Phd Student: Disruption Of The Circadian Clock Induces Metabolic Disorders
KU Leuven Translational Research of Gastroenterological Diseases

Phd Student: Disruption Of The Circadian Clock Induces Metabolic Disorders


TARGID is an internationally recognized research center that strives to conduct multidisciplinary research in a challenging and high-quality scientific environment. One of the objectives of TARGID is to provide insight into the physiological and pathophysiological mechanisms involved in food intake control with the aim of identifying new therapeutic targets. The Laboratory for Gastrointestinal Hormones is investigating how disturbance of the circardian clock by shift work and chronic jet-lag promotes the development of metabolic disorders. To this end, preclinical and clinical expertise is combined with the latest technology to deliver top quality research in an environment that promotes mutual interaction between fundamental and clinical researchers.

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Food intake and different bowel functions are rhythmically regulated by the circadian clock to ensure that the physiological processes take place at the optimum time of the day. Disruption of the circadian system (for example due to shift work or chronic jet lag, obesity) leads to desynchronization of the body clocks and favors the development of various metabolic diseases. The gastrointestinal tract has a powerful circadian clock that regulates the process of food digestion. Metabolites produced by the microbiota regulate chronobiological functions in the host. In chrono-disruption, the metabolites communicate the disturbed rhythm to peripheral tissues and influence the rhythmicity of tissue-specific genes to induce disease. The objective of this project is to investigate how chrono-disruption induced by jet lag in mice or during night nursing, influence the rhythmic functions in the gut or fat tissue and induce disturbance in energy homeostasis. Moreover, we wish to investigate whether timed supplementation with prebiotic fibers in night nurses can restore the clock disturbance. This project will emphasize the importance of chrononutrition for the treatment of health problems in people with disturbed rhythm.



· You have a master's degree in bioengineering sciences, pharmaceutical sciences, biomedical sciences, biochemistry, biology or medicine


· You have a strong academic track record from bachelor to master


· You have good oral and written communication skills and you have a good knowledge of English


· You are highly motivated, ambitious, inventive and have a long-term vision


· You can take on responsibilities and work independently


· You are a team player and you look forward to working with an international team of scientists



We offer a PhD position in an internationally recognized research center to conduct fundamental research with clinical relevance in a multidisciplinary team of scientists, clinicians and engineers using top technology.



Send your curriculum vitae directly to Prof. dr. Inge Depoortere,, or via the job site of the KU Leuven


You can apply for this vacancy up to and including 15/06/2019 via our online application application

KU Leuven wants to create an environment in which all talents can develop to the maximum, regardless of gender, age, cultural origin, nationality or disability. If you have any questions regarding accessibility or support options, you can contact us via

If you apply for this position please say you saw it on Medicinoxy


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