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About the Institute

Natural products and their mixtures (extracts) have a long history as remedies in traditional medicine and enrich modern drug development with highly diverse, evolutionary optimized scaffolds. Increasing evidence underlines the efficacy of natural medicine in the treatment of diseases with inflammatory component, though the physiologically relevant modes of action often remain obscure. This lack of knowledge is especially pronounced in the field of lipid research, where the technical advances in chromatography and mass spectrometry of the last decade revealed an enormous diversity of bioactive lipids and paved the way for new therapeutic approaches.

Research at the Michael Popp Institute is located at the interface of inflammation, cancer, and metabolic disease and aims at setting the molecular foundation for the development of phytomedicine in interdisciplinary collaboration. Main areas of expertise are bioactive lipids, their biosynthesis and regulation, as well as strategies for therapeutic intervention. The institute hosts a cutting-edge chromatographic and mass spectrometric platform for targeted lipid bioanalytics (lipidomics), which provides access to the manifold, widely unexplored interrelations between lipid metabolism and signal transduction. The search for innovative drug targets goes hand in hand with research on the molecular mechanisms of natural products and their mixtures (plant extracts) and subsequently strives for optimizing their composition or structure in collaboration with pharmaceutical biologists and (medicinal) natural product chemists. Collaborative translational studies that address the efficacy, selectivity, bioavailability, metabolism and tissue distribution of potential drug candidates also benefit from the analytical expertise at the institute.


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