Laboratory of Nuclear Biopathology of Lipids

The Lab "Biopathology of Lipids Nuclear" of Scientific Association nonprofit "Sphingolipid Club" studies the role of lipids in physiological and pathological conditions such as immune diseases and cancer. The Laboratory Manager, Dr. Elizabeth Albi, for about 30 years it is interested in the structure/function of nuclear lipids and the research group she directs has highlighted the importance of these molecules in the functioning of DNA and RNA and identified first, at the international level, the existence of nuclear lipid rafts; in correlation with the nuclear lipid changes during tumor transformation, it showed a severe hypocholesterolemia and ipofosfolipemia in patients with cancer. Today the laboratory is interested in lipidomics to study:

  • the effect of lipids in the diet on the maintenance of the health status and/or cancer;
  • the variations of lipids and the appearance of anti -phospholipid antibodies in immune diseases, in leukemias and lymphomas and in solid tumors;
  • the effect of the space environment on cell lipids to prevent the damage of the astronauts;
  • the identification of lipid mediators as targets of therapeutic treatments;

For such studies, the NLBP Laboratory is in connection with a number of European and non-European research centers members of the Association "Sphingolipid Club"

 The activities

The Association "Sphingolipid Club"over the years has always been dedicated to its activities in promoting scientific research on the study of sphingolipid metabolism and function. Established research contacts, conducted exchange of expertise, has encouraged youth exchanges between research centers in several European countries and beyond.
The Association has therefore created a network of research in the field of sphingolipids. Annual Meeting organized in several European countries, involving researchers from several European countries and beyond. In 2002 the first meeting was held in Perugia, Italy, on May 24-25; in 2003 the second meeting was held in Sale Marasino (Iseo), Italy, on June 2 to 4; in 2004, the third meeting was held in Florence, Italy, June 18 to 19; in 2005, the fourth meeting was held in Bertinoro, Italy, June 9 to 11; in 2006, the fifth meeting was held in Calella de la Costa, Spain, November 2 to 4; in 2007 the Sixth Meeting was held in Bilbao, Spain, 22-25 November; in 2008 the seventh Meeting was held in Bilbao Leiden, The Netherlands, 14-16 November; In 2010, the eighth meeting was held in Glasgow, United Kingdom, June 30-July 2; in 2011 the ninth Meeting was held in Favignana, Sicily, September 29 to October 2. In 2013 the Meeting will be held in Assisi.


The Association "Sphingolipid Club"was born in 31/10/2001 by the will of five researchers involved in scientific research aimed to investigate the role of molecules, for that time new, under physiological and pathological conditions. During the first meeting, the Association has had many participants from different Italian locations. It was convened in May 2002, a Special Meeting to make the Association an organization of volunteer and so has changed the statute. Then in March 2003 the Association was registered in the Regional Registry Umbro and this year, following a review of the Register, it has obtained a positive opinion for the registration confirmation. Over the years, research in the field has increasingly expanded internationally, showing that these molecules are vital to the physiology and cellular pathology. And so many European and non-European researchers have joined the association giving it an international character. Today the association has 182 members from several European and non-European countries.