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Food Safety & Toxicology Group

This group is led by Dr. Saima Majeed, Assistant professor Akhuwat FIRST. She has strong background ranging from mycology, analytical chemistry, organic chemistry, protein chemistry, biotechnology to chromatography and mass spectrometry. Currently, she is working on IFS (International funding for research, Switzerland) funded research project (I-3-E-6286-1) entitled “Health Risk Assesment of Multiple Mycotoxins by Wheat Consumption in Pakistan” grant amount (USD) 12000, time duration (3 years) 2019-2022.

Mycotoxins are toxic secondary fungal metabolites that can cause mycotoxicosis. These are considered as unavoidable natural contaminants in agricultural commodities and can be produced both in the field and during storage. They pose significant toxic effects and are hence a focus of intensive research. In this research group a compendious description of multi-mycotoxin contamination profile in cereal samples from Pakistan is being conducted along with assessment of risks to health posed by these mycotoxins through their dietary intake, furthermore, measures for targeted control of most prevalent fungal species and mycotoxins has been performed. Moreover, the group is also engaged in the synthesis of nano particle through green chemistry and small biologically active compounds and checking their anti-microbial activity.

Objectives:

  • Multi-mycotoxins analysis in Pakistani cereal samples and risk assessment of dietary mycotoxins
  • Isolation and characterization of Myco-flora from contaminated cereal
  • Screening of natural and synthesized compounds as a possible mycotoxin mitigation strategy to tackle the prevalent mycotoxin
  • Application of ecofriendly, cost effective, safe and efficient method to detoxify prevalent mycotoxin in real food medium
  • Synthesis and characterization of biological active compounds and checking their anti-microbial activity

Techniques used in this Research Group:

  • Chromatography and mass spectrometry method development and validation
  • Molecular Biology techniques: DNA extraction, SDS-PAGE, Western Blotting, Gene cloning, Protein expression and  purification 
  • Primer designing and polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), fluorescence spectroscopy
  • Vector NTI, ExPassy proteomics software and bioinformatics tools
  • Software: Masslynx, Xcaliber (used in waters triple quadropole and ion trap mass spectrometers), Chemdraw, Endnote & SPSS
  • Synthesis and characterization of biologically active compounds
  • Human in-vitro digestion model study
  • CRISPER experiment designing