• George M. Carman
  • George M. Carman
  • Board of Governors Professor
  • Department: Department of Food Science
  • Phone: 1.8489320267
  • Center for Lipid Resesarch
  • School of Biological and Environmental Sciences
  • Institute of Food, Nutrition, and Health, Room 12
  • 61 Dudley Road
  • New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8520
  • Key Words: Regulation of Phospholipid Metabolism/Signaling in Yeast

Dr. George M. Carman is the Board of Governors Professor of Food Science and Founding Director of the Rutgers Center for Lipid Research, New Jersey Institute for Food, Nutrition, & Health. Research in our laboratory utilizes molecular genetics and biochemical approaches to study the regulation of phospholipid metabolism in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Phospholipids are essential molecules that contribute to the structural definition of cell membranes, and participate in the regulation of cellular processes as signaling molecules and as reservoirs of lipid messengers. Our laboratory has made significant contributions to the understanding of phospholipid synthesis in yeast through the purification and characterization of several enzymes, and through the isolation and characterization of key genes. The laboratory has played a major role in the discovery that the expression of phospholipid synthesis enzymes is regulated by phospholipid precursors (e.g., inositol, choline, ethanolamine, and serine) and the mineral zinc; and that key enzymes are regulated by membrane (e.g., phospholipids, sphingolipids) - and cytosolic (e.g., inositol, serine, ATP, CTP) -associated components, by covalent modifications via protein kinases and protein phosphatases, and by proteasome-mediated degradation. These forms of enzyme regulation have profound effects on membrane phospholipid composition and cell physiology, and have important implications for understanding the molecular basis for lipid-based diseases (e.g., obesity, lipodystrophy, diabetes, and heart disease).