The four-year European Joint Doctorate in Molecular Animal Nutrition (MANNA) is a partnership between academic and industrial institutions in the UK, Italy, Germany, Spain, Croatia, the Slovak Republic, Belgium and France. The network will be run from Glasgow’s Institute for Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine (IBAHCM).
The MANNA programme will offer research and career development opportunities to 11 specially-selected young animal and veterinary scientists, called early stage researchers, to give them the chance to perform top-level and high impact research through mentorship by some of Europe’s leading academic and industrial scientists. Each researcher will be supervised by two of the universities in the consortium and will graduate with a PhD degree from both universities, a Double Degree.
The researchers will acquire in-depth experience in animal and veterinary sciences, proteomics, metabolomics, genomics and bioinformatics including statistical and computational approaches as well as wider management and communication skills such as intellectual property, gender issues, research integrity, entrepreneurship, emotional intelligence and how to communicate clearly.
The research is led by David Eckersall, Professor of Veterinary Biochemistry at IBAHCM who said: “The MANNA project will enable the application of advanced analytical technologies of proteomics, metabolomics and genomics to be applied to the study of animal nutrition in order to improve animal health and welfare.
“These technologies have brought major benefit to the study of human biology but proteomics and metabolomics in particular have had limited applications in animal science.
“There is tremendous scope for this approach, especially when allied with investigations in nutrition which are designed to improve the diet of animals in order to improve their health and welfare during production. For example, we will be assessing the benefits of including probiotics, anti-oxidants and immune-modulators to improve the natural defenses against infection and, in so doing, reduce the use of anti-microbials in farming. This will aid in reducing anti-microbial resistance.”