The Universitat Rovira i Virgili, in collaboration with the research institutions affiliated to the Campus of International Excellence Southern Catalonia (CEICS), is launching the Martí i Franquès research grants programme, a public-private cooperation designed to attract highly talented doctoral students and postdoctoral researchers to work on exciting research projects.
This programme honours the scientist Antoni Martí i Franquès (Altafulla, 1750 Tarragona, 1832), who made remarkable contributions not only to the fields of biology, physics and chemistry, but also to the economic development of Southern Catalonia.
He was the first scientist to accurately establish the composition of air.
SPECIFIC POSITION OFFER 2020PMF-PIPF-39
A large number of studies suggest that the gut microbiota can influence the brain, cognition and behavior of the patients, and also modulate brain plasticity, modifying brain chemistry via various mechanisms like neural, immune and endocrine.
Within these last two years some studies have showed differences in the microbiota of the AD (Alzheimer’s Disease) patients from healthy controls.
In this sense, increasing number of studies, most of them in animal models, support the notion that probiotics have significant benefit in maintaining homeostasis of the CNS (Central Nervous System).
And recent studies try to replicate this finding in AD patients with controversial results. The main objective of DEM-BIOTA is to improve the knowledge of the relationship between microbiota and dementia.
DEM-BIOTA will explore the microbiota differences between dementias (AD, LBD : Parkinson disease and LewyBody Dementia and FTD (Fronto-Temporal Dementia)-behavioral variant, also in Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), (to study the progression of the disease) in our context (Mediterranean diet and lifestyle) and characterize them in relation to neurocognitive and neuropsychiatric symptoms as well as patient functionality (dependency level).
Moreover, we will study the capacity of a probiotic compound in reverting or improving neurocognitive and neuropsychiatric symptoms and patient functionality in a sample of AD patients.
This objective will be achieved through a multidisciplinary study considering microbiota composition and deep study of the dementia symptoms taking into account the personal characteristics of each patient.
The final issue is to draw a relational map about the microbiota composition and dementia symptoms and the identification of the microbiota strains that are a risk factor of produce a deficit in metabolites.
The project proposes to finally study how can a probiotic mixture improve AD symptoms, and study in deep the microbiota composition changes along with the changes (or not) of dementia symptoms The impact of DEM-BIOTA project to society and economy will be especially important, if it is possible to revert (or at least improve) cognitive, neuropsychiatric and functional problems in dementia patients.
If we can delay the symptoms treating the gut microbiota, with a minimum investment we will obtain huge results in health, society and economic areas.
The results of this project are potential solutions to the 1st societal challenge. This project will have interesting areas of continuance.
Required Research Experiences
Skills / Qualifications
In general, be in possession of an official undergraduate degree, or equivalent, and of a master degree, and have passed a minimum of 300 ECTS credits during the course of their official university studies, of which at least 60 must be master s degree credits