PhD Studentship Intervention study to assess the effect of consumption of carrot & parsnip on human biomarkers of chronic disease risk

Reference Code: AG014


Name of the supervisors
Dr K Brandt, School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, Newcastle University

Dr S Haldar, University of East Anglia

Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB)

Duration of the award
Three years

Project description
The main part of the PhD project is a human intervention trial to measure the effect of consumption of carrot and parsnip on biomarkers for cancer and inflammatory diseases. The student will plan and conduct the trial, analyse samples (of both vegetables and human blood) and assess and publish the results. Laboratory studies have shown that polyacetylenes, phytochemicals found mainly in carrots and parsnips, have beneficial effects on cell culture models of inflammation and cancer, and observational studies have found a negative correlation between consumption of carrots and the risk of cancer. For cancer risk a well-known biomarker is measurement of damage to DNA in lymphocytes from blood samples (the comet assay), while other health aspects such as inflammation can be assessed by other biomarkers.

The student will join the Human Nutrition Research Centre and give regular presentations at relevant events, including the International Carrot Conference.

Value of the award and eligibility
The award covers tuition fees at the UK/EU rate and an annual stipend of £13,726 (2013/14).

Person specification
A good BSc or MSc or corresponding qualification is required, in human nutrition, medicine or a related subject.

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How to apply
To apply, you must complete the University’s online postgraduate application form on selecting ‘PhD School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development – Food & Nutrition’ as the programme of study. Once you have selected the programme, please insert the studentship/partnership reference number AG014. Only mandatory fields need to be completed (no personal statement or research proposal is required) but you must attach a covering letter, a copy of your CV, and (if English is not your first language) a copy of your English language qualifications. The covering letter (short application) must quote the title of the studentship and reference number AG014 and state how your interests and experience relate to the project.

You should also send your covering letter and CV to Dr K Brandt at

Closing date for applications
Prompt application is advised as this studentship is only available until a suitable candidate is identified.

Further information
For further details, including arrangements regarding the interview, please contact:

Dr K Brandt
Telephone: 44 (0) 191 222 5852

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