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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, evolutionarily optimized scaffolds. Increasing evidence underlines the efficacy of natural medicine in the treatment of diseases with an inflammatory component, though the physiologically relevant mechanisms 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 over the last decade have 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 diseases 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), providing access to the manifold and largely unexplored interrelationships 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), followed by optimization of their composition or structure in collaboration with pharmaceutical biologists and (medicinal) natural product chemists. Collaborative translational studies addressing 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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