Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Member spotlight: Marc Pignitter

Marc Pignitter

Marc Pignitter received his doctorate in pharmacy from the University of Graz, Austria. He completed postdoctoral stays at the University of Vienna, Austria, and in industry. He was a research associate at the National Biomedical EPR Center and the Free Radical Research Center at the Department of Biophysics, Medical College of Wisconsin, in Milwaukee, USA. Another research stay took him to Australia, where he joined the group in Adelaide at Metabolomics Australia and participated in the Australian Endeavour Leadership Program. 

In 2017, he took up a tenure track position at the Institute of Physiological Chemistry at the University of Vienna and was able to establish his own research group by raising over €1 million in external funding. In 2021, he was promoted to the rank of associate professor at the same institution.

Marc received several international awards from the German Society for Fat Science (DGF), the Australian Government and AOCS, among others.

His research interests focus on the application of innovative approaches and technologies to control and better understand lipid oxidation in food and its health effects.

Can you tell us about your research?

My laboratory focuses on (1) identifying pathways and markers of lipid oxidation in foods, (2) changing food processing methods to improve oxidative stability of foods, and (3) evaluating the biological effects of dietary oxidized lipids. Modern tools of analytical food chemistry (LC-MS, GC-MS, NMR and ESR), foodomics, oxidomics and cell culture techniques are applied to unravel oxidative rancidity in foods and its metabolic effects.

What is the biggest challenge you are trying to conquer in your research?

To obtain a holistic view of compounds and reactions taking place in foods and biological systems exposed to oxidized lipids. There are far more biochemicals with an impact on lipid oxidation in food than we are currently tracking.

How do you hope or how has AOCS helped in solving challenges you encounter in your research?

AOCS has helped me solving challenges in my research in many ways. Access to the latest research highlights presented at the AOCS Annual Meetings, webinars and in AOCS journals lays the ground for my research endeavors. Most importantly, the scientific exchange within the research community leads to new ideas and projects to address urgent research questions. And last but not least, receiving an award for my research activities gave me a large portion of motivation. Thank you, AOCS community.

What made you start a mentorship program for LOQ?

As AOCS has helped me in so many ways, I was thinking what I could return for the benefit of the community. Soon it was clear that organizing a mentoring program might be how LOQ members could benefit from each other, independent of their career stage. I am very excited how it develops and hope that many members make use of this chance and sign up for the first LOQ Mentoring Program.

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