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MSCA-PF: Joint application at the University of Granada. Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology II.

International Research Projects Office

Hosting Information

Offer Deadline
EU Research Framework Programme
Dublin 4


Organisation / Company
UCD School of Chemical & Bioprocess Engineering
Promotion and Advisory Unit
Is the Hosting related to staff position within a Research Infrastructure?

Contact Information

Organisation / Company Type
Higher Education Institute


Professor Olga Martínez Augustin, from the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology II at the University of Granada, welcomes postdoctoral candidates interested in applying for a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship (MSCA-PF) in 2022 at this University. Please note that applicants must comply with the Mobility Rule (for more information about the 2022 call, please consult:

Brief description of the institution:

The University of Granada (UGR) was founded in 1531 and is one of the largest and most important universities in Spain. With over 60,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students and 6,000 members of staff, the UGR offers over 70 undergraduate degrees, 100 master’s degrees (9 of which are international double degrees) and 28 doctoral programmes via its 127 departments and 22 centers. Accordingly, the UGR offers one of the most extensive and diverse ranges of higher education programmes in Spain.

The UGR has been awarded with the "Human Resources Excellence in Research (HRS4R)", which reflects the institution’s commitment to continuously improving its human resource policies in line with the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers. The UGR is also internationally renowned for its excellence in diverse research fields and ranked among the top Spanish universities in a variety of ranking criteria, such as national R&D projects, fellowships awarded, publications, and international funding.

The UGR is one of the few Spanish Universities listed in the Shanghai Top 500 ranking - Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU). The 2021 edition of the ARWU places the UGR in 201-300th position in the world and as the second highest ranked university in Spain (, reaffirming its position as an institution at the forefront of national and international research. The UGR stands out in the specialties of Library & Information Science (position 36); Food Science & Technology (39) and Hospitality & Tourism Management (51-75), according to the latest edition of this prestigious ranking by specialties ( A little lower in the ranking, the UGR also stands out in Mathematics (76-100) and Mining & Mineral Engineering (76-100).

Additionally, the UGR has 7 researchers who are at the top of the Highly Cited Researchers (HCR) list (, most of these related to the area of Computer Science. It is also well recognized for its web presence (, being positioned at 54th place in the top 200 Universities in Europe.

Internationally, the University of Granada is firmly committed to its participation in the calls of the Framework Programme of the European Union. For the duration of the last two Framework Programmes, the UGR has obtained a total of 67 projects, with total funding of 18.029 million euros, and for H2020, 119 projects with a total funding of around 29.233 million euros.

Brief description of the Centre/Research Group:

Our research group works in the field of pathophysiology (ion transport, alkaline phosphatase, inflammatory markers) and pharmacology (flavonoids, glycomacropeptide, oligosaccharides, bisphosphonates, corticosteroids) of inflammatory bowel disease and obesity/metabolic syndrome. Central to both is an alteration of the function of intestinal barrier, a fundamental element of intestinal homeostasis involved in inflammatory processes such as inflammatory bowel disease, but also many other intestinal and systemic diseases, including metabolic syndrome, acute pancreatitis, liver disease, sepsis, etc.

We use various cellular models, including intestinal organoids, and animal models, such as KO mice for the intestinal epithelial glucocorticoid receptor Nr3c1 (developed by our group), haplodeficient mice for tissue nonspecific alkaline phosphatase (Alpl), immunodeficient mice Zucker rats, etc. The experimental techniques used include molecular techniques, FACS, immunohistochemistry, gene silencing, studies of electrolytic transport, metagenomics of fecal microbiota, pharmacogenomics, etc.

We have received about 650,000 € in the last 5 years, coming mainly from competitive public projects but also from contracts with companies and projects financed by foundations. Our group is a member of the Center for Biomedical Research in the Liver and Digestive Diseases Network (CIBERehd), which brings together the most prestigious groups active in the research of gastroenterology in Spain. Our publications profile is available at

Project description:

The objective of this study is to improve the understanding of the role of intestinal barrier function (IBF) in the presence of 3 specific proteins present in breast milk: non-specific alkaline phosphatase (TNAP), calprotectin (CP) and osteopontin (OPN), plus nondigestible glucids (NDG) i.e. inulin and fructooligosaccharides (as possible nutraceutics). We have characterized the induction of TNAP in the inflamed gut (due in part to induction in the epithelium) and its implication in T lymphocyte activation. We have also described the therapeutic properties of CP in experimental colitis and its relation to the modulation of epithelial function. On the other hand, in previous studies we have characterized different NDG in terms of their non-prebiotic actions and their healthy effects on intestinal inflammation.The project will establish the biological properties attributable to OPN, TNAP and CP in breast milk, comparing term and preterm infant milk and studying their effect on intestinal epithelium. Mouse jejunum intestinal organoids, a more physiological model than conventional cell lines, will preferably be used. The response will be evaluated using RNAseq and markers of IBF and proliferation. Secondly, the project will investigate the involvement of TNAP in energy metabolism, based on the observation that TNAP+/- mice fed a high-fat diet exhibit increased inflammation, inhibition of PEPCK expression (gluconeogenesis), and hepatic steatosis. In addition, intestinal epithelium specific TNAP KO mice will be generated and their basal phenotype and response to experimental colitis and fat-rich diets will be characterized. Specific T cell KO mice will also be generated. In order to assess nonprebiotic effects of NDG in vivo the DSS model in germ free mice will be used.

Research Area:

  • Life Sciences (LIFE)

For a correct evaluation of your candidature, please send the documents below to Professor Olga Martínez Augustin (

  • CV
  • Letter of recommendation (optional)