March Meeting (late speaker change)

Speaker: Bob Ernst, University of Maryland, Baltimore

Topic: Bacterial Lipids – Advances in Structural Analysis and Function using MALDI Mass Spectrometry

Date: March 18, 2024

Time: 6:15 pm Dinner, 7:15 pm Presentation

Location: Shimadzu Scientific Instrument, Inc. Training Center 7100 Riverwood Drive, Columbia, MD 21046 (Directions)

Dinner: Please RSVP to Jonathan Ferguson ( by Friday, March 15 if you will be attending the dinner.

Abstract: Microbial membranes are specialized structures with a specific arrangement of complex lipids and proteins. Depending on the microbe (bacterial, spirochete, fungi), each tends to have a distinct and characteristic lipid composition that resides on or is embedded in the outer membrane. As lipids are a large, diverse group of molecules, it is not easy to generalize lipid composition, which in many cases may be unique to particular genera, such as Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacterial species. Membrane lipids are crucial not only for integrity but also for signaling, responding to environmental stresses, propagation, antibiotic resistance, speciation, and pathogenesis. The characteristics, structure, and specific mechanisms leading to bacterial lipid synthesis and regulation represent long-standing questions that require the latest technologies to improve the resolution of microbial lipidomics. Analytical methodologies for the analysis of bacterial lipids have gradually become more sophisticated due to both advancements in instrumentation and extraction procedures leading to greater adoption of state-of-the-art techniques. Using MALDI-based MS analysis, we can now directly identify bacteria from complex biological samples without the need for ex vivo growth, engineer bacterial lipids to elicit specific host innate immune responses for vaccine adjuvant development, and map host-influenced de novo lipid A, the membrane anchor of lipopolysaccharide (LPS), modifications during Gram-negative bacterial infection, advance our understanding of the host-pathogen interactions.
lightning talks
Jongmin Woo (JHU)
Amit Dey (NIH)