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أسئلة شائعة

Research Projects

Characterization of plasma membranes of fibroblasts of desert birds and its association with their longevity

Summary: In this proposal, we will grow fibroblasts from desert birds from Saudi Arabia, species that also have low rates of metabolism, and live a long life. Then we will use mass spectrometry to identify the lipids of the plasma membrane of these cells to associate plasma membranes with their long life. If we can document that fibroblasts from these desert birds are more resistant than are mammals and temperate birds that we have already measured, then we will have made a significant step in understanding how the plasma membrane is involved in the aging process. These findings will have future implications in the field of tissue engineering in order to produce highly stable tissues by biotechnological manipulations. (Supported by National Plan for Scienct and Technology, KSU, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia)  

Biophysical and biochemical characterization of experimental disease models using nanoparticles 

Summary: This project is aimed to study the effects of infused gold nanoparticles on systemic blood pressure, blood flow dynamics, microvascular dimensions, adherence of leucocytes and platelets to the blood vessel wall and the morphological and physiological changes in the microcirculation of anesthetized rats in vivo and in vitro. In addition, this investigation about the use of biochemical and molecular markers to assess the oxidative cellular damage and proinflammatory cascade would provide valuable information about the safety of nanoparticles for clinical applications. (Supported by National Plan for Scienct and Technology, KSU, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia)   

Markers of DNA fingerprinting and assessment of genetic diversity in Arabian oryx

Summary: The genetic diversity or relationship among various species of oryx is poorly documented. In recent years, the use of molecular genetic markers for identification of protected species has been proved to be greatly promising especially in the field of conservation biology. Unfortunately the application of molecular techniques for assessment of biodiversity or phylogenetic analysis of many economically and environmentally important animals including Arabian oryx has not been fully utilized. Moreover, we also lack in molecular databases for the breed-specific characteristics and the genetic diversity present within and between these breeds to exploit them for further research. Thus, the aim of this study is to develop molecular markers to distinguish among various oryx breeds. We will utilize various molecular methods including random amplified polymorphic DNA, amplified fragment length polymorphism, microsatellites and mitochondrial genome sequencing to develop specific molecular markers for fingerprinting of oryx species. The findings of this project will help to characterize the oryx breeds at the molecular level for determining the extent of biodiversity and to understand evolutionary relationships among the species. The novel PCR-based markers developed in this project could be utilized for more efficient conservation management of oryx species. (Supported by Prince Sultan Research Chair Program in Environment & Wildlife, KSU, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia)  

Microsoft Excel Add-In for creation of survival curves

Summary: Survival curves are frequently used for reporting survival, mortality or relapse outcomes in experimental pharmacological/toxicological studies as well as in clinical trials. Microsoft Excel is a simple and widely used tool for creating numerous types of graphic presentations however it is difficult to create survival curves in Excel. Considering the familiarity of clinicians and biomedical scientists with Excel, this research project is aimed to develop an Excel Add-In for easy creation of survival curves directly in Excel worksheets. (Supported by Microsoft Corporation, USA)

Biochemical and molecular determinants in myocardial infarction with special reference to carnitine homeostasis

Summary: The primary aim of this project is to find out sensitive biomarkers for screening of MI in high risk individuals. We will therefore determine relevant biochemical markers related to carnitine homeostasis, blood coagulation, lipid metabolism, oxidative stress and inflammation in MI patients and normal controls to investigate their validity for screening of MI prone individuals. We will also study the genetic polymorphism for the genes involved in carnitine homeostasis to ascertain their role in governing the susceptibility to MI. (Supported by National Plan for Scienct and Technology, KSU, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia)  

OGG1 gene polymorphism and cancer susceptibility in Saudi cancer patients: A GeneChip approach

Summary: Occupational and environmental exposures to toxic chemicals are the major susceptibility factors for cancers. Numerous chemicals have been shown to induce oxidative DNA damage. 8-oxoG is one of the most abundant oxidative products of cellular DNA and its accumulation could lead to carcinogenesis. Specific repair mechanisms are important for maintaining DNA integrity and preventing carcinogenesis. The human OGG1 gene is mainly involved in excision repair of 8-oxoG from damaged DNA. Polymorphisms of OGG1 gene significantly affect the clinical outcome of patients and have been implicated with cancer pathology. Information about allelic variations in OGG1 with respect to various cancers could help in identifying the high risk individuals well before the development of severe malignancy. This project is aimed to compare the efficiencies of RFLP and GeneChip technologies for detection of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) as well as to examine the association between OGG1 polymorphism and cancers in Saudi patients. (Supported by SABIC, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia) 

Determination of polyamines in human plasma and urine by high-performance liquid chromatography

Summary: Polyamines are difficult to separate due to their high polarity resulting in similar chromatographic behavior of the parent polyamines. Thus, all the chromatographic methods developed so far exclusively depend on pre-column derivatization of polyamines to achieve satisfactory resolution of chromatograms which is critical for efficient separation of these biomolecules. Polyamines have been recognized as sensitive biomarkers of cancer. Since polyamines are also good indicator of food quality, most of the earlier studies have focused on developing or improving procedures for estimation of polyamines in food samples. Only few efforts have been made towards developing methods for the analysis of polyamines in human biological fluids. A simple and sensitive method for the determination of polyamines in human plasma and urine is therefore rationalized. The objective of this project is to develop a method for determination of polyamines (spermine, spermidine, putrescine and cadaverine) by using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and to validate the method for the analysis of polyamines in human plasma and urine. (Supported by Research Center, College of Science, KSU, Riyadh) 

A visual basic software for computation of normal tissue complication probability associated with cancer radiotherapy

Summary: Normal tissue complication probability (NTCP) is a useful parameter to determine the risk for normal tissue exposed to radiation during cancer radiotherapy. Lyman model is highly effective for quantitative evaluation of NTCP of an organ or tissue for uniform partial volume irradiation to a particular dose of radiation. However, the main difficulty associated with Lyman model is the computation of normal distribution error function for cumulative probability, which is practically impossible without the aid of specialized software or statistical tables. Specialized programs are often costly and the use of statistical tables is a cumbersome approach. Thus, considering the need of radiation scientists and oncologists, this research proposal is aimed to develop a simple and user friendly software for fast and accurate computation of NTCP in accordance with Lyman model. The software will be developed in Microsoft Visual Basic platform and comprised of two functional modes. Mode 1 will be based on pre-stored values of ‘n’, ‘m’ and TD50(whole organ) for 27 different organ systems whereas Mode 2 will be designed for customized entries. The software will serve as a handy tool for computation of NTCP for evaluation/optimization of radiotherapy treatment plans. (Supported by Research Center, College of Science, KSU, Riyadh) 

Thin-layer chromatographic analysis of biogenic polyamines in biological fluids

Summary: In the body, polyamines are synthesized by the action of enzyme ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) by converting ornithine into putrescine that further converts into spermidine and spermine. Increased ODC activity and/or high polyamine levels have been reported in neurodegeneration, trauma, ischemia, cancer and brain tumors. Biogenic polyamines are therefore considered as sensitive markers for various diseases including cancer. Numerous methods including HPLC, GC, CE and TLC have been reported for the analysis of polyamines. However, chromatographic analysis of polyamines is severely hampered due to their high polarity and water-solubility that cause massive tailing of chromatograms. To overcome this problem, polyamines need to be derivatized before subjecting to chromatography. Although TLC-based methods with silica gel stationary phase are commonly used for polyamines analysis they tend to be laborious due to additional derivatization steps. On the other hand, calcium sulfate (CaSO4) and barium sulfate (BaSO4) have been reported to be excellent TLC coating materials for the separation of polar compounds. The aim of this study is to explore the chromatographic potential of CaSO4 and BaSO4 for the analysis of polyamines without undergoing the derivatization steps. After separation on TLC, the polyamines will be quantified by spectrophotometry and finally analyzed in human urine samples to ensure the real application of the assay. (Supported by Research Center, College of Science, KSU, Riyadh) 

Studies on acrylonitrile-induced behavioral, neurochemical and vestibular toxicities in rats

Summary: Acrylonitrile is a synthetic nitrile which is primarily used for the manufacturing of synthetic fibers, resins, rubbers, plastics and pesticides. World consumption of acrylonitrile is over 4 million tons. According to a recent report, Saudi Arabia intends to establish two large petrochemical projects to boost the production of acrylonitrile and other petrochemicals. Occupational and environmental exposure of synthetic nitriles is of potential relevance to human health, especially after the discovery that several nitriles of industrial application including iminodipropionitrile, acrylonitrile, crotonitrile and allylnitrile are able to produce motor deficits in experimental animals. Earlier studies have suggested the role of oxidative stress, neurotransmitters and vestibular hair cell degeneration in nitriles-induced neurobehavioral toxicity. This project is aimed to investigate the effect of acrylonitrile on behavioral, biochemical and histopathological alterations in rats. The findings of this study will help to unveil mechanisms responsible for acrylonitrile-induced neurotoxicity. (Supported by Research Center, College of Science, KSU, Riyadh) 


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