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Research: Lipoprotein Lipase, Heart Disease, CryoEM, Drug Discovery, Enzymology, ANGPTL4, Lipids, Structural Biology

Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics
(PhD – M.I.T)



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  • National Lipid Assoc. Jr. Faculty Research Award: 2017
  • Kavli Fellow: 2014
  • Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences: 2012
  • NIHK99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award: 2010
  • Jane Coffin Childs Fellow: 2006


Lipoprotein lipase (LPL) breaks down fats so that they can be cleared from the blood. Individuals with LPL deficiency have no way to clear the fats from their blood and therefore develop severe hypertriglyceridemia. LPL is a very high-maintenance enzyme as it needs special assistance to fold into its active form and travel out of cells to the blood. In my lab we use protein biochemistry and cell biology to study these processes.

Our bodies need to be able to increase or decrease LPL activity in order to respond to the amount of fat that is available. This is accomplished through the action of LPL activators and inhibitors. We seek to understand the mechanisms by which these activators and inhibitors affect LPL activity. Doing so will guide the development of new therapies to treat lipid disorders .


  • Hayne CK, Lafferty MJ, Eglinger BJ, Kane JP, Neher SB. Biochemical Analysis of the LPL Truncation Variant, LPLS447X Reveals Increased Lipoprotein Uptake. Biochemistry. 2016 Dec 16.
  • Babilonia-Rosa, MA, and Neher, SB. Purification, Cellular Levels, and Functional Domains of Lipase Maturation Factor 1. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. 2014 Jul 18;450(1):423-8.
  • Lafferty MJ., Chelberg, K. Eerie, DA., Neher, SB. Angiopoietin-like Protein 4 Inhibition of Lipoprotein Lipase: Evidence for Reversible Complex Formation. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2013 Oct 4; 288(40):28524-34.
  • Doolittle MH, Neher SB, Ben-Zeev O, Ling-liao O, Gallagher CM, Hosseini M, Yin F, Wong H, Walter P, Péterfy M. Lipase maturation factor 1 (LMF1): membrane topology and interaction with lipase proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2009, 284, 33623-33633
  • Bradshaw N*, Neher SB*, Booth DA, Walter, P. Signal sequences activate the catalytic switch of SRP RNA. Science, 2009 Jan; 323(5910): 127-30. *equal contribution

Link to all pubs

Saskia Neher