PhD student position in Precision Nutrition: Multi-OMICs imprint of low-carb diet and disease risk

We are looking for a motivated Ph.D. student that wants to join a newly established group to advance Chalmers precision nutrition and data-driven multi-OMICs research. The Ph.D. project will focus on nutritional metabolomics and disease risk analyses in large human cohorts, with additional contributions to microbiome, genome, and proteome analyses. This four-year research-intensive Ph.D. position aims to facilitate an academic research career. We strongly encourage a short-term research stay (~3 months) at Harvard as part of the PhD-education. As a doctoral candidate, you will benefit from Chalmers excellent postgraduate educational infrastructure and the position’s funding through the powerful Data-Driven Life Science initiative, providing exceptional research and career development opportunities.

Information about the research project
The Department of Biology and Biological Engineering at Chalmers aims to bridge cutting-edge life science research with biochemical engineering and provides an exceptionally strong international network of academic and industrial collaborations. The Division of Food and Nutrition Science is one of four research divisions in the Bio Department. Food and Nutrition Science is one of the leading units in Sweden, with particular strengths in nutritional and computational metabolomics, dietary biomarkers, and precision nutrition. The Division of Food and Nutrition Science has recently received substantial support from the data-driven life science initiative (DDLS) for expanding its already strong focus on precision nutrition approaches for chronic disease prevention. This initiative builds on the excellent available infrastructure for high-throughput molecular profiling at Chalmers, the Division’s critical expertise in analyzing high-dimensional molecular datasets, and the Division’s longstanding close collaboration with leading research centers on the gut microbiome and the human proteome at Sahlgrenska Academy.

Cardiometabolic diseases, including myocardial infarction, stroke, and type 2 diabetes, are the major cause of death and chronic disease burden globally. The majority of incident cardiometabolic disease can be prevented through a healthy diet. Therefore, developing precise and effective dietary prevention approaches is of the utmost public health importance. Among the popular diet strategies, substituting fats for carbohydrates is popular for purported beneficial effects on body weight and overall health. However, the long-term effects of low-carbohydrate diets on the risk of developing cardiometabolic diseases remain unclear and may depend on the quality of omitted carbohydrates and substituted fats. This Ph.D. project will focus on the integrated analysis of existing metabolomics profiles in well-established human population-based studies and dietary intervention trials in Scandinavia (for example,  the Swedish SIMPLER and The Diet, Cancer and Health study) and the US (Harvard cohorts, i.e., the Nurses Health Study and the Health Professional Follow-up Study), aiming to elucidate the molecular effects of different quality low-carbohydrate diets and long-term implications for the risk of incident chronic diseases. In addition, the project will leverage metabolomics with other diet-responsive profiles such as microbiome metagenomics and proteomics.

Major responsibilities
-High-dimensional data analyses (diet, metabolomics, disease incidence) in prospective cohorts and diet intervention trials
-Biological interpretation of the scientific results with a focus on nutrition, metabolism and diabetes and cardiovascular disease etiology.
-Written (scientific articles) and oral (scientific conferences) scientific communication.
-Scientific project management (communication and coordination with scientific collaborators).

Your major responsibilities are to pursue your own doctoral studies. You are expected to develop your own scientific concepts and communicate the results of your research verbally and in writing, both in Swedish and in English. The position generally also includes teaching on Chalmers’ undergraduate level or performing other duties corresponding to 20 per cent of working hours.

To qualify as a PhD student, you must have a master’s level degree corresponding to at least 240 higher education credits in biological engineering, food and nutrition science, data sciences/epidemiology, medicine, or related disciplines. Strong motivation and perseverance to pursue long-term, complex scientific projects are required. Excellent English communication skills (written and spoken) are a must.

Educational background or practical experiences in human physiology/biochemistry and chronic disease pathophysiology (especially cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes), human nutrition science, epidemiology, or data sciences are beneficial. Experience with scientific writing and oral scientific communication and commitment to academic mobility is a plus. The successful candidate should seriously consider an academic research career.

If Swedish is not your native language, Chalmers offers Swedish courses.

Contract terms
Full-time temporary employment. The position is limited to a maximum of 4 years.

We offer Chalmers offers a cultivating and inspiring working environment in the coastal city of Gothenburg
Read more about working at Chalmers and our benefits for employees.

Chalmers aims to actively improve our gender balance. We work broadly with equality projects, for example the GENIE Initiative on gender equality for excellence. Equality and diversity are substantial foundations in all activities at Chalmers.

Application procedure
The application should be marked with Ref 20220257 and written in English. The application should be sent electronically and be attached as pdf-files, as below:

CV: (Please name the document: CV, Family name, Ref. number)
• CV
• Other, for example previous employments or leadership qualifications and positions of trust.
• Two references that we can contact.

Personal letter: (Please name the document as: Personal letter, Family name, Ref. number)
1-3 pages where you:
• Introduce yourself
• Describe your previous experience of relevance for the position (e.g. education, thesis work and, if applicable, any other research activities)
• Describe your future goals and future research focus
• Please answer the following questions:
– Which are the three most important goals you want to achieve during your Ph.D. education?
– From a career perspective, where do you see yourself two years after obtaining your Ph.D. (please be as specific as possible)?
– In three to five words, which will be your most critical contributions to interdisciplinary scientific teams?
– What are the most critical advantages of collaboration and competition in sciences? (One sentence each.)
– Please name a few activities that you expect to be fun and rewarding during your Ph.D. education and a few activities that you expect to be tiresome or frustrating?
– Which essential experiences and qualities will help you endure and finalize your Ph.D. project successfully?

Other documents:
• Copies of bachelor and/or master’s thesis.
• Attested copies and transcripts of completed education, grades and other certificates, e.g. TOEFL test results.

Please use the button at the foot of the page to reach the application form. The files may be compressed (zipped).

Application deadline: July 15, 2022

For questions, please contact:
Clemens Wittenbecher, Food and Nutrition Science

*** Chalmers declines to consider all offers of further announcement publishing or other types of support for the recruiting process in connection with this position. *** 

Chalmers University of Technology conducts research and education in engineering sciences, architecture, technology-related mathematical sciences, natural and nautical sciences, working in close collaboration with industry and society. The strategy for scientific excellence focuses on our six Areas of Advance; Energy, Health Engineering, Information and Communication Technology, Materials Science, Production and Transport. The aim is to make an active contribution to a sustainable future using the basic sciences as a foundation and innovation and entrepreneurship as the central driving forces. Chalmers has around 11,000 students and 3,000 employees. New knowledge and improved technology have characterised Chalmers since its foundation in 1829, completely in accordance with the will of William Chalmers and his motto: Avancez!

Read the job description at the university homepage


Post expires on Friday July 15th, 2022