Carlito Lebrilla

image of Carlito Lebrilla

Distinguished Professor


Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine

Offices and Labs

2465 Chemistry Annex
530 752-6364

Profile Introduction

Our research is a multidisciplinary effort toward understanding the role of glycoconjugates, post-translational modifications of lipids, peptides, and proteins to determine their function and role in nutrition and diseases. There is a unique focus on glycans and glycosylation. The group typically involves undergraduates, PhD students, postdocs, and laboratory staff scientists.


1985 PhD Chemistry University of California, Berkeley
1981 BS Chemistry University of California, Irvine

Research Contribution

The research group has made contribution in the development of mass spectrometry methods, employing advanced separation methods, and high mass accuracy instruments. These tools have been used to determine the role of human milk oligosaccharides in development of the microbiota. They have been also used to develop the field of glycomic biomarkers for diseases.

Research Interests

Bioanalytical tools based on advanced separation methods and accurate mass spectrometry

Develop tools based on mass spectrometry with advanced chromatographic and electrophoretic methods. Tools are used to elucidate and quantitate the structures of peptides, proteins, oligosaccharides, and glycopeptides. Research involves optimizing separation methods, conditions, for quantitative analysis.  MS development includes employing high resolution mass spectrometry, advanced tandem MS methods for structural analysis and quantitation.

Bioactive components of human milk

Research involves deconstructing human milk to determine the bioactive components and their role in infant development and nutrition.  Research involves rapid throughput analysis of animal milk samples for peptides, oligosaccharides, and proteins. Samples of human milk obtained globally from many sites are analyzed to support projects supported by NIH and the Bill and Melinda Gates Fund.

Development of biomarkers for diseases

Biomarkers from tissue including blood, plasma, serum, muscle, and feces are discovered to diagnose autoimmune diseases and various cancer.  Markers for ovarian, breast, prostate, lung, and liver cancers are identified and validated for early diagnosis of diseases.  Research involves quantitating glycopeptides and glycoproteins for their value as diseases markers.


Alexander von Humboldt Fellow
Nato-NSF Postdoctoral Fellow
UC Presidents Postodoctoral Fellow

Department and Center Affiliations

Medicine: Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine


American Chemical Society
American Society for Mass Spectrometry

CBS Grad Group Affiliations

Biochemistry, Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology

Specialties / Focus

Biochemistry, Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Cancer Biology

Graduate Groups not Housed in CBS



Lebrilla Lab website