The Sphingolipid Club was founded on 31st October 2001 by a group of five Italian researchers with the idea of bringing together all researchers involved in sphingolipids. The association was legally registered in Perugia, Italy. The aim was to establish scientific collaboration and exchange information about the chemistry and biochemistry of the sphingolipids and about their role in physiological and pathological conditions of animals and plants.
In those years, sphingolipids molecules were still poorly understood thus being a very exciting and upcoming area of investigation. The evidence of their importance has been the result of intensive worldwide research in the last decade. By creating this group, we had the aim to enhance the quality of sphingolipid research and its significance. Initially, the SLC had established a cooperation with researchers from the USA exclusively but then, only after three years, France, Spain and Germany joined the group and later Russia, the Netherlands, Austria, United Kingdom, Sweden, Turkey, Croatia, Greece, Finland, Belgium, Israel, Denmark, Korea, Hungary.
Moving young PhD students from one laboratory to another to complete their education in the field, SLC has always aimed at encouraging young people in cultural exchanges between different countries. The result of their work, alongside with that of the international VIP guests, is presented in conferences organized every year / year and a half in several countries: 2002 Perugia-Italy, 2003 Sale Marasino-Italy, 2004 Florence-Italy, 2005 Bertinoro-Italy, 2006 Calella della Costa-Spain, 2007 Bilbao-Spain, 2008 Leiden-Netherlands, 2009 Glagow-Scotland, 2011 Favignana-Italy, 2013 Assisi-Italy.
The most notable and commendable feature of the meetings is the singular emphasis on presentations given by students and trainees as well as the effort to improve their ability to interact with senior scientists. In our meetings you can listen to reserchers talk about the new chemistry of sphingolipids, the nuclear mechanisms of sphingolipid metabolism, the new models of ceramide-dependent apoptosis, the new insights into sphingolipid signaling, the relationship with autophagy, the membrane studies, and the lipid metabolism.
Today the goal of the SLC is to continue to grow, to create scholarships for young people and lay the foundations for international projects.