DNA and proteins have had their day, but lipids are now the molecules du jour. Research into these cellular fats and oils got a big boost last week when the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), announced a 5-year, $35-million grant to fund the Lipid Metabolites and Pathways Strategy (LIPID MAPS) Consortium, a large collaborative effort to analyze the structure and function of lipids.

The consortium is led by the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), and comprises more than 30 researchers at 18 US universities, medical research institutes, and companies. This is a major step in the emerging field of metabolomics, or the study of metabolites, said Edward Dennis, a UCSD biochemist and principal investigator of the LIPID MAPS Consortium. In its first year, the project will receive $6.3 million from NIGMS.

"Today's large, complex biomedical problems demand more...

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