Research Associate (Functional Characterization of Food-Microbiome Interactions)
5 May 2022
Open until filled
TUMCREATE is a multidisciplinary research platform of the Technical University Munich (TUM) at the Singapore Campus for Research Excellence and Technological Enterprise (CREATE). We are joining forces with universities, public agencies, and industries for the advancement of future technologies.
Researchers from Technical University Munich (TUM), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) and A*STAR’s Singapore Institute of Food and Biotechnology Innovation (SIFBI) will work together for the advancements of Singapore’s food studies. The programme is funded by Singapore’s National Research Foundation (NRF) as part of the Campus for Research Excellence and Technological Enterprise (CREATE). Please visit www.tum-create.edu.sg for more information about TUMCREATE.
Job Purpose/Objective of the Position:
The human digestive tract harbours the most densely organized microbial ecosystem and metabolic activities of this microbiome contribute to the digestion, modulation and functionalization of food constituents. Food-microbiome interactions critically contribute to the nutritional value of alternative dietary protein sources and addressing open questions with these interactions emerges as a key requirement in the design of sustainable urban food systems. In a two-step experimental design, we propose to characterize the impact of intact proteins and its fractions of soybean, algae, or fishery proteins, on the composition and function of the intestinal microbiome and its metabolite profile by modelling food-microbe and metabolite-host interactions. In the first step, we apply in vitro digested food constituents to healthy human microbiomes representative of the population in Singapore using continuous culture systems ex vivo. The second step evaluates nutritional benefits by applying culture supernatants and purified metabolite fractions of the colonic fermentation of the continuous culture systems to intestinal organoid model systems. Intestinal organoids are excellent models to evaluate intestinal homeostasis and, most importantly, the multi-cellular organization of the ex vivo organ cultures reflects native tissue environments in order to modulate gut health. The cellular network of the epithelial barrier integrates a variety of different immune- and metabolic sensors and allows us to verify the nutritional and beneficial interplay of food and microbiome.
Recruitment of human subjects and sample collection
Establish human host related biology addressing the question how bioactive molecules in novel food material renders barrier and immune function of the intestine by using intestinal organoids (co-culture with immune cells)
Identify and purify target structures and characterize their role in modifying epithelial differentiation (stem cell function), inflammatory processes, barrier mechanisms
Functional analysis of food-microbiome dialog in gut organoid cell culture systems
A Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Biology, Nutrition, Molecular Biology, Medicine or related research fields with 3 years of relevant working experience
What TUM CREATE offers you
Competitive salary that commensurate with experience
Good amount of leave/vacation days
Vibrant, modern and positive working environment in Singapore
Campus-sited office location with a host of facilities
In-building perks including gym, game room and coffee room
Please send your application including cover letter and CV to email@example.com.