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Zinc, the micronutrient at the interphase between human host and microbiota regulating metabolic functions and pathogenesis

Project Description

Supervisors; Dr. Jorge Garcia-Lara, Professor Nicola Lowe, Dr. Katja Vogt, Professor Jaffar Khan

(i) to examine the impact on the gut microbiome of increased dietary zinc intake in zinc-deficient individuals
(ii) with emphasis on bacteriobiota metabolic/pathogenic components modulated by metalo[zinc]regulatory proteins


An increase in dietary zinc intake will affect:
• gut microbiota population size/diversity
• production/absorption of beneficial SCFAs
• microbiota metabolism/pathogenesis regulation

Methodology / Innovation

Determine from the microbiota from stool samples of a population of zincdepleted
(Zn-)/zinc-repleted (Zn+) individuals(Lowe et al. 2018):
• bacterobiota size and diversity (culture/16sRNA)
• SCFAs composition (bacteriobiota-host interaction indicators)
• comparative differences on the genetic zinc regulon from whole genomesequenced isolates
• immune system phagocytes function against Zn-/Zn+ microbiota isolates or heterologously-expressed zinc regulon genes)


Applicants must apply using the online form on the University Alliance website at Full details of the programme, eligibility details and a list of available research projects can be seen at

The final deadline for application is 12 April 2019.

Funding Notes

DTA3/COFUND participants will be employed for 36 months with a minimum salary of (approximately) £20,989 per annum. Tuition fees will waived for DTA3/COFUND participants who will also be able to access an annual DTA elective bursary to enable attendance at DTA training events and interact with colleagues across the Doctoral Training Alliance(s).

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 801604.

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