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PhD project: The possible contribution, mechanisms of action and implications of modern dietary intake for cognitive development in children.

   Graduate Research School Office

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  Prof James Loughman  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Dublin Ireland Ophthalmology Optical Physics

About the Project

Applications are invited for a PhD studentship focussed on analysis of cognitive development in children in relation to nutritional status. Lutein and zeaxanthin may be important for cognitive development in children, with some preliminary evidence indicating a positive association between these carotenoids and cognition in childhood. The possible importance of these carotenoids for cognitive development is indicated by the selective accumulation of lutein and zeaxanthin within the developing infant brain. Lutein, in particular, is the predominant carotenoid in the brain tissue from infancy. Despite constituting just 12% of overall infant carotenoid intake, lutein has been shown to account for 59% of total brain carotenoids. This study is designed to explore the specific linkages between the intake of lutein and zeaxanthin, their biological effects and clinical outcomes in children to enlighten any beneficial effects of lutein and zeaxanthin in early life. An intervention study will be conducted to examine the ocular and cognitive impact of carotenoid supplementation in children.

Student requirements for this project

Min 2.1 in BSc in Optometry, orthoptics, medicine or related discipline. Alternatively, submissions will be considered from applicants with similar qualifications in health economics, data science (machine learning, artificial intelligence), computational mathematics or related fields for a project focussed on health economic modelling for ocular and cognitive health applications

Applicants for this project are required to complete an Expression of Interest ( and email it to [Email Address Removed]

If you cannot open the link, please copy and paste the link into a different browser tab. Applications submitted without EOI form will not be considered

Funding Notes

Stipend of €18,500 and €2,600 project costs for each of the four years
No Fee cost