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Efficacy of Greenshell™ mussel (GSM) foods and biomarkers of inflammation, joint and bone health

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  • Full or part time
    Prof Marlena Kruger
    Dr Fran Wolber
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

The aim of this project is to demonstrate the efficacy of GSM foods/ingredients using in vivo and in vitro models of inflammation, joint and bone health. Cartilage degradation and bone damage in osteoarthritis (OA) is a multi-factorial process. The metabolic OA (MetOA) phenotype is caused by obesity-related chronic inflammation and thus involves interactions between diet, adipose tissue, cartilage, bone, inflammatory cells and endocrine responses. Omega-3 PUFAs, which are present at high levels in GSM, have been shown to significantly improve OA. The proposed study will assess GSM extracts, of particular relevance to the functional foods being developed through high value project, using in vitro cell lines, as well as in an in vivo rat model of MetOA and osteoporosis. Together, these will allow for comprehensive, robust observational and mechanistic studies of GSM’s effects on mobility, obesity, metabolic syndrome (MetS), and inflammation.

The PhD thesis will build on existing cell line and animal models and aims to develop biomarkers for inflammation and/or bone/joint health. Previous experience working with in vivo or in vitro models would be an advantage.

Funding Notes

The project is funded by the High Value Nutrition National Science Challenge “Musseling-up: high-value Greenshell™ mussel foods” research theme and aims to contribute to the development of novel GSM foods with health claims for export markets. This three year studentship includes an annual tax-free stipend, tuition fees, and funding for consumables.

The ideal candidate must have:
• A B+ grade or better in a relevant Masters or Honours degree (e.g. biochemistry, nutrition, physiology), and demonstrated experience in performing research
• Excellent written and oral communication skills (IELTS score of 7 across all bands required if English is not first language)

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