Deadline: 2018-01-31

Research Assistant-PHD Studentship



It has been demonstrated that lactoferrin (LF) plays an important role in iron homeostasis (Frazer et aL, 2011), cell growth and cell differentiation (Bi et al., 2010), resistance against microbial infections (Atef Yekta et al., 2010), protection against viral infections (Wakabayashi et al., 2014) and has an anti-inflammatory effect (Actor et al., 2009). We showed inhibition of growth of E. coli O157:H7 strains as well as inhibitiono of their adhesion to epithelial cells (Atef Yekta et al., 2010). Besides, we demonstrated in sheep and cattle that LT modulates the host immune system. This was evidenced by increased expression of genes involved in immune stimulation and a decreased expression of genes involved in immunosuppression (Kieckens et al., 2016). In addition, increased antibody responses were observed following treatment with LF. The aim of the present research proposal is to examine if similar effects can be demonstrated in pigs. Hereto, in vitro studies will be performed using porcine primary cells and cell lines to demonstrate effects of LF on interaction of these cells with F4 enterotoxigenic E. coli and F18 verotoxigenic E. coli and analyze gene expression and cytokine responses.

Ghent University. Valorisation is an important aim of this research and translation of data towards the field will be one of the outcomes. You will have the possibility to work in different labs and work together with top researchers. This is currently reflected in our number one position in the Shangai global ranking within the subject of Veterinary Sciences.

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Profile of the candidate

You hold a master degree in Veterinary Medicine or in Bioscience Engineering.

You have experience with working with animals.

How to apply

Send your CV and motivation letter to Prof. Dr. Eric Cox: eric.cox@ugent.be

This vacancy can be closed early, if a qualified candidate is found before closing date (31/01/2018)