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Lipid Metabolism and Neurochemistry

In the Lipid Metabolism and Neurochemistry lab, we use sophisticated mass spectrometry platforms, mouse and cell culture models, and modern biochemistry to investigate how altered lipid metabolism underpins the development of Alzheimer’s and metabolic disease (obesity). Mutations in lipid metabolic genes are a major risk factor for Alzheimer’s and there is significant evidence to indicate that Alzheimer’s is a metabolic disease at the molecular level.

We also collaborate with research groups both locally and internationally investigating how altered lipid metabolism contributes to cancer pathogenesis.

Lipid metabolism and lipid signalling molecules are excellent targets for therapeutic intervention, as evident in the fact that many of the most successful therapeutics target lipid metabolism, e.g. statins, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and Fingolimod (used to treat multiple sclerosis).

Highlights of our recent research include (1) Identifying the sphingosine 1-phosphate receptors as a good target for new Alzheimer’s Disease therapeutics; and (2) Developing the world’s first potent and specific inhibitor of the enzyme ceramide synthase 1, which we have used to demonstrate a major role for this enzyme in the control of fat storage vs its use as an energy source.

Associate Professor Anthony Don
Sydney Medical School
Ph: (02) 8627 5578
Email: anthony.don@sydney.edu.au

Biographical details:
PhD, University of New South Wales, Sydney, 2004
Postdoctoral Fellow, Scripps Research Institute, USA, 2004-2008
Research Fellow, University of New South Wales, Sydney, 2009-2012
Senior Research Fellow, University of New South Wales, Sydney, 2013-2016

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Staff:

  • Tim Couttas, Research Fellow
  • Laura Hunter, Research Assistant
  • Mona Lei, PhD student
  • Collin Tran, PhD student
  • Ameline Lim, PhD student