Dixon Lab | R C L R | Nutritional Science | S E B S | Rutgers

Welcome to the Dixon Lab Website!

The Dixon research lab is in the Nutritional Sciences Department of The School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, Rutgers University. Joseph Dixon, the lab's Principal Investigator, is an Associate Professor of Nutritional Sciences and performs research into lipoprotein metabolism, lipid metabolism in diabetes and obesity, and the role of lipids in the development of coronary arteriosclerosis.

Site Updated April 19, 2017

The Dixon Lab is primarily focused on studying Lipid Metabolism in Liver - especially the regulation of the secretion of Very Low Density Lipoprotein (VLDL).   We are also involved in providing lipid measurement expertise to several Biofuels Projects!  See Lab News!

Published March 28, 2015

My book (Ebook) on Ancel Keys, "Genius and Partnership: Ancel Keys, Cholesterol, and the Discovery of the Mediterranean Diet," is now available on Amazon:  

The print version is also available at this site.

Starting spring, 2014, follow my Blog/Website on the Obesity Epidemic in the United States.  Go to:


Starting May, 2014, follow my Blog/Website on Science and Art.  Go to:


New August 2013!   The following paper was published in BBA- Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids (1841: 34-43, 2014):  "Loss of Beta-carotene 15,15'-oxygenase in developing mouse tissues alters esterification of retinol, cholesterol and diacylglycerols."   Read More!

New September 2013!  A paper focusing on how viruses take over lipid metabolism in human cells in order to replicate (sounds like a sci-fi movie) has just been published by Cell Host & Microbe!  The PI for the work is Dr. Nihal Altan-Bonnet, a member of the RCLR! Read More!

Department's LC/MS Lab is located in Foran Hall.   Projects (See publications for more detail) that we work on include (updated 8-2013):

LCMS Projects Collage



The Lab's Mass
Spectrometer: an
Applied Biosystems
4000 Qtrap.

The NIH funded a grant for several investigators performing lipid research at Rutgers University, now organized as the Rutgers Center for Lipid Research (RCLR), to purchase a Liquid Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer (LCMS). The mass spectrometer is dedicated primarily to the research of lipids and lipid metabolism. The goal of the Core lab housing this instrument is to expand the capabilities of these laboratories to study the role of lipids in health and disease and to identify new lipids that are involved in metabolism.

The mass spectrometer is an Applied Biosystems 4000 Q Trap. This instrument is a combination triple quadropole/linear ion trap, a very powerful combination that allows us to perform both highly quantitative and qualitative work. We can use this instrument to act both as a triple quadropole instrument to measure low levels of lipids, and as an ion trap to trap ions in the third quadropole, allowing greater sensitivity and MS3 capabilities to identify new lipids. The possibilities are endless with this instrument.

Ionization Sources

We have several ionization sources to ionize lipids including Electrospray™ and Photospray™. The Electrospray™ source uses high voltage to ionize lipids. The Photospray™ source uses UV radiation, a dopant (usually toluene), and nitrogen to ionize the compounds. We have achieved very high sensitivity for diacylglycerols and sterols with Photospray™, in many cases allowing us to measure 5 pg of lipid per injection.

New Method in Lab:

We can now measure the entire spectrum of fatty acyl CoAs! We used this in our recent paper in BBA-Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids (2013) on how the enzyme that cleaves Beta-carotene plays a role in general lipid metabolism. 

We now have the ability to measure fatty acyl CoAs in tissues.  This method was established in our lab with the help of Drs. William Blaner and Hongfeng Jiang of Columbia University.

An early poster describing our capabilities with the LCMS can be found here.

This page was last updated on Wednesday, October 25, 2017 10:46 pm