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Identification and quantification of nutritional components, bioactives and toxins in natural products


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Dr Thomas Smyth No more applications being accepted Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Identification and quantification of nutritional components, bioactives and toxins in natural products

In the last decade there has been a marked upturn in research that focuses on investigating the biological activities of natural product extracts with an emphasis on bioactivces and functional food ingredients. In particular, this has led to the design and development of numerous in vitro and cell based assays to determine their efficacy against a myriad of ailments and diseases. Although screening studies have documented the bioactive importance and potential industrial application of many of these extracts, their chemical constituents remain poorly characterised from a natural product perspective. Furthermore, in order to be exploitable within the food industry, these extracts must display shelf life stability, while maintaining their bioactivity post processing, which is often overlooked in the vast majority of studies.

This project, designed to overcome these issues, will involve the development of sensitive advanced analytical methods (GC-MS, LC-MS/MS and NMR) for the identification and quantitation of known bioactives and nutritional constituents from natural product sources. Subsequently, these methods will be used to evaluate the impact of storage and common processing techniques on the stability and bioactivity of these compounds and other nutritional constituents. Furthermore, the potential for the generation of toxins as a result of these actions will also be investigated.

Applicants should hold a first or upper second class Honours B.Sc. degree in analytical chemistry, food science, pharmaceutical science , biochemistry or a related discipline.

Applicants should possess strong skills in; chromatographic and mass spectrometric techniques, quantitative data analysis, scientific communication and report writing, organisation and problem solving.

Applicants should possess the following competencies; ability to work autonomously, highly self-motivated and ability to meet deadlines.

FUNDING SOURCE: IT Sligo President’s Bursary with a maintenance grant of €13,000 p.a. and up to €4,000 p.a. for expenses as approved. Tuition fees (currently €819 p.a.) will be paid by the Institute for all holders of student bursaries. Students are required to pay their registration fee. The registration fee for 2018-2019 is €3,000 p.a.

DURATION: Funding will be initially for a maximum of 2 years full time Master’s registration. This research has potential to transition into a PhD up to a maximum of 4 years.

To Apply
Please send by email to Dr. Thomas Smyth, ([Email Address Removed]) and CC Veronica Cawley ([Email Address Removed] )

1) A detailed cover letter
2) A full curriculum vitae
3) Academic transcripts for each year of study
4) Contact details of two academic referees

Applicants whose first language is not English must submit the original certificate of completion of an English test.

Please insert the subject line ‘ITSligo President’s Bursary 2020’ with your electronic correspondence.

Closing Date for Applications: 17:00 local time, 21st of September 2020.

Funding Notes

See Above

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