PhD opportunity in Ghent University


Vacancy PhD student GlycoProfit project

Position: PhD student at the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Laboratory of Food Chemistry and Human Nutrition (Prof. John Van Camp), nutriFOODchem

Duration of the project: 3 to 4 years, starting date: (preferentially) September 2017

Aim of the project:

This project is situated within the framework of a 4-year during Strategic Basic Research (SBO) project GlycoProfit in which the health potential of alternative oligomeric sugars is investigated. The overall goal of this project is to explore the construction of novel combinations of glycosidic bonds between sugar monomers using microorganisms, and to investigate the health impact and functionality of these novel sugars. This research may boost the development of novel sugars with well documented effects on health, and hence inspire food industries to incorporate these sucrose alternatives into their products. In addition, this SBO project offers an excellent platform in which the (academic) research units can work closely together with the (inter)national food industry.

Tasks of nutriFOODchem within this project is to investigate (i) the caloric value of these novel sugars using well-standardized in vitro digestion models of the upper gastro-intestinal tract, and (ii) to test their impact on energy production, intestinal cell barrier and molecular parameters involved in diabetes and metabolic syndrome using human cell (co-)cultures.

We can offer:

–          An interesting and multidisciplinary project within the context of functional foods and sugar related health endpoints

–          3 to 4 years of funding to obtain your PhD degree

–          Several opportunities for (inter)national collaboration with (academic) research institutes and industries

–          Travel opportunities to attend meetings and to present your work within an (inter)national context

Your profile:

–          A Master degree in biological sciences (Biochemistry, Biology, Biotechnology, Bio-engineering, Food Sciences, (Bio)-medical sciences, …)

–          You are a collaborative, motivated and dynamic person who likes to work in a multidisciplinary research environment

–          Scientific reliability, accuracy and creativity are your top priorities in research

–          You have good communication skills (written and oral)

–          You have a strong knowledge of the English language

–          Knowledge/practical work experience in analysis of biomolecules and cell culture work is an advantage

Contact: CV can be sent to and before 14th July, 2017.

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