Postdoc Fellow, The Digestion and Nutrient Uptake Kinetics of Dietary Components

Palmerston North, New Zealand
01 Mar 2018
End of advertisement period
25 Mar 2018
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

RAE - Riddet Core, Research, Academic and Enterprise
Palmerston North

The Riddet Institute is a world-best research centre in nutrition, digestive physiology and food sciences, providing fundamental scientific understanding and training for a new generation of science leaders. The Institute integrates partner organisations (Massey University (host), Auckland and Otago Universities, AgResearch and Plant and Food Research) leading a 'NZ Inc' approach to research, and generates knowledge and capability that transforms the New Zealand agri-food industry.

We are seeking a high-achieving researcher to undertake postdoctoral research as part of the Riddet Institute CoRE programme. This project is in digestive physiology and nutrient uptake kinetics, with a particular focus on protein digestion and amino acid metabolism. The Postdoctoral Fellow will form part of a multidisciplinary team in nutrition and digestive physiology, and the kinetics of nutrient uptake from food by the human body. There will be a particular, but not exclusive focus on protein digestion in the gastrointestinal tract and amino acid metabolism by the human body. Research will involve both pre-clinical animal models like the pig and clinical nutrition research with human cohorts.

Main supervisor: Professor Warren McNabb, Riddet Institute, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand.

Other Supervisors: Professor Paul Moughan, Riddet Institute, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand.

The project will develop new understanding of the complex interactions between the structural aspects of the components of food like proteins on their digestion and subsequent absorption of nutrients and their metabolism by the human. This will include the additional complexity of considering different foods as sources of key nutrients like protein when consumed as a meal. The focus of the project is to assess the effect of interactions on gut physio-chemistry, digestion and absorption kinetics of key nutrients like amino acids.

Techniques such as isotopic labelling, in vitro/ex vivo digestion and fermentation models, a gut-cannulated, blood-vessel-catheterised pig model and human nutritional trials will be used. This will enable us to study the effects of dietary components on stomach and intestinal digesta properties, transit-times, the kinetics of nutrient uptake, endogenous protein flows, plasma metabolite metabolism and satiety-related hormones.

The successful candidate will have completed a PhD in nutrition, digestive physiology or related disciplines with preference given to someone with expertise in digestive physiology and the kinetics of nutrient uptake.

The salary will depend on experience but will be in the range for Postdoctoral Fellows at Massey University, with appointment for an initial term of two years.

Your application should include:

  1. a copy of your CV
  2. a statement of your research interests and goals
  3. the names of at least two referees
  4. your university transcripts and
  5. a covering letter that describes why you are the best candidate for the appointment.

Please upload your application to the following website:

If you have questions about the position, please email

Closing date: 25 March 2018
Reference number: A053-18CA

For further information and to apply online, visit: