Erasmus+ Internship at Dr. Maria Fedorova's lab in Dresden

Published: 17. may. 2023

From January 3rd to March 31st, 2023, I had the opportunity to undergo professional training at the Center of Membrane Biochemistry and Lipid Research, located within the esteemed Carl Gustav Carus Medical Faculty of the Technical University of Dresden in Germany. Under the guidance of Dr. Maria Fedorova, a renowned researcher in the field of biomedicine and an expert in lipidomics, epilipidomics and bioinformatics, I gained a lot of valuable knowledge and experience.

The aim of my research stay in Dr. Fedorova’s lab was to investigate the hypothesis that lipid droplets (LDs) – fat storage organelles present in most mammalian cells, control the trafficking of polyunsaturated fatty acids in the cell and thus modulate membrane lipid peroxidation and the sensitivity of cancer cells to ferroptosis, a novel type of programmed cell death. To achieve this goal, we combined the complementary expertise of Dr. Toni Petan’s team from the Jožef Stefan Institute and Dr. Fedorova’s group from TU Dresden to dig deep into the molecular details of lipid oxidation at the level of the lipidome.

Dr. Fedorova's laboratory has recently developed a unique epilipidomics workflow for the analysis of oxidized lipids that combines advanced high-resolution LC-MS/MS technologies with innovative bioinformatic approaches. During my internship, I was involved in the experimental workflow, acquiring new knowledge and skills related to the identification and quantification of the cellular lipidome and its dynamics, as well as bioinformatic analyses and metabolic integration of the obtained results. I received comprehensive training in lipid extraction, LC-MS/MS analysis, and bioinformatic analyses, learning how to design and execute lipidomic experiments, analyse and interpret vast amounts of lipidomic data, and how to draw conclusions from the findings. Overall, this experience provided me with a unique set of skills and knowledge that will be beneficial for my future academic and professional pursuits.

Špela Koren

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