PhD student position in Precision Nutrition: Dietary carb quality, multi-OMICs 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
Cardiometabolic diseases, including myocardial infarction, stroke, and type 2 diabetes, pose a dominant burden on public health systems, accounting for more than one-third of global deaths. 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. High-throughput molecular profiling techniques such as metabolomics, microbiome metagenomics, and proteomics provide insight into diet-sensitive metabolic pathways predisposing to cardiometabolic disease incidence. Hence, nutritional metabolomics and multi-omics research is an exceptionally vibrant and rapidly evolving scientific field with extraordinary potential societal benefits.

Carbohydrates (CHO) are the only macronutrient without minimum nutritional requirement, and populations have thrived on diets with widely varying CHO content. Moreover, the quality of dietary CHO depends on fiber and sugar content and composition, and food matrix, which may affect long-term health. This Ph.D. project will examine the central hypothesis that metabolomics profiling captures metabolic adaptation to dietary CHO quality and that the metabolomics signatures of CHO quality predict chronic disease risk (specifically, the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases). This project will rely on integrated analyses of existing metabolomics profiles in well-established human population-based studies and dietary intervention trials in Scandinavia (including the MedGICarb trial, the Swedish SIMPLER, and The Danish Diet Cancer and Health study) and the US (Harvard cohorts, i.e., the Nurses Health Study and the Health Professional Follow-up Study). The goals are to understand better how CHO quality affects long-term health and develop potential molecular biomarkers to predict long-term, personal health benefits from improved dietary CHO quality.

-The details of the departmental research activities may be found here.

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.

Qualifications
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. A motivation and perseverance to pursue long-term, complex scientific projects are required. 

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. We are looking for a person that aspire for an academic research career.

The position requires sound verbal and written communication skills in English. 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 20220256 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
Email: clemens.wittenbecher@chalmers.se

*** 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!


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Post expires on Friday July 15th, 2022