetic pathways and receptors are being revealed for lipids and metabolites and highlights our growing understanding of their complex functions. Bioactive lipid mediators are now recognized to regulate broad swaths of physiological and pathophysiological functions, including those involved in an expanding list of diseases, including:
As we expand our understanding of metabolism and the role of lipid mediators, we increase the opportunity to develop and implement novel therapeutics for a range of diseases.
Current areas of research include:
Housed in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, the VCU Lipidomics and Metabolomics Core (VLMC) facility provides cost-effective and quantitative lipid and small metabolite analyses for VCU Massey Cancer Center members. This state-of-the-art facility is one of only a few in the country with the experience and expertise to quantitatively measure dozens of sphingolipids and hundreds of eicosanoids from samples with extremely low abundance, such as tissue biopsies. Other quantifiable lipids include fatty acids, glycerophospholipids, sterols and sterol esters and steroid hormones.
The facility contains the following instruments for members to use:
The Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology offers two robust, research-focused programs for graduate students.