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PHD POSITION GENOMICS IN HEALTH

Mol
PhD
Description: 
Our established healthcare system is no longer sustainable due to the aging population demographics and the transformation of many fatal disorders into chronic diseases. Preventive healthcare is rising to the challenge of providing early diagnosis and assistance to the risk group populations, effectively allowing individuals to live healthy instead of living with chronic diseases. In this research project we evaluate the dynamics, surrogacy and strengths of several omic technologies to serve as a basis for risk profiles for chronic diseases. For this purpose, within the “I am Frontier” cohort, we are following 30 healthy participants on a monthly basis, which we use to generate different omics data sets including(but not limited to) genomics (Whole Genome Sequencing), epigenetics(Methylation), clinical biomarkers, microbiome, proteomics, and metabolomics. Moreover, we collect information about physiological parameters (heart-rate, sleep patterns …) and lifestyle (activity, food intake, stress, ...) via questionnaires and wearables. This data, used in combination with open science data from a range of diseases, allow us to profile individual risks for the onset of a disease..
The aim of this bioinformatics research project is to put the genomic information layer central to investigate and develop new approaches for utilizing genome data interactions between molecular intermediates, like, e.g., genome–metabolome, genome-proteome and genome-epigenome, that are relevant for the clinical outcome.
The data of the “I am Frontier” cohort can be augmented by publicly available information from different repositories like, the Cancer Genome Atlas, 1000 genomes project, etc. Hence affinity to creating genomics and other omics processing pipelines and workflows is crucial for the success of this project.
An interesting secondary research objective is to evaluate the surrogacy and redundancy in the genomic data when contrasted to other molecular layers. This could be of importance when considering issues related to GDPR.
We are looking for a highly motivated and scientifically excellent candidate in the genomics/bioinformatics background with a problem-solving attitude to work in an international, collegial environment. Strong communication skills complemented with innovative analytical thinking are important assets. This project is a strategical collaboration with VITO and the University of Hasselt and the candidate will be a member of both institutions.


Collaboration with University of Hasselt

Registration deadline: 21/08/2020

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PHD position: Carbonation Curing of Cementitious Systems (C3S): solid-state NMR studies of carbonated recycled concrete

PhD
Description: 

A PhD grant is available from November 1st, 2020 or later at iNANO and the Department of Chemistry, the Faculty of Science, Aarhus University, focussing on the potential of using out-sourced concrete to sequester CO2directly from the flue gasses of combustion power plants, cement plants or similar concentrated sources of CO2. VITO is involved in this PhD by the co-promotor Ruben Snellings and as a host institute for a secondment.

PHD POSITION 3D STRUCTURED SORBENTS FOR METAL RECOVERY FROM LIQUID STREAMS.

Mol
PhD
Description: 
Within the Unit of Sustainable Materials Management, there are ongoing research projects on the production and use of structured sorbent materials, e. g. porous microspheres or coatings, focusing on closing materials cycle. One of the tracks of the KMP (Ceramic Materials and Powder Metallurgy) team is the separation of valuables such as rare earth elements (REE) and precious or critical metals.

Different liquid streams may be identified, such as polluted waters or complex low grade industrial waste streams, on which adsorption using tailored sorbents is the most applicable technology. These are complex streams which different characteristics. For example, industrial wastewaters released in the environment having mild pH (~6 - 8), while complex hydrometallurgical leachates are characterized high pH (>12). Therefore, for their application, the sorbents have to be developed to address needs related not only with their sorption features (capacity, kinetics, selectivity) but also to meet requirements related with mechanical and chemical stability.

The PhD aims at the development of 3D structured sorbent materials with innovative composition for the removal of toxic heavy metals or separation and recovery of critical and economically valuable metals from complex liquid streams with pH ranging from neutral to highly alkaline values (>12).

The research will be conducted mainly from powder to structured materials, with focus on structural related aspects (for enhanced sorption properties and material stability under the (harsh) experimental conditions, e. g. high alkalinity) as well as architectural related aspects (enable ease of handling and lowering pressure drop).

For this project, we collaborate with the University of Antwerp (LADCA) on the basis of the granted joint patent on the production of sorbent materials for adsorption of metal oxyanions (e.g. chromates) (WO2019122398).

Collaboration with University of Antwerp
Registration deadline: 21/08/2020

 

PHD POSITION NANOSTRUCTURING THE SURFACE OF POROUS TITANIUM 3D STRUCTURES.

Mol
PhD
Description: 

Within the last decade, porous metals have found their way into many industrial applications. This has been enabled among others by the recent progress made in 3D printing and other additive manufacturing technologies. Biomedical implants for bone replacement, structured catalyst architectures previously impossible to manufacture and a variety of highly designed industrial parts are just some examples.

 

In order to really benefit from the freedom of design, both the structural architecture and the surface characteristics of the 3D material need to be tuned towards the requirements set for a specific application. The interaction of a fluid or a gas within the porous material occurs at its surface and is typically governed by the combination of the chemical nature, morphology, porosity and roughness of the surface. As such, they are of primordial importance for the final performance of the materials.

 

The progress in manufacturing porous metals and the trend towards finer feature sizes of the porous architecture necessitate the development of new ways to change the surface of the porous material. One example of an alternative approach for the conventional wash- or dipcoating could be a chemical treatment like e.g. an alkali treatment. Depending on the process parameters, a wide variety of titanates with different surface morphologies can be formed by reaction with e.g. the titanium metal.

 

As such, this PhD project will explore innovative approaches for tuning the surface characteristics on porous titanium parts which are manufactured by an in-house developed3D micro-extrusion process.

 

Collaboration with University of Antwerp.

Registration deadline: 09/07/2020


PHD POSITION IN XOMICS DATA ANALYSES AND INTEGRATION IN PRECISION HEALTH

Mol
PhD
Description: 
Our established healthcare system is no longer sustainable due to the aging population demographics and the transformation of many fatal disorders into chronic diseases. Preventive healthcare is rising to the challenge of providing early diagnosis and assistance to the risk group populations, effectively allowing individuals to live healthy instead of living with chronic diseases. Within the “I am Frontier” cohort, we are following 30 healthy participants on a monthly basis, which we use to generate different omics data sets including (but not limited to) genomics (Whole Genome Sequencing), epigenetics (Methylation), clinical biomarkers, microbiome, proteomics and metabolomics. Moreover,  we collect information about physiological parameters (heart rate, sleep patterns …) and lifestyle (activity, food intake,stress, ...) via questionnaires and wearables. This data, used in combination with data from a range of disease, profiles allow us to calculate individual risk profiles for a range of diseases.
The aim of this bioinformatics project is to develop new approaches to data integration, analysis and visualization in high-dimensional cross -omics datasets. Beginning with genomics, epigenetics, proteomics, metabolomic and microbiome data generated on samples from the I am cohort, the Ph.D. candidate will develop methods to discover the relationships across these datasets, identify relevant patterns in the data and relate these to available public databases. Moreover, those data can also be correlated to a wide range of clinical parameters as well as data obtained using activity trackers.
We are looking for a highly motivated and scientifically excellent candidate in genomics/bioinformatics background with a problem-solving attitude to work in an international, collegial environment. Strong communication skills complemented with innovative  and analytical thinking are important assets.

Collaboration with University of Hasselt
Registration deadline: 21/08/2020

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