Faculty Profile: Said, Hamid

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Faculty Information Lab Information (Packet Type, Course Title, & Department) Location
Said, Hamid
Lab Contact:
Hamid Said
Department: Medicine and Physiology
825 Health Sciences Road, Med Sci C, Room C306, Irvine

Research Description

The water-soluble vitamins [thiamin (B1), niacin (B3), pyridoxine (B6), biotin (B7), folate (B9) , ascorbate] are essential micro-nutrients for normal cellular functions, growth and development. They are involved in a variety of critical metabolic reactions, and thus, their deficiency/suboptimal levels leads to a variety of clinical abnormalities. Humans (other mammals) cannot synthesize these micro-nutrients endogenously, and thus, must obtain them from exogenous sources (diet and gut microbiota) via intestinal/colonic absorption. In addition, the human body has a limited capacity to store these micro-nutrients, and thus, rely heavily on their efficient absorption. Thus, the intestinal tract plays central role in maintaining and regulating normal body homeostasis of these vitamins. Because of that, and since variety of conditions affect intestinal absorption of these micro-nutrients (e.g., genetic defects in the transport systems involved, intestinal inflammation, chronic exposure to alcohol, certain entero-pathogens, certain medications, etc.), studies that aim at understanding the cellular/molecular aspects of vitamin transport are of significant physiological/patho-physiological/nutritional importance.

Studies in our laboratory over the past thirty five years have characterized many physiological/pathophysiological and cell biological aspects of vitamin transport in the small and large intestine and in other organs of the digestive system. Our studies have covered the whole spectrum of biological complexity from the whole (integrative) animal level, to intact tissues, isolated/cultured cells, sub-cellular organelle/components, to the molecular levels, and have utilized state-of-the-art cell/molecular/imaging approaches as well as appropriate transgenic animal models. Currently our focus is on characterizing transcriptional, post-transcriptional and epigenetic regulation of vitamin transport events, cell biology of the trasnport proteins involved (structure-function activity, involvement of accessary proteins, membrane targeting, intracellualr trafficking), and effect of chronic alcohol use, infection with entero-pathogenic bacteria , and chronic inflammation on the transport process.

Requirements to Participate

Minimum 3 units. Hard working students interested in state-of the art research in the area of vitamin physiology, pathophysiology and nutrition

Faculty Means of Evaluation

Attendance and contribution to the research investigations, quality of work, and dedication