Overview

Laboratory of Lipid Metabolism 

Dietary consumption of ω-3 and ω-6 fatty acids changes the overall physiology of animals and humans. One of the pathways to change the overall physiology is the conversion of ω-3 and ω-6 fatty acids into epoxide derivatives via the enzymes in the epoxygenase (EPOX) pathway. These epoxides are  essentially signaling molecules and are responsible for delivering the beneficial effects of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in the cardiovascular system and brain. Despite numerous physiological studies establishing their biological importance, the biochemistry of epoxygenases with respect to their complex interactions with ω-3 and ω-6 fatty acids is largely unknown. Therefore the prime research direction in our laboratory is to elucidate the biochemical function of the enzymes in the EPOX pathway and to study the biological role of the novel  ω-3 and ω-6 fatty acid epoxides. 
Three pathways of eicosanoid synthesis. 
(Modified from Dr. Guodong Zhang’s laboratory website)

We have published several papers focusing on the biochemistry of EPOX enzymes and thromboxane synthase. 

Publications !!

 Das Lab Team

We are a cohesive team of graduate students and undergraduates. The free flow of scientific ideas and innovation is strongly encouraged in our team. Please visit our research group pageAs a team we have published several papers in high impact journals that use an array of biochemical, spectroscopic, molecular biology and physical methodologies to study membrane-bound proteins that play key role in health and disease. Check our our Publications

We acknowledge the funding from UIUC start up funds, Research Board, American Heart Association and our industrial collaborators. 

Click here to see the latest happenings in our laboratory

Our PI, Dr. Das obtained her Ph.D at Princeton University with Prof. Michael Hecht and post-doctoral training with Prof. Stephen G. Sligar at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign. 

Awards

• Scientist Development Award, American Heart Association (2015)

• Lightening Talk Speaker - LIPID MAPS Meeting 2015

• Lightening Talk Speaker - LIPID MAPS Meeting 2014

• NIEHS Travel Award - Winter Eicosanoid Meeting 2014

• Moog Lecture Series, Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute

• ACS Travel Award

• Outstanding researched award for postdoctoral research by NSF-NU-NSEC

• FMC Corporation Graduate Fellowship, Princeton

• Dean's List for Honorific Fellowship, Princeton

• Science and Engineering First Year Princeton Graduate Fellowship

• CSIR-JRF Fellowship, India

Biography

Aditi received her undergraduate degree in chemistry from St. Stephen College, Delhi, followed by masters at Indian Institute of Technology (I.I.T.) Kanpur. She received her Ph.D in Chemistry with Dr. Michael Hecht at Princeton University. She further did her postdoctoral research with Dr. Stephen Sligar at University of Illinois Urbana Champaign (UIUC). In 2012, Aditi started her own research group in the Department of Comparative Biosciences at UIUC. She is also an affiliate faculty in the Department of Biochemistry, Department of Bioengineering and Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology. 


Research in Das Lab

Research in our laboratory is highly interdisciplinary and collaborative. 

Research directions in our laboratory: 
(1) Elucidating the biochemical mechanism of lipid metabolizing enzymes that are involved in converting omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids into signaling molecules (eicosanoids). These molecules play major roles in inflammation, cancer and cardiovascular diseases. 
(2) Developing new biochemical and biophysical methodologies to identify osteosarcoma biomarkers in human and canine (pet dogs) (collaboration Prof. Timothy Fan). 
(3) Industrial collaboration focusing on redesigning diterpinoid cytochrome P450s for natural product biosynthesis in simple biological systems. 
(4) Bioengineering collaboration to make biocompatible nanoparticles for ultrasensitive detection of biological processes (Collaboration: Andrew Smith). 

All the above projects are empowered by the use of biochemical and biophysical techniques, basic bioengineering principles and Nanodiscs methodology.

Funding






 
              
         
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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