Universiteit Leiden

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Research project

Polymers in the Liver: Metabolism and Regulation

Metabolic diseases are a burden on the European population and health care system. It is increasingly recognised that individual differences with respect to history, lifestyle, and genetic make-up affect disease progression and treatment response. A Systems Medicine approach, based on computational models fed with individual patient data, has the potential to provide the basis for a personalised diagnosis and treatment strategy. The PoLiMeR consortium (Polymers in the Liver: Metabolism and Regulation) has identified the inherited, liver-related diseases of glycogen and lipid metabolism as the ideal starting point for innovative research training in personalised ‘Systems Medicine’. These diseases are life-threatening for children. Since each specific disease is rare, research efforts are diluted. Our system-based perspective opens possibilities for the application of novel drugs and diagnostic tools to a range of different diseases.

2018 - 2022
Thomas Hankemeier

More about the project and the partners can be found at https://polimer-itn.eu/


We will develop novel analytical methods for lipid profiling, and thereby will focus on detailed analysis of modified lipids and to identify structural isomers. This will be achieved using hydrophilic interaction chromatography (HILIC) or normal phase liquid chromatography (NPLC)-based separation coupled to a reversed-phase liquid chromatography (RPLC)-mass spectrometry analysis. The methods developed will be miniaturized to allow the analysis of biomass-limited samples, such as patient-derived iPS hepatocytes or organ-on-a-chip samples.

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