Research leader: Nathalie Scheers
Our research focus is within the area of molecular nutrition. We are interested in effects on health and disease from specific metal compounds, proteins or other molecules that we absorb from the diet or ingest by supplementation. The goal is to understand cellular mechanisms on the intestinal level and to understand the association/correlation between intake of specific nutrients and disease - to prevent disease.
In this unit we are mainly working with human cell models. It can be single cultures or co-culture models of intestinal cells with hepatocytes or mucus-producing goblet cells. We investigate regulation of uptake proteins, stress response and apoptosis, expression of cancer and inflammation markers, and bioavailability of nutrients - all depending on the research question. In addition to the core activities there are also other interests in the unit e.g. we have previously identified a molecule that interferes with transglutaminase processing of gluten, important for driving celiac disease, which we are now planning to further evaluate in a human intervention study. Another hot topic in the unit is the fish protein parvalbumin beta, which have been observed to prevent amyloid formation of the Parkinson´s protein in vitro. We will further investigate the role of fish-specific parvalbumin beta as a neuronal protector. One of the questions is, if intake of fish rich in Parvalbumin beta, is negatively associated with Alzheimer’s disease or other diseases affecting neuronal survival (leading to cognitive decline).
Niklas Engstöm, postdoc
Swarnim Gupta, postdoc (shared with Sandberg lab)
Shokoufeh Karimi, postdoc (shared with Undeland lab)
Fionn O’fearghail, guest Ph.D. student (DIT, Irland)