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Metabotyping the response to dietary intervention (Ref: SF20/APP/LODGE)

  • Full or part time
    Dr J Lodge
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

A healthy diet is at the forefront of factors known to reduce risk of degenerative disease. It has been evidenced that certain dietary approaches can influence specific conditions associated with healthy ageing such as endothelial function (blood pressure), cognition, lipid status and glucose control. Much of our nutritional guidelines are based on the population as a whole, yet this does not take into account a proportion of the population that respond differently and therefore have increased or decreased requirements. It is well known that there is extensive inter-individual variation in the response to diet. For example, we have highlighted the variation in response to fruit interventions within a number of clinical endpoints; the systolic blood pressure response ranged between a 4% increase and a 9% decrease, total cholesterol ranged between a 15% increase and a 13% decrease, and memory ranged between a 9% increase to a 23% decrease. In order to provide better relationships between diet and disease we must be able to predict this response and understand its metabolic origins and this proposal aims to do that. A homogeneous population will undergo several short-term dietary interventions of a different focus. Various endpoints related to blood pressure, clinical chemistry and cognition will be measured and response will be characterised by the top and bottom 25% of the interquartile range for each endpoint. We will then determine if response is similar between endpoints but also if participants respond similarly to different interventions. Next we will use metabolomics to profile biological samples from responders and non-responders and use data mining techniques to explore the development of specific metabotypes that can be developed into predictors of response to diet. This project will provide invaluable information towards the understanding of why participants respond differently to diet which is a necessary aspect for personalised nutrition.

Eligibility and How to Apply:
Please note eligibility requirement:
• Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
• Appropriate IELTS score, if required.
• Applicants cannot apply for this funding if currently engaged in Doctoral study at Northumbria or elsewhere.

For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see

Please note: Applications should include a covering letter that includes a short summary (500 words max.) of a relevant piece of research that you have previously completed and the reasons you consider yourself suited to the project. Applications that do not include the advert reference (e.g. SF20/…) will not be considered.

Deadline for applications: 1st July for October start, or 1st December for March start
Start Date: October or March
Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community. The University holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to improving employment practices for the advancement of gender equality.

Please direct enquiries to Dr John Lodge ()

Funding Notes

Please note, this is a self-funded project and does not include tuition fees or stipend; the studentship is available to Students Worldwide. Fee bands are available at View Website . A relevant fee band will be discussed at interview based on project running costs.


Yueyue Wang, Jose Lara, Crystal Haskell-Ramsey and John K Lodge (2019) Effects of fruit consumption on endothelium-dependent functions: a systematic review and meta-analysis of interventional studies. British Journal of Nutrition in revision

Rachel Kimble, Lucy Murray, Karen Keane, Karen Haggerty, Glyn Howatson & John K Lodge (2019). The influence of tart cherry (Prunus Cerasus, cv Montmorency) concentrate on vascular function and urinary metabolome: a randomised, placebo-controlled study in healthy adults. Food and Function. In revision.

Rachel Kimble, Karen Keane, John K Lodge and Glyn Howatson (2019) Dietary intake of anthocyanins and risk of cardiovascular disease: A systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition doi: 0.1080/10408398. 2018.1509835.

Swen Langer, Aileen Kennel and John K Lodge (2018). The Influence of processing on the relative appearance of Blueberry metabolites 2 hr following ingestion: a metabolite profiling approach. British Journal of Nutrition. 119: 1233-1244.

Manfred Beckmann, Annemiek Joosen, Michelle C Clarke, Owen Mugridge, Gary Frost, John Draper & John K Lodge (2016). Changes in the human plasma and urinary metabolome associated with acute dietary exposure to sucrose and the identification of potential biomarkers of sucrose intake. Molecular Nutrition and Food Research. 60: 444-457.

Karen M. Keane, Phillip G. Bell, John K Lodge, Costas Constantinou, Sarah E Jenkinson, Rosemary Bass and Glyn Howatson (2015). The bioavailability of tart Montmorency cherries (L. Prunus Cerasus) polyphenols and modulation of vascular smooth muscle cells. European Journal of Nutrition 55(4):1695-705.

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