Dr. Fatme AlAnouti

Associate Professor and Assistant Dean for Students Affairs (AUH Campus)

Bachelor of Biological Sciences, American University of Beirut, July 1995.

Masters of Medical Microbiology and Immunology,
American University of Beirut (Lebanon), October 1997.

Masters of Clinical Chemistry, University of Windsor, June 2001.

Ph.D. Clinical Biochemistry, University of Windsor
(Canada), May 2005.

Bio

Dr. Fatme Al Anouti  is an Associate Professor and  Assistant Dean of the College of Natural and Health Sciences 9CNHS). She holds a PhD degree in Clinical Biochemistry. Her current research looks into the biochemical and genetic basis of Vitamin D Deficiency among UAE nationals. She has recently been awarded the Abu Dhabi Medical Distinction Award for research contributions in public health field pertaining to vitamin D studies within the UAE. She has numerous publications and presentations at international and national conferences and is a member of many professional organizations like the American Association of Clinical Chemistry and the UAE Genetic Diseases Association.

Google Scholar Profile

 
Office

Abu Dhabi - Khalifa City, FF1-1-071

Phone:

+971 2 599 3810

Email:
Teaching Areas

Clinical and Molecular Biochemistry,
Environmental Chemistry,
Molecular Microbiology and Immunology
Biotechnology
Chemistry
Physics

Research and Professional Activities

Drug Design Strategies Using RNA-Based Tools

For many years, I have worked on the development of RNA-based strategies including ribozymes, antisense RNA and RNA interference to validate drug targets for the treatment of the parasitic infections of Toxoplasma gondii . The essential target was the enzyme lactate dehydrogenase in Toxoplasma. The project was in collaboration with The Institute of Science and Technology (France). As RNA interference is a valuable tool for gene expression, I am currently interested in its specific application in certain diseases like cancer. In fact, we have recently submitted in collaboration with other colleagues from Khalifa University of Science and Technology a proposal to Terry Fox Foundation for Cancer Research and awaiting comments for the proposal: Development of Nanomaterial-based siRNA Delivery Vehicles for Cancer Therapy. We are also engaged in a study about the development of Nanoparticle-Based Early Tumor Biomarker Assays (in collaboration with Yildiz, I., Al- and Haq, A).

Diagnostic Molecular Microbiology and Chemistry

I am currently leading a project about Extending Identification of Invasive Bacteria in Marine Samples by Rapid PCR-Based Assays to Ballast Water Biofilms in collaboration with Professor Robert Baier (University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY, USA). I am also involved in research about the Environmental Impact of Urbanization within Abu Dhabi on the Chemical and Microbial Profile of Man-Made Beaches. To this regard, we are also monitoring microbial diversity and changes in chemical parameters after construction developments by the beach area. This is a unique research because of little and limited investigations in this area within the UAE.

Biochemistry and Genetics of Vitamin D Deficiency

I have been focusing on Vitamin D deficiency in the UAE population. I first had to document its prevalence to secure funding of further investigations like genetic variations of Vitamin D receptor and its relation with Type 2 Diabetes and membrane interactions. We examined 25(OH)-D levels by modified HPLC and Roche system and compared results. We also demonstrated that sun avoidance was the most relevant risk factor among Emiratis and found an association between vitamin D deficiency and diabetes, depression, CVDs and other diseases. We now are focusing on the relation between vitamin D deficiency and HBA1C in Different Ethnic Groups in the UAE. The vitamin D receptor protein (VDR) binds to vitamin D that is produced in the skin, and this complex then has many different purposes in the body. The VDR primarily acts as a transcription factor – controlling the amounts of certain proteins that are produced from the DNA in the genetic code. The proteins produced by the DNA that the VDR targets are responsible for processes from inflammation to lipid storage and calcium regulation, and deficiencies in vitamin D are associated with many diseases prevalent in Emirati society, particularly diabetes. The VDR also has several non-DNA-related actions, but these are generally much less well understood than the genomic effects. We want to study these non-genomic effects of the VDR, to complement existing research into the genetics of vitamin D deficiency and related diseases. We will use a range of complementary spectroscopic techniques to characterize the interaction of the VDR protein with lipid membranes that mimic the cell membranes in the body. We are looking specifically for any interaction of the VDR with particular lipid species, such as cholesterol, because previous research suggests that cholesterol is important in mediating the interaction of the VDR with these membranes and thus controlling some aspects of cell behaviour. The information that we obtain will be useful for medical researchers who are trying to understand every aspect of how vitamin D acts so that they can treat diseases associated with vitamin D deficiency more effectively in the future.,

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