James Olzmann

Research Expertise and Interest

lipid droplet, lipotoxicity, ferroptosis, ubiquitin, proteasome, ER protein quality control, metabolism, cancer, drug resistance, metabolic disease

Research Description

The Olzmann research group employs a combination of systems biology, chemical biology, and cell biology strategies to elucidate the principles that regulate cellular lipid homeostasis. They have made several important advances in our understanding of the regulation and functions of neutral lipid storage organelles called lipid droplets. Dysregulation of lipid droplets and lipid metabolism has been implicated in the pathogenesis of numerous diseases, including prevalent metabolic diseases (e.g. obesity and fatty liver disease) and cancer. In addition, they have also made key discoveries of cellular mechanisms that prevent lipotoxic damage in cancer, such as the accumulation of oxidatively damaged phospholipids during a regulated cell death process called ferroptosis. Current research in the Olzmann lab aims to leverage these findings to develop new therapeutics to treat therapy-resistant forms of cancer. 

In the News

Bakar Fellows Program Names Seven New Spark Award Recipients

From artificial ligaments and a novel approach to cancer treatment to “soft” batteries and a way to give voice to silent speech, new innovations from UC Berkeley faculty are getting a big vote of support from the Bakar Fellows program. Seven faculty members have been selected to receive the 2022 Bakar Fellows Spark Award, which is designed to accelerate faculty-led research and produce tangible, positive societal impact through commercialization.
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