Rowett Seminar

Rowett Seminar

This is a past event

Anna Nicolaou is Professor of Biological Chemistry at the Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences, The University of Manchester

Anna's research focuses on bioactive lipids and mass spectrometry-based lipidomics, with emphasis on the molecular mechanisms that mediate the role of eicosanoids, endocannabinoids, ceramides and related mediators in inflammation, immunity, cellular communications and tissue responses. Prof Nicolaou has a long-standing interest in skin inflammation and the role of lipids in acute and chronic cutaneous disorders. The involvement of fatty acids and their metabolites in cancer, neuroinflammation, reproductive tissues and the cardiovascular system are also of interest, and this work has been supported by research councils, charities, and industry. Currently, she is a member of the ISSFAL board, and until recently, was the executive editor of BBA Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids.


Talk Title: Bioactive lipids mediating skin barrier functionality – the impact of aging.


Summary: Skin depends on a unique profile of lipids that are necessary for the correct structure and function of the epidermal barrier, management of cellular communications and regulation of cutaneous homeostasis. Changes in epidermal lipids have severe consequences for skin health and underpin the development of inflammatory disease. This is of particular importance to aged skin as it becomes fragile with reduced ability to repair damage. Age-related changes occur in both genders, although its impact is better appreciated in women, where it appears to be initiated at menopause. Using targeted and untargeted lipidomics together with in vitro and clinical studies, we have investigated the prevalence and role of ceramides, eicosanoids and endocannabinoids on human skin, and assessed the impact of systemic fatty acid supplementations. Elucidating the network of cutaneous lipids can support the development of biomarkers and diagnostics, also offering an opportunity to develop preventive measures and interventions to address the needs of healthy aged skin, regardless of gender. 

Professor Anna Nicolaou
Hosted by
Dr Frank Thies
The Rowett Institute

Staff and students only