"Lipids are in many ways the most important of the biomolecules
because they are the ultimate controllers and regulators of our
bodily processes; they are key to signaling events in cells.
Further, imbalances in lipids are implicated in many illnesses, such
as heart disease, stroke, arthritis, diabetes and Alzheimer disease.
If we are going to solve these diseases, we must know what the
lipids are and what they do"
--Edward A. Dennis, University of California, San Diego
Welcome to the
website of the Eicosanoid Research Division at the Institute of
Molecular Biology and Genetics (IBGM by its initials in Spanish).
Here you can find information about the research being done and the
people involved. If you like what you read here and would like to
know more, please write to
We are currently
located in Valladolid. This city is one of the historical capitals
of the ancient kingdom of
Castile and León, nowadays an
Autonomous Region within Spain. Valladolid was founded by the
Castilians in the 11th century, but its name is thought to derive
from the Celtic-Roman "Valle Tolitum" (Watery Valley), or perhaps
the Arabic "Velad Walid" (Lands of the Governor), which suggests
that the area had been inhabited much before the Castilians settled
in. Natives of Valladolid are called vallisoletanos. Famous
vallisoletanos include Kings Philip II and Philip IV of Spain,
conquistadors Ponce de León and Pánfilo de Narváez, poets José
Zorrilla and Jorge Guillén, novelist Miguel Delibes, and college
student Sofía Balsinde. Also
Pablo, the guy on the right hand side
of this page.
Work in the
Eicosanoid Research Division is focused on understanding lipid
signaling, particularly in relation to inflammation and obesity.
Lipid mediators are produced by a variety of phospholipases, of
which there are many types. We are currently interested in two of
them; the phospholipase A2s
and the lipins (type 1 phosphatidate phosphatases). The
are responsible for generating free arachidonic acid for eicosanoid biosynthesis.
The eicosanoids are of utmost biomedical importance because they
exert very potent proinflammatory actions. On the other hand, lipins
are central to the control of triacyglycerol biosynthesis, and thus
play a key role in obesity and related disorders such as diabetes
and cardiovascular disease. At the Eicosanoid Research Division we
combine a wide range of chemical, biochemical, pharmacoological, and
molecular cell biology techniques to study pathophysiologically
relevant problems involving alterations in lipid metabolism and
Eicosanoid Research Division consists of two research laboratories,
one headed by Prof. Jesús Balsinde and the other by Prof. María
Balboa. The Balsinde Lab leans toward biochemistry and chemical
biology strategies, and the Balboa Lab places more emphasis on
molecular cell biology approaches. While completely independent of
each other, there exists a great deal of interaction between the two
The Eicosanoid Research
Division is a founding member of the Spanish Research Network on
Diabetes and Associated Metabolic Disorders (CIBERDEM).