Michael-Popp Institute Research Area


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 (More information: LINK). 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.


Selection of current projects:


1.        Mechanistic insights into bioactive phospholipids that orchestrate stress adaption and programmed cell death (ferroptosis). Exploring their potential in the supportive therapy of cancer and other diseases with inflammatory component.


2.        Discovery, molecular pharmacological characterization and development of small molecules and lipids that target ferroptosis and necroinflammation or induce a lipid mediator class switch from inflammation to resolution.


3.        Anti-inflammatory and cytoprotective mechanisms of human endogenous vitamin E metabolites and inspired drug candidates. 


Research. Insight. Future.