The synthesis of set of ceramide analogues exploring hydrophobicity in the acyl chains and the degree and nature of hydroxylation is described. These have been assayed against the parasitic protozoan enzymeLmjIPCS. These studies showed that whilst the C-3 hydroxyl group was not essential for turnover it provided enhanced affinity. Reflecting the membrane bound nature of the enzyme a long (C13) hydrocarbon ceramide tail was necessary for both high affinity and turnover. Whilst the N-acyl chain also contributed to affinity, analogues lacking the amide linkage functioned as competitive inhibitors in both enzyme and cell-based assays. A model that accounts for this observation is proposed.