Sphingolipids Conference

A Sphingolipids Conference
Submitted by: Ellen Burns

In January of this year, Dr. Khemissa Bejaoui participated in an important conference in San Francisco. The Gordon Conference draws top scientists together to share their newest research findings. This conference was all about Sphingolipids.

Lipids are chemical fats. Cholesterol is a familiar example of one kind of lipid found in the body. Sphingolipids are made by molecules joining together to produce fatty acids that attach to a kind of backbone structure. Long chains of these compounds form together. The structure is so complex that the discoverer named these particular lipids after the Sphinx, the mysterious pyramid in Egypt!

The research that Khemissa has done proves that the gene defect that causes HSN I, the Deater Disease, decreases the production of one kind of sphingolipid, called glycosyl ceramide. Many researchers all over the world are interested in sphingolipid production. It appears that sphingolipids may play a role in many diseases, not only HSN I, and not only neuromuscular diseases. This means that scientists working in diverse fields, and studying many different diseases may be interested in finding out what happens when the genetic defect associated with HSN I decreases sphingolipid production.

Khemissa gave a Poster Presentation in which she gave examples of the disease in our family.

Continue Reading →