Justin Snider, PhD

Assistant Research Professor, School of Nutritional Sciences and Wellness


  • Ph.D., Molecular and Cellular Biology, Stony Brook University
  • M.S., Biochemistry, Medical University of South Carolina
  • B.S., Biology, Washington State University


Dr. Snider utilizes his expertise in mass spectrometry and chromatography towards assigning the molecular underpinnings of lipid metabolism in cancer.  These pathways generate bioactive molecules that have poorly understood turnover and signaling potential.  In his research, he has utilized isotopically labeled or odd chain substrates to tease apart the dynamics of de novo lipid metabolism and gained valuable insight into chemotherapeutics actions on these signaling pathways. Currently he is involved in biomarker assay development in prostate and colon cancers, employing untargeted metabolomics techniques to identify critically important metabolites in the progression of these diseases, and then developing quantitative assays for their analysis.

Current projects:

-Development of a high-performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC/MS) based assay for the assessment of prostate cancer metabolites from plasma.  Untargeted lipid profiling from over 250 prostate cancer patients identified over 20 lipid metabolites that are significantly regulated in the plasma of these patients.  Through targeted analysis of these lipid metabolites we hope to assign quantitative cutoffs to be utilized as novel biomarkers to discern prostate cancer aggressiveness. 

-Sphingolipids represent a class of bioactive molecules that are important in a myriad of cellular functions including, apoptosis, growth arrest, proliferation, and angiogenesis. Due to the dynamic signaling roles, as well as the fact that these lipids are major membrane components, methods for the analysis of their metabolic flux can be utilized to clarify signaling potential of the different sphingolipid species. The use of dual isotopic tracers can provide temporal and spatial resolution to signaling events when analyzed with HPLC/MS. 

Selected Peer-Review Publications from Research

Snider JM, Snider AJ, Obeid LM, Luberto C, Hannun YA.  Probing de novo sphingolipid metabolism in mammalian cells utilizing mass spectrometry. J. Lipid Res. 2018 June; 59(6)1046-1057. PMID: 29610123. PMCID: PMC5983394. Figure 1 was selected for cover page of JLR.

Snider JM, Trayssac M, Clarke CJ, Schwartz N, Snider AJ, Obeid LM, Luberto C, Hannun YA.  Flux analysis reveals regulation of the sphingolipid network by doxorubicin in breast cancer cells. J Lipid Res. 2018 Dec.  PMID 30573560. PMCID: in progress. 

Choi S, Snider JM, Olakkengil N, Lambert JM, Anderson AK, Ross-Evans JS, Cowart LA, Snider AJ. Myristate-induced endoplasmic reticulum stress requires ceramide synthases 5/6 and generation of C14-ceramide in intestinal epithelial cells.  FASEB J. 2018 Oct;32(10):5724-5736.  PMID: 29768040.  PMCID:  PMC6133702.

Bielawski J, Pierce JS, Snider J, Rembiesa B, Szulc ZM, Bielawska A. Comprehensive quantitative analysis of bioactive sphingolipids by high-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Methods Mol Biol. 2009;579:443-67. doi: 10.1007/978-1-60761-322-0_22. PubMed PMID: 19763489.

Ren J, Snider J, Airola MV, Zhong A, Rana NA, Obeid LM, Hannun YA. Quantification of 3-ketodihydrosphingosine using HPLC-ESI-MS/MS to study SPT activity in yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. J Lipid Res. 2018 Jan;59(1):162-170. doi: 10.1194/jlr.D078535. Epub 2017 Nov 1. PubMed PMID: 29092960; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5748491.