In January 2025, scientists from around the globe will gather in Long Beach, California, for the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology’s Deuel Conference on Lipid. This conference is going to concentrate on exploring the role of lipids – fats and similar substances – in five main body systems: the liver and fat tissue, kidney, heart, brain, and digestive system.
The aim of the conference is to bring together researchers who deal with lipids, from both industry and academia, so they can share their latest findings and see how their work is linked. This type of setup is designed to allow scientists examining lipids from different viewpoints – at the molecular, cellular, and system levels – to share their knowledge in the same sessions.
ASBMB Today had a chat with the event’s organizers about the hot topics in the world of lipids right now, why they decided on this particular approach and what they expect attendees to take away from it.
The organizers are Sarah Cohen, who works as an assistant professor of cell biology and physiology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Philipp Scherer, a professor of medicine and director of the Touchstone Diabetes Center at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.
Cohen’s research dives into how lipids move within and between cells. She also investigates how errors in this movement can lead to metabolic diseases and conditions causing brain cell death. Scherer’s focus is on adipose tissue (body fat) and how it works both normally and in illness. He discovered that fat cells produce a hormone that helps regulate sugar levels, fat metabolism, and insulin sensitivity.
Both organizers became interested in lipids due to their broader research. Cohen had a strong interest in the biology of cells and viruses, which led her to look into how lipids move around within cells. Scherer, meanwhile, worked on how proteins are transported within cells and then moved on to study fat cells and their role in the body.
The organizers hope the conference will provide a setting where diverse speakers can share their knowledge on the role of lipids in different physiological and disease conditions. They also intend to encourage participation from young researchers and include sessions on the latest trends in lipid research, like lipotoxicity, lipid peroxidation, and ferroptosis, which are relevant in conditions like cancer and neurodegenerative diseases.
both organizers are excited about working together and hope to create an informative and memorable conference that participants will appreciate. The event is expected to enrich the understanding of lipid function within the body and foster productive interactions between researchers.