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We seek to fill 2 PhD positions in the framework of a project funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation in the areas of on-line exhaled breath analysis and nutrition. The primary scientific aim of the Lactobreath project is to apply metabolomics technologies for identifying and quantifying metabolites associated with lactose metabolism and present in exhaled breath. The project will be carried out in collaboration with Agroscope (Liebefeld Campus), University Hospital Zurich, and the Swiss Allergy Centre (aha!). The duration of the position is three years, and starting date is expected to be immediately or upon mutual agreement.
Food intolerances are a major cause of functional gastrointestinal disorders, and while they can be managed by dietary intervention, correct diagnosis is essential for effective treatment. This interdisciplinary project will investigate the molecular composition of human exhaled breath as a potential source of biomarkers reporting on the clinical traits associated with lactose malabsorption (LM) (Lactobreath profiles) as a proof-of-concept for future application of this technology in the diagnosis of food intolerance. The identified breath biomarkers will be investigated in relation to lactose malabsorption symptoms, usual diet, and clinical traits associated with lactose malabsorption, including genetic polymorphisms regulating the expression of the lactase gene, breath hydrogen, and lactose-derived urinary metabolites. Lactobreath profiles will be mechanistically linked with metabolic traits associated with lactose malabsorption, including colonic gases and urine metabolome.
You are expected to conduct interdisciplinary research in human nutrition and analytical chemistry. Affinity for human nutritional interventions and laboratory work is essential. The job duties include:
The distribution of the research tasks will be determined based on the complementarity of the profiles of the two recruited PhD students.
You should have an MSc degree in chemistry or nutrition, a strong background in analytical chemistry, nutritional science, biochemistry, or related area, experience in bioinformatics, and an interest in developing modern mass spectrometry. Communication capability in English is a must.
We offer exciting and future-oriented projects in highly motivated research groups with excellent experimental and laboratory facilities. Supervision will be close but allows independent work. Scientific writing and participation in scientific conferences are very much supported.
We look forward to receiving your online application with the following documents:
Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered.
Further information about our group can be found on our . Questions regarding the position should be directed to Dr. Stamatios Giannoukos () and/or Prof. Dr. Renato Zenobi ().
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