Dr Nora Khaldi is a post doctoral researcher in the UCD Conway Institute of Biomolecular and Biomedical Research in UCD. She is a mathematician with a PhD in molecular evolution and bioinformatics.
Food and drink are necessities for our existence, and yet we know very little about their composition at the molecular level. Food has been eternally underestimated. Terms such as sugar, fat, and calories are habitually used when talking about food, yet these terms represent only the tip of the iceberg in terms of food content and function.
In this talk, Nora will present some groundbreaking findings in the area of molecular food research, and give some examples of what certain foods can do at the subcellular level. This talk will address some basic questions such as: Is energy the only reason we consume food? Do all molecules in food get broken down, or do some resist and communicate with our bodies at the molecular level? And if so, what sort of messages are they communicating? Is current technology sufficient to differentiate between healthy and non-healthy molecules in food? And if so, how can we use this?
Nora will speak about her own research in the area of bioinformatics of food: an area that applies computer programing and mathematics to food and nutritional research. She will discuss how the use of computers can help solve the mysteries of food and discriminate between healthy and non-healthy ingredients. Nora will go on to talk about the future of food and what we will expect at the molecular level. She will also talk about the challenges we need to overcome and the benefits we will gain in doing so.