PhD student position to investigate the metabolism of C-18 omega-3 PUFAs to oxylipins and their effect on inflammation in human cells 100 %
Triglyceride-based lipid emulsions form an integral part of life-saving total parenteral nutrition (TPN) and are provided to millions of patients who are unable to orally absorb the necessary daily amount of food. Although lipid emulsions are essential components of TPN, currently available therapies often cause considerable adverse effects, which have been attributed to the lipid emulsion component. We designed, characterized, and produced a novel lipid emulsion from plant terrestrial oil sources that contains high levels of the C-18 omega-3 PUFAs, α-linolenic acid (ALA) and stearidonic acid (SDA). This lipid emulsion, called Vegaven, showed beneficial effects on liver inflammation, glucose metabolism and gut microbiome dysbiosis, when compared to commercial omega-3-rich fish oil and omega-6 rich soybean lipid emulsions in a mouse model of TPN. We now want to characterize the mechanisms leading to these beneficial effects of Vegaven, with a focus on the modulation of inflammation.
Identification of C-18 omega-3 PUFA-derived oxylipins after loading of primary human macrophages
Identification of enzymes involved in the generation of oxylipins from C-18 omega-3 PUFAs
Identification of the immune-modulating effect of some identified fatty acid derived lipid mediators in primary human cells and human spheroids
Tight collaboration with different research partners at the ETH Zurich and the University of Alberta CA
Our division offers state-of-the-art technologies such as multiplex ELISA readers, triple-quad mass spectrometers equipped with UPLC, high-resolution mass spectrometers, GC-MS/MS instruments, ion-chromatography HPLC as well as other standard equipment for molecular and cell biology.
The successful candidate will hold a Master's degree (or equivalent) in chemistry, biochemistry, pharmacy, or life science and be highly motivated to work on a challenging project. Experience in analytical chemistry is required and practical experience with LC-MS/MS an advantage. Communication skills in oral and written English are essential. The successful candidate will be integrated into the PhD program of the Life Science Zurich Graduate School.
Start of employment: 1. February or upon mutual agreement