Associate Professor, Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies, Aarhus University and University Hospital of the Saarland, Germany.
During her AIAS Cofund Senior Fellowship, Associate Professor Rima Obeid will be working on the project "Hidden milestones in the roadmap of shipping cobalamin from food into the cell".
Cobalamin (Cbl, vitamin B12) was discovered in the first half of the 20th century. Recently, the breath-taking pace of development in scientific technologies (e.g., proteomics, metabolomics) has changed our understanding for the role of nutrients and the complex interaction between diet, environment and diseases. My concept is that knowledge gained during the first burst of Cbl research in the period around 1950-1970, needs revisiting in order to find hidden milestones and to question concepts that have been accepted without further proof.
Conditions like aging, diet and drugs increase the risk of developing Cbl deficiency, probably because of diminished ability to liberate, absorb or distribute the food-derived vitamin. Understanding of the transport and function of Cbl, may pave the road for using this system for drug delivery. My research stay in Aarhus has the following main goals:
1- Tracking the evolution of cobalamin science (e.g., by the Danish scientist Einar Meulengracht (1887-1976): this will help clarifying unexplored observations by employing modern technologies.
2- Study cobalamin trafficking, cellular distribution and interplay with energy metabolism: the role of cobalamin in mitochondrial energy metabolism and glucose output (this part will depend on using modern technologies in clinical and experimental models).
3- Dissemination of knowledge: scientific meetings, workshops at international conferences and scientific publications. For example editing a book and writing a chapter on “Cobalamin”, CRC Press/ Taylor & Francis Group.