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Postdoctoral Research Associate in Gut Microbiota and Metabolism

University of Reading - Food and Nutritional Sciences

Location: Reading
Salary: £31,406 to £32,344 per annum.
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 11th November 2021
Closes: 6th December 2021
Job Ref: SRF37179
 

Does mechanical bowel preparation destabilise the gut microbiota, providing a window of opportunity to influence diverticulosis?

We are looking to recruit a Post-doctoral Research Associate to work on a Wellcome Trust funded collaborative project between the University of Reading and the nearby Royal Berkshire Hospital to explore the role of the gut microbiota, and its metabolites, in diverticular disease.

Diverticulosis affects around 50% of our aging population and can lead to the development of abscesses, bowel perforations and life-threatening infections. The gut microbiota and the metabolites it produces are thought to play key roles, but little is currently known. Mechanical bowel preparation (BP) is a laxative that clears intestinal contents prior to colonoscopy and results in reductions in reported symptoms of diverticulosis. However, there is currently no research-based supporting evidence for this and mechanisms are unknown. 

The systems biology approach will explore BP-induced changes to the composition and metabolic activity of the microbiota and link these data to patient symptoms. It will establish if BP destabilises the microbiota and generates a window of opportunity in which interventions could improve the way the microbiota re-establishes and interacts with the host. A range of highly transferable analytical techniques will be used (training will be provided where necessary).

The project will also assess prebiotic/probiotic combinations for their potential to promote the establishment of a healthy gut microbiota following BP in diverticulosis patients using our in vitro gut model systems.

Research will be conducted in the internationally renowned Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences, the largest academic unit of its kind in the UK. 

You will have:

  • PhD (or soon to obtain PhD) in microbiology, biochemistry, molecular biology, biomedical sciences, nutrition, bioinformatics or other relevant subject.
  • Knowledge in gut health and/or the gut microbiota.
  • Experience in methods used to analyse gut bacteria populations (HTS/FISHflow) and/or metabolic profiling techniques (NMR/GC-MS).
  • Appropriate publication record for career level.
  • Experience in developing scientific research projects.

Interview date: 16 December 2021.

Informal Contact Details
Contact role: PI
Contact name: Dr. Marie Lewis
Contact phone: 01183 788708
Contact email: Marie.lewis@reading.ac.uk

Alternative informal contact details
Contact role: Co-investigator
Contact name: Dr. Gemma Walton
Contact phone: 01183 786652
Contact email: g.e.walton@reading.ac.uk

Applications from job seekers who require sponsorship to work in the UK are welcome and will be considered alongside all other applications. By reference to the applicable SOC code for this role, sponsorship may be possible under the Skilled Worker Route. Applicants should ensure that they are able to meet the points requirement under the PBS. There is further information about this on the UK Visas and Immigration Website.

The University is committed to having a diverse and inclusive workforce, supports the gender equality Athena SWAN Charter and the Race Equality Charter, and is a Diversity Champion for Stonewall, the leading LGBT+ rights organisation. Applications for job-share, part-time and flexible working arrangements are welcomed and will be considered in line with business needs.

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