Research Associate in Nutritional Epigenetic Epidemiology

Bristol, United Kingdom
28 Jun 2018
End of advertisement period
29 Jul 2018
Contract Type
Full Time

This post offers an excellent opportunity for a talented epigenetic epidemiologist to join the MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit within the Department of Population Health Sciences in the Bristol Medical School, University of Bristol, one of the leading centres for Epidemiology in the UK.

The rising prevalence of obesity, cardiometabolic disease, asthma, osteoporosis and neurodevelopmental disorders over recent decades cannot be fully explained by genetic or adult lifestyle factors. Increasing evidence suggests early life exposure to environmental factors influences offspring health; therefore, maternal diet during pregnancy is a modifiable behaviour that could impact on maternal, neonatal and child health.

To advance the state-of-the-art, a European consortium called ALPHABET (“Early life programming of childhood health: a nutritional and epigenetic investigation of adiposity and bone, cardiometabolic, neurodevelopmental and respiratory health ”) was formed to investigate the complex relationships between maternal diet (defined by dietary quality and a novel index of dietary inflammatory potential), offspring health outcomes (including adiposity, bone, cardiometabolic, respiratory and neurodevelopmental health) and epigenetic patterns (DNA methylation) from birth throughout childhood. Members represent several prominent European longitudinal birth cohorts and studies including ALSPAC, Generation R, Southampton Women’s Survey, EDEN mother-child cohort study, The Polish Mother and Child Cohort, Lifeways Cross-Generation Cohort Study, the ROLO study and the PEARS study. The post-holder will represent ALSPAC and lead consortium analysis of DNA methylation associations with dietary exposures and health outcomes and, where possible, investigate causal relationships using Mendelian randomization.

ALPHABET work at the University of Bristol is funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.

The successful applicant will have a PhD (or equivalent research experience) in Epigenetic Epidemiology, Statistical Genetics or a related quantitative discipline and a track record of research, including the analysis of high-dimensional data, published in high impact journals. They will ideally also have experience analysing and interpreting associations with diet diaries and food frequency questionnaires.

The University is committed to creating and sustaining a fully inclusive culture.  We welcome applicants from all backgrounds and communities.

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