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Rima Obeid


Current position: Professor (apl.), Saarland University Hospital, Germany.

During her AIAS Cofund Senior Fellowship, Associate Professor Rima Obeid worked on the project "Hidden milestones in the roadmap of shipping cobalamin from food into the cell".

Project at AIAS

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.

Project title:

Hidden milestones in the roadmap of shipping cobalamin from food into the cell

Area of research:

Medical Sciences

Fellowship period:

1 Oct 2014 – 31 Mar 2017

Fellowship type:

AIAS-COFUND Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellow

This fellowship has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 609033 and The Aarhus University Research Foundation.