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Ph.D. STUDENT POSITION: Strategies for small-volume chemical exposure analysis


About the Project

RECETOX focuses on interdisciplinary research and education in the area of Environment & Health, studying toxic compounds and their behavior, transport & bioaccumulation to evaluate environmental effects, assess the exposure and health risks to humans, and develop technologies and biotechnologies to break them down.

Lab Group details

The Chemical Exposomics lab is a newly established research group focused on profiling of chemical exposures and association to population health. Led by Dr Elliott J Price, the group are developing analytical workflows for exposure and effect biomarker discovery and routine biomonitoring screens. The group is within the Environmental Epidemiology research program co-ordinated by Prof Jana Klánová, with an emphasis on new methods to link long-term exposure data and health.

Chemical Exposomics research is inherently interdisciplinary & the group benefit from access to state-of-the-art core facilities within RECETOX ( and CEITEC ( & infrastructures across Masaryk University (

Project details

Few chronic conditions can be explained by genetics alone and environmental (non-genetic) factors are recognised as key determinants for health. Chemical exposures comprise a major portion of these non-genetic influences and humans are exposed to hundreds of thousands of chemicals in daily life from e.g. diet (food, supplements), lifestyle (personal care products, smoking), medication (pharmaceuticals) and urban contaminants (pesticides, pollutants). Measurement of the complex mixture of exogenous compounds we internalise is vital to understand their effects on our health.
The PhD candidate will develop strategies for the analysis of internalised chemicals in biofluids via high-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) chemical profiling. Despite advances in HRMS technology, broad detection of low-abundant chemical exposures from small volume samples still poses significant challenges. Selective enrichment procedures will be investigated with a particular emphasis on feasibility & scalability for application to large-scale cohort studies.

The successful candidate will benefit from widespread cooperation with various groups (e.g. Bioanalytical toxicology, Social epidemiology, Human Exposure Assessment and Risks) and form a cornerstone of exposome research within the CELSPAC studies ( ).

RECETOX Ph.D. student position
4-year Ph.D. programme with financial support for 4 years
Interdisciplinary scientific topics
Supervision by experienced mentors and excellent scientists and tailored study plan
Excellent and state-of-the-art research infrastructure
International mobility and internships
International and friendly environment
Courses developing transferable skills
Antcipated starting date: January 2021

Candidate profile
The candidate shall possess MSc. or a corresponding degree within biochemistry and excellent lab skills;
demonstrable experience with biological sample preparation for metabolites, proteins or nucleic acids is required;
an eagerness to learn broader systems biology and exposure science is beneficial;
hands-on experience with full-scan mass spectrometry is beneficial;
good communication skills in English language are required.

Discussion about the research topic with the supervisor is mandatory before the formal application – contact directly Elliott Price at .

For a consultation with the supervisor, candidates should submit the application, including (i) curriculum vitae; (ii) motivation letter; (iii) contacts of three persons who might provide references.
The application shall be submitted by email to Elliott Price / or .

Application, which are not submitted in English will not be included in the selection process.

The deadline for applications is on 4 December 2020. A review of applications will run continuously as they are received and until the position is filled. The short-listed applicants complying with the requirements will be invited for personal or Skype/Teams interviews.

Formal application to Ph.D. studies at Masaryk University will then require further documentation and formalities from the candidates and will be processed through an electronic application system.

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