de.NBI Lipidomics

Lipidomics encompasses analytical approaches that aim to identify and quantify the complete set of lipids, defined as lipidome in a given cell, tissue or organism as well as their interactions with other molecules. The majority of lipidomics workflows is based on mass spectrometry and has been proven as a powerful tool in system biology in concert with other Omics disciplines. Unfortunately, bioinformatics infrastructures for this relatively young discipline are limited only to some specialists. Search engines, quantification algorithms, visualization tools and databases developed by the ‘Lipidomics Informatics for Life-Science’ (LIFS) partners will be restructured and standardized to provide broad access to these specialized bioinformatics pipelines. There are many medical challenges related to lipid metabolic alterations that will be fostered by capacity building suggested by LIFS. LIFS as member of the ‘German Network for Bioinformatics’ (de.NBI) node for ‘Bioinformatics for Proteomics’ (BioInfra.Prot) and will provide access to the described software as well as to tutorials and consulting services via a unified web-portal.

Neurolipidomics

Metabolic dysfunctions are not only highly correlated with insulin resistance and diabetes, but are also associated with a 10 fold higher risk to develop Alzheimer’s disease. The proposed project joins forces between two Leibniz institutions with different expertise to establish a unique research platform for Translational Neuroscience. Here, we will break ground by introducing lipidomics to the field of synapse biology, by investigating insulin resistance in conjunction with high Abeta­load and by studying the effect whether synaptic disease states result in an altered lipid composition that in turn leads to synaptic dysfunction in brain.

Multiomics

Phenotypes at cellular and organism level are a result of a multitude of different molecular species. Thereby, interconnected networks are at the heart of both signaling pathways and complex traits that mediate adaptive plasticity and determine phenotypes. To answer the question how different molecular layers are connected and to gain deeper insights into the underlying mechanisms that determine a certain phenotype, a comprehensive and representative analysis of the molecular species involved is necessary. Historically, each molecule class (e.g. DNA, RNA, proteins, metabolites, and lipids) has been studied separately in large scale omics experiments to look for relationships within biological processes. Using this strategy, we have assembled some of the molecular pieces related to signaling networks, but many interactions between them are still unrevealed or unexplained due to the restrictive single‐data‐type study designs. Therefore, multimolecular approaches on the sample processing as well as on the data analysis side are a prerequisite to obtain an integrated perspective. Read more in our recent publications SIMPLEX a multiomics for systems biology (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26814187).