KU Leuven
PHD POSITION: NEW PECTIN DERIVATIVES THAT IMPROVE HEALTH
KU Leuven
KU Leuven is an autonomous university. It was founded in 1425. It was born of and has grown within the Catholic tradition.
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Publicerad: 10 dagar sedan
Sista ansökningsdatum: jun 16
Plats: Leuven, Belgien
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PHD POSITION: NEW PECTIN DERIVATIVES THAT IMPROVE HEALTH

(ref. BAP-2018-305)
 

The Laboratory of Digestion and Absorption is part of TARGID, the Translational Research Center in Gastrointestinal Disorders, which combines interdisciplinary basic and translational research in the field of Gastroenterology and Nutrition. The specific aims of the Laboratory of Digestion and Absorption are to study the impact of the intestinal microbial activity on host physiology and gut health in healthy subjects and in patient groups in which an abnormal bacterial metabolism is expected and to evaluate strategies that improve gut health. We use mass spectrometry and stable isotope and raditioactive isotope tracer techniques to quantitatively analyse the metabolic processes occurring in the colon and to characterise the intestinal microbial activity.

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Project

The human large intestine harbours a complex microbial ecosystem, called the microbiota, that is metabolically very active. Short chain fatty acids are metabolites produced by the microbiota by fermentation of undigested carbohydrates (such as fibres) with health promoting properties. They act as energy substrates for the intestinal cells, have anti-inflammatory properties and improve the glucose and lipid metabolism. Administration of prebiotics is an efficient strategy to stimulate the production of short chain fatty acids in the intestine.

In this multidisciplinary project, new pectin derivatives (prebiotics in several fruits and vegetables) will be created by the colleagues of the faculty of Bioingeneering Sciences. Their structure and physico-chemical properties will be carefully characterised. The PhD student will investigate how the structure of these pectins affects the production of short chain fatty acids. He/she will provide feedback so that through intensive interaction one or more pectin structures with optimal characteristics will be selected. Finally, the health promoting properties of this pectin structures will be evaluated in a human intervention study.

The PhD student will come into contact with multidisciplinary research and will get the opportunity to use state-of-the-art technology.

Profile
  • Qualified candidates should hold a master's degree with at least "distinction" (cum laude) in biomedical sciences, pharmaceutical sciences, bioengineering sciences, biochemistry or biology
  • You have a strong interest in analytical work and you are able to work accurately and precisely
  • You are motivated to learn and develop new techniques
  • You have a critical mind
  • After a training period, you will be able to work independently
  • Good communication skills in English, both oral and written, are necessar
  • You are motivated to prepare and finish a PhD research within the time frame of 4 years
Offer
  • We offer a full-time position for 4 years during which you will receive extensive training towards the attainment of a PhD degree
  • You will have access to state-of-the-art technologie and technical support.
  • You will have the opportunity to participate in national and international meetings and to write scientfic research papers.
  • You will collaborate with other research groups and in this way expand your network.
  • You will have several possibilities to gain experience in transferal skills
Interested?

For more information please contact Prof. dr. Kristin Verbeke, tel.: +32 16 33 01 50, mail: kristin.verbeke@kuleuven.be.

You can apply for this job no later than June 16, 2018 via the online application tool

KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at diversiteit.HR@kuleuven.be.

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