Competition-funded Studentship: How Does Diet Improve Metabolic Health? (TRAKA_F16HDTP)

Competition-funded Studentship: How Does Diet Improve Metabolic Health? (TRAKA_F16HDTP)
Competition-funded Studentship: How Does Diet Improve Metabolic Health? (TRAKA_F16HDTP)

5 February, 2016

University of East Anglia – School of Biological Sciences

Location: Norwich
Funding for: Students, EU Students
Funding amount: £14,057 Please see advert
Closes: 26th February 2016
School of Biological Sciences

Start Date: 01/10/2016

Supervisor: Dr Maria Traka

Broccoli-rich diets have been associated with reduced risk of developing a range of chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and certain cancers. We have recently showed that consumption of broccoli rich diets reduces LDL cholesterol and fasted glucose levels, which suggests that broccoli modulates central metabolic pathways in a manner that may protect against development of chronic diseases. Broccoli is rich in glucoraphanin, a sulphur-containing glucoside that though not bioactive itself is readily metabolised in the gut to bioactive sulforaphane. By using cell and animal models sulforaphane has been linked to the activation of a key transcription factor, nuclear factor-erythroid 2 like 2 (NRF2), which is responsible for upregulating a host of antioxidant genes by binding to a defined element within their promoter. Recent evidence suggests that NRF2 may also play a role in modulating energy metabolism that though under-explored is likely the mechanism by which broccoli-rich diets promote good . This PhD project will focus on studying the importance of NRF2 activation in mediating the changes in liver metabolic pathways that can maintain . This project will, first, use whole genome sequencing techniques to identify the transcriptional cascades that are altered by broccoli bioactives and NRF2 and understand their effect on fatty acid metabolism. There will also be opportunity to engineer novel knockout human cells through genome editing to specifically understand the importance of nrf2 in mediating metabolic regulation by dietary bioactives. The student will benefit from working as part of a vibrant research team on food and with strong interactions across the Norwich Research Park.

For scientific enquiries please contact: Dr Martin Taylor (

This project has been shortlisted for funding by the Norwich Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (NRPDTP). Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed as part of the competition. Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed as part of the competition. Candidates will be interviewed on either the 16th or 17th March 2016.

The Norwich Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (NRPDTP) offers postgraduates the opportunity to undertake a 4 year research project whilst enhancing professional development and research skills through a comprehensive training programme. You will join a vibrant community of world-leading researchers. All NRPDTP students undertake a three month professional internship (PIPS) during their study. The internship offers exciting and invaluable work experience designed to enhance professional development. Full support and advice will be provided by our Professional Internship team. Students with, or expecting to attain, at least an upper second class honours degree, or equivalent, are invited to apply.

For further information and to apply, please visit our website:


Full cover a stipend (RCUK rate: £14,057pa – 2015/6), research costs and tuition fees at UK/EU rate, and are available to UK and EU students who meet the UK residency requirements.

Students from EU countries who do not meet the UK residency requirements may be eligible for a fees-only award. Students in receipt of a fees-only award will be eligible for a maintenance stipend awarded by the NRPDTP Bioscience Doctoral Scholarships, which when combined will equal a full studentship. To be eligible students must meet the EU residency requirements. Details on eligibility for funding on the BBSRC website:

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