9th European Workshop on Lipid Mediators

At the end of June, Cristina, Nina, and Stefanie had the pleasure of attending the 9th European Workshop on Lipid Mediators in the beautiful city of Edinburgh. This event brought together researchers from all disciplines to explore the latest advancements in the field of bioactive lipid mediators. They had an amazing time presenting their posters, which garnered a lot of interest and valuable feedback from other conference attendees. Beyond the scientific discussions, it was also a great chance to connect with fellow researchers and enjoy some traditional Scottish Ceilidh dancing, making the experience enriching not only professionally but also culturally.


ASMS 2024

In June, a few lucky PhD students of our group had the chance to attend the 72nd conference of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry (ASMS) in Anaheim, USA. With over 7000 participants, it is the mecca for  mass spectrometry enthusiast from around the world. The dense program, with over 60 oral sessions and 3000 posters, did not make it easy to choose. For lipidomics enthusiast of course the sessions on anything lipid related were the place to be. 

Several presentations and posters made it quite clear that especially novel fragmentation techniques like EAD and OAD offer promising potential for lipid analysis and will surely have a big impact on the lipidomics field in the next few years. There were also interesting novelties reported for lipid data analysis, ranging from an update of MS-DIAL 5  from Hiroshi Tsugawa to the novel ALEX score from Jürgen Hartler, which is a promising concept for quality control of lipidomic datasets. 

Of course our group members Alex, Bianca and Stefanie also presented their own research: In 3 hour-long poster sessions they had the chance to discuss their projects with many interested fellow conference attendees. And to relax after an intensive day of scientific talks and posters, there was always the chance to get a drink at one of the sponsor’s evening hospitality suites. 

Overall, the conference was a great combination of science, networking and entertainment and will surely be one of the highlights of their PhD.

Photos by Bianca de Jonckheere and Alexander Wenger; text by Stefanie Rubenzucker

A Targeted, Bioinert LC–MS/MS Method for Sensitive, Comprehensive Analysis of Signaling Lipids

A new publication of Stefanie is here! 

Signaling lipids play crucial roles in how cells function. However, it’s been difficult to monitor all these lipids at once because of their complexity and their chemical nature. We’ve developed a new, sensitive method using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) that can accurately track a wide range of these lipids. Our method involves a straightforward sample extraction and uses specialized equipment to analyze 17 different classes of signaling lipids. This process is highly sensitive and consistent, allowing us to monitor 388 lipids in just 20 minutes. We tested our method on human plasma and successfully measured 307 different lipid molecules. We also studied changes in lipid signaling during platelet activation, finding many important regulatory pathways. This new technique opens up the possibility for detailed and comprehensive analysis of signaling lipids in complex biological systems.

Go to this publication!

Rubenzucker S, Manke MC, Lehmann R, Assinger A, Borst O, Ahrends R. A Targeted, Bioinert LC-MS/MS Method for Sensitive, Comprehensive Analysis of Signaling Lipids. Anal Chem. 2024 May 25. doi: 10.1021/acs.analchem.4c01388. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 38795073.

Gordon Conf 2024 on Lipidomics

Robert and Dominik were the participants of the Gordon Conference 2024 on Lipidomics in Lucca (Tuscany, Italy).
They presented their innovative and cutting-edge software solutions for rapid and precise lipidomics data analyses. Thanks to the organizers for this great conference!.

Photos by Erin Baker & Robert Ahrends.


The rising prevalence of obesity globally presents a critical social challenge, threatening to reverse the progress made in life expectancy in developed nations. Gaining a thorough understanding of the mechanisms behind fat cell production is, thus, essential for the development of novel treatment strategies. While past studies focused on individual molecular layers, we recognize the importance of considering higher network connectivity levels, particularly lipid feedback controlling the master regulator of adipogenesis, PPARG. Our approach integrates advanced lipidomics and proteomics techniques, monitoring PPARG and the lipidome during perturbations in vitro. Through innovative multiomics strategies and high-throughput imaging, we dissect feedback networks and identify lipid regulators of PPARG. This research not only advances scientific knowledge but also holds promise for future obesity drug development, potentially revolutionizing treatment approaches.

Research stay of Nina

Our group member, Nina Troppmair, is currently on a one-month research stay in the lab of Mary Teruel within the Department of Biochemistry at Weill Cornell Medicine. We are cooperating in a project focused on elucidating the role of sphingolipid synthesis in the differentiation of stem cells to adipocytes. Together with Sanjeev Sharma, Nina is conducting perturbation studies and determining the endogenous levels of various proteins, including the main transcription factor driving adipogenesis. The expertise of Mary Teruel’s group in adipogenesis, coupled with their proficiency in immunostaining and fluorescence microscopy, perfectly complements the lipidomic and proteomic analyses performed at our lab in Vienna. Our gratitude goes to the DoSChem for supporting Nina’s visit through the International Exchange Program, and especially to Mary, Sanjeev, and the entire lab for their warm welcome and great assistance during Nina’s stay.

MassSpec-Forum2024: Workshop – Lipidomics-LIFS Bioinformatics Training

The MassSpec-Forum Vienna 2024 kicked off on Wednesday, February 21st, with a morning dedicated to insightful workshops. 

The Workshop 3 on Lipidomics-LIFS Bioinformatics Training, was conducted by Dominik Kopczynski, Nils Hoffmann, and Robert Ahrends from the University of Vienna. The session, held in parallel with other workshops, focused on the intricacies of lipidomics and the application of bioinformatics tools, specifically utilizing the Lipidomics-LIFS platform. Attendees delved into advanced techniques and methodologies, gaining hands-on experience in deciphering lipid data.

This workshop not only provided a unique learning opportunity, but also showcased the commitment of MassSpec-Forum Vienna 2024 to cover diverse aspects of mass spectrometry, ensuring participants received a comprehensive education in this dynamic field. The event’s emphasis on practical training and engagement set a tone for the subsequent days of the conference.

Photos by David Loibnegger and Claude Molitor

68th Annual GTH Meeting 2024

The 68th Annual Meeting of the GTH 2024 took place from February 27 to March 01 in Vienna under the theme “Building Bridges in Coagulation.”

The conference venue was the Hofburg, beautifully arranged for the occasion. The central focus of the conference was on thrombosis and hemostasis (GTH).

The talks featured a combination of invited international speakers, primarily doctors engaged in research presenting study results and updates on ongoing research, and young researchers, mainly PhDs in the medical field aspiring to become doctors. Also Bianca de Jonckheere, the PhD in the working group Lipidomics at the University of Vienna, presented her Megakaryocytes Project. Additionally, there were symposia from industry partners interspersed throughout the conference.

During breaks, attendees could enjoy snacks and coffee in the Vendor Hall, where a noticeable emphasis on sustainability was observed. Recyclable materials were used. The networking dinner kicked off with a champagne reception, followed by a one-hour exploration of the Weltmuseum and concluded with a meal accompanied by a dance performance reminiscent of a classical Viennese ball.

Pic by Robert Ahrends