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2022 Allen Distinguished Investigator award

The Allen Distinguished Investigator program provides three-year grants between $1M and $1.5M to individuals and teams.

Visualizing lipid nutrient turnover in human tissue models

Our bodies rely on fats and their molecular cousins, collectively known as lipids. These slippery molecules construct our cell walls and store 90% of our energy, and their dysregulation is associated with diseases like diabetes and fatty liver disease. André Nadler, Meritxell Huch, and Alf Honigmann are leading a project to apply a technology they developed to visualize lipids in cells using fluorescence microscopes. They’re now using this technique to study the turnover and transport of lipids in laboratory models of the two main organs for nutrient uptake and processing, the intestine and the liver.

Andre Nadler Headshot

André Nadler, Ph.D.

Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics
Meritxell Huch Headshot

Meritxell Huch, Ph.D.

Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics
Alf Honigmann, Ph.D. headshot

Alf Honigmann, Ph.D.

Technische Universität Dresden

This project is part of the 2022 Nutrient Sensing cohort

Researchers in this cohort are developing new technologies to measure or visualize nutrient levels within cells. Their work addresses a key need in the field, namely the ability to capture detailed information about metabolites, chemical compounds, and other nutrients in live individual cells. These new techniques could propel understanding of the basic biology of cells as well as how metabolism or nutrition processing goes wrong in diseases like diabetes or malnutrition.

Science Programs at Allen Institute