Seven established research teams at four Austrian universities are studying lipid hydrolases, which are key enzymes for cell growth and proliferation, cellular signal transduction, and energy metabolism. Therefore, dysfunctions of these lipid hydrolases are often causes of many metabolic diseases. With research teams that understand the structure, function and physiological relevance of lipid hydrolases, the SFB LIPID HYDROLYSIS aims to contribute to the elucidation of pathogenic mechanisms and the development of new, innovative treatment strategies. All researchers involved in the SFB have access to the six technology platforms. In addition, new research findings of the interdisciplinary teams are discussed in a continuous scientific exchange with the members of the scientific advisory board.

Technology Platforms

Lipid hydrolase screening

A central goal of the SFB LIPID HYDROLYSIS is to establish a clone and enzyme collection for all predicted serine hydrolases. Recombinant proteins are expressed in suitable mammalian expression systems and subjected to functional screening.

Mouse models

For almost all project parts of the SFB LIPID HYDROLYSIS consortium, both the use of existing transgenic and knockout mouse lines and the generation of novel mouse models are essential.

Morphology and pathology

Morphological, histological, immunohistochemical, and ultrastructural examinations of various murine tissues and organs are indispensable to assess the (patho)physiological consequences of loss of lipid hydrolases.


Essentially all project parts of the SFB LIPID HYDROLYSIS require the qualitative identification and quantitative analysis of lipid species. In addition, many project parts rely on the analysis of metabolites and proteins including their modifications. The Omics platform builds on the existing infrastructure and expertise for lipid, protein, and metabolite analyses in Graz and Vienna.


Team members of the SFB LIPID HYDROLYSIS have access to cutting-edge optical imaging technologies enabling specialized applications not addressable using standard light and fluorescence microscopy.

Structural bioinformatics

Predictions of enzyme function using 3D patterns and integrative structural biology tools that combine complementary techniques such as NMR spectroscopy, small-angle X-ray/neutron scattering (SAXS/SANS), and techniques for de novo structure prediction are accessible to the SFB LIPID HYDROLYSIS consortium.

Wissenschaftlicher Beirat

Scientific Advisory Board

The role of the SAB is to evaluate and advise the SFB LIPID HYDROLYSIS on overall strategy and general progress. Whenever possible, especially in the Covid-19 pandemic, members of the SAB join our annual retreats to discuss the quality and relevance of our research, provide valuable advice on new technologies, and help by deciding future goals and aims. Smaller discussion groups of individual project leaders and team members with the SAB discuss more specific issues related to the particular research questions and results.

Our SAB members for the duration of the first funding period.

  • Dominique Langin (Obesity Research Laboratory, CHU Rangueil, Toulouse, France)
  • Tobias Walther (Department of Cell Biology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA)
  • Erin Kershaw (Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, University of Pittsburgh, PA, USA)