A unique opportunity exists for a PhD student to undertake a human research project in the Clinical Nutrition Research Centre at the University of Newcastle

PhD Scholarship in Clinical Nutrition opportunity

10 May 2014

A unique opportunity exists for a PhD student to undertake a human research project in the Clinical Nutrition Research Centre at the University of Newcastle, under the supervision of Professor Peter Howe, Professor Manohar Garg and Dr Rachel Wong.

The student will learn non-invasive techniques to assess circulatory function in both systemic and cerebral vessels and will participate in an ongoing program of human intervention trials conducted in accordance with Good Clinical Practice to evaluate circulatory benefits of supplementation with specific bioactive nutrients.

The following project is currently available:

Effects of long-chain Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCn-3 PUFA) on cerebral circulation and cognitive function

This project will determine effects of taking a fish oil supplement (containingLCn-3 PUFA) on the responsiveness of cerebral blood flow to physiological stimuli (e.g. hypercapniaor light exposure)and cognitive stimuli and whether these improvements correlate with improvements in mood and cognitive performance. Responses will also be correlated with increases in the LCn-3 PUFA content ofred blood cells within individuals.

Maintaining optimal blood flow in the brain protects neural tissues and is critical for brain function. Reduced blood flow responsiveness to selected stimuli reflectsimpaired endothelial functionand silent cerebrovascular disease,which may be associated with increased risk of stroke and cognitive decline. There is increasing evidence that certain vasoactive nutrients,such as LCn-3 PUFA from fish and fish oil and polyphenols from a variety of plant sources including cocoa, soy, oats and resveratrol,can act on endothelial cells to enhance vasodilator function and improve blood flowresponsiveness in the brain as well as the systemic circulation. The proposed PhD project will explore this concept in an at-risk population.

Qualification requirements

Applicants will have a Bachelor degree in a relevant discipline with a research qualification equivalent to at least hons 2A level in a field related to human physiology or clinical nutrition. A stipend equivalent to the APA award is available for the successful recipient.

International students will not be liable for tuition fees. Scholars will be eligible to apply for a 6 month extension; approval will be dependent on academic progress. Top-up scholarships are also available for students found to be competitive for Federal (APA) or internal (University of Newcastle) awards.

Closing date is 30th August 2014.

Contact

Forward a copy of your CV and academic transcript to:

Dr Rachel Wong - rachel.wong@newcastle.edu.au