Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions

Post-doctoral position at University of Granada: Apply for an Athenea3i-2018 Research Fellowship at the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 2

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    30/10/2018 08:30 - Europe/Brussels
    H2020 / Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions COFUND
    Spain, Granada
    International Research Projects Office
    Promotion and Advisory Unit

Professor Olga Martínez Augustin, from the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 2 at the University of Granada, welcomes postdoctoral candidates interested in applying for an Athenea3i Research Fellowship in 2018 at this University. The information about the Fellowship conditions, how to apply, Eligibility Criteria, Selection Process, Evaluation Process, etc. is available in https://athenea3i.ugr.es/. Please note that applicants must comply with the Eligibility Criteria (https://athenea3i.ugr.es/?page_id=23).  

Brief description of the institution:

The University of Granada (UGR), founded in 1531, is one of the largest and most important universities in Spain. It serves more than 60000 students per year, including many foreign students, as UGR is the leader host institution in the Erasmus program. UGR, featuring 3650 professors and more than 2000 auxiliary personnel, offers a total of 75 degrees through its 112 departments and 28 centers.

UGR is also a leading institution in research, located in the top 5/10 of Spanish universities by a variety of ranking criteria, such as national R&D projects, fellowships awarded, publications, or international funding. UGR is one of the few Spanish Universities listed in the Shanghai Top 500 ranking (http://www.arwu.org/), and it is also well recognized for its web presence (http://www.4icu.org/top200/).

Internationally, we bet decidedly by our participation in the calls of H2020, both at partner and coordination. For the duration of the Seventh Framework Programme, the UGR has obtained a total of 66 projects, with total funding of 17.97 million euros, and for H2020, until 2015, more than 25 projects with total funding of more than 6 million euros. Our more than 3,000 researchers are grouped into 365 research groups covering all scientific fields and disciplines.

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 Https://scholar.google.es/citations?user=s2Tr97gAAAAJ

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 (omartine@ugr.es):

  • CV
  • Letter of recommendation (optional)


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