Subroto Chatterjee, director of the Johns Hopkins sphingolipid signaling and vascular biology laboratory, discusses his research on lipid proteins. The focus of Chatterjee’s laboratory is on lipids and lipoproteins, which are molecules that carry lipids and proteins. LDL (low-density lipoprotein) is bad cholesterol, that leads to heart disease. HDL (high-density lipoprotein) protects people from having this disease. Glycolipids are molecules that have other sugars and fat attached to them. The goal of Chatterjee’s research is to develop techniques to lower the levels of glycolipids, which could reduce the rate of heart disease.
Learn more about this research. So, I'm sure Taraji, I'm a full professor of pediatrics and cardiology division, as well as full professor of medicine. Also an adult cardiology. My laboratories focus in the area of lipids and lipoproteins. Lipoproteins are molecules that carry lipids and proteins. And you may have heard about LDL cholesterol which is a bad cholesterol. If the levels of this LDL cholesterol goes up, you have a chronic heart disease. In contrast, there's a good cholesterol called SGL that protects us from various heart disease. So my group found that along with this LDL cholesterol, there are other molecules float. They are called glycol. It pits and these have sugars and fat attached to it. And my target is to Developed techniques, therapeutic molecular pharmacological immunological etc to lower the levels of the collapse. And that will lower heart disease. When I started here at Hopkins, many decades ago, the method of treating high cholesterol was to subject the patient patient to a plasma machine therapy. So that procedure required required drawing about 450 CCs of blood spinning it down, saving, giving back the red blood cells to the patient and saving the plasma. So this procedure markedly lower LDL cholesterol levels. What I found is that along with the LDL cholesterol going down. So did the glycol lipids 23 weeks later, when the patient came back for another round of plasma exchange therapy, we found that the LDL cholesterol had gone up and sort of like a leopard's. So the standard association between decreasing cholesterol and Glycol really intrigued me. And so I followed on that up and I thought targeting like a lipids, maybe an alternative way of lowering cholesterol and heart disease. And we have very many experimental mouse models that we have proven that to be correct. The Glycol cholesterol association is very important, interesting and studies showed that as early as six months of age, babies born in Norway, they had shown that there was an accumulation of geometry sclerotic plaques. So I thought that lowering like developing techniques that will lower the glycol lipid levels would be very useful in early detection of these patients and follow up.