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Plant food consumption, flavonoids and cardiometabolic health


   School of Biological Sciences

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  Prof A Cassidy, Dr Tilman Kuhn  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

Plant-based diets have become very popular due to potential benefits for individual and planetary health. The goal of this PhD project will be to investigate the role of flavonoids as mediators of health benefits of plant food consumption. Data from clinical trials and large-scale cohort studies will be analysed to better understand the role of flavonoids in the prevention of chronic cardio-metabolic diseases, with a focus on biomarker data and innovative data analysis tools.

During this three-year PhD project, we will use data from several international epidemiological studies (cross-sectional, cohort, RCT) to evaluate if and how the consumption of plant foods may protect against common cardio-metabolic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, myocardial infarction, stroke, but also fracture and cognitive decline, both in high-risk groups and in the general population. Integrated analyses of questionnaire and biomarker data on flavonoids in relation to disease risks will be carried out, also accounting for metabolic biomarkers and the microbiome as potential mediators of health benefits. Modern data analyses techniques such as causal mediation analyses or Mendelian randomization will be applied in collaboration with a network of partners in the UK, the EU and the USA.

Start Date: 1 October 2022

Duration: 3 years

How to apply: Applications must be submitted via https://dap.qub.ac.uk/portal/user/u_login.php

Skills/experience required: Min of 2.1 degree in statistics, bioinformatics, nutritional biochemistry, health science, epidemiology, public health, or similar specializations. Data analysis skills are of advantage (e.g. in SAS, Stata, or R). MSc in Biostatistics or Epidemiology/Public Health is highly desirable.


Funding Notes

Candidates must hold a 2.1 UK Bachelor's degree or qualifications considered to be equivalent by the University.
Candidates must also be normally resident in the UK for the three year period prior to 1 October 2022. For non-EU nationals, the main purpose of residence must not have been to receive full-time education. Non-UK or Irish nationals must also have pre-settled or settled status (EU nationals) or settled status (non-EU nationals).
Full eligibility criteria: https://www.economy-ni.gov.uk/sites/default/files/publications/economy/Postgraduate-studentships-terms-and-conditions.pdf
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