Biomarkers of maternal and early life nutrition and childhood health at COPSAC, Gentofte Hospital

Biomarkers of maternal and early life nutrition and childhood health

We seek a master student with a key interest in clinical nutrition, dietary intake biomarkers, early life development and data analysis. You will join a team with a multidisciplinary background at Copenhagen Prospective Studies on Asthma in Childhood (COPSAC).


Pregnancy exposures during prenatal development such as maternal diet or micronutrient status plays an important role in development of chronic diseases. We have recently demonstrated that fish oil supplementation during pregnancy decreases the risk of childhood asthma. One of the major challenges in clinical research is unbiased assessment of dietary intake. Classical methods of dietary assessment using food frequency questionnaires and food intake diaries usually provide subjective measurement compared to dietary intake biomarkers. In recent years metabolic profiling has led to discovery of new biomarkers of nutritional exposure and status. Dietary intake biomarkers can be used potentially alone and/or in combination with paper based assessment methods to explore the link between nutritional status and disease.


We aim to identify the dietary components of the mother during pregnancy and child during early life which may influence the prognosis of chronic diseases. For this purpose, we would like to identify the biomarkers of dietary intake within metabolite measurements from COPSAC children and mothers. Finally, we would like to know if we can use biomarkers to assess a child's health. Findings from this project will potentially contribute to nutritional recommendations during early life and pregnancy for the health of the child. The ambition is to get the results or part of the results published.

Competences you will gain experience on

  • working with big data i.e. metabolomics from a longitudinal birth cohort.
  • statistical analysis and programming for linking the nutritional status to clinical end points.
  • working as a part of a multidisciplinary clinical research environment and get familiar with other -omics (e.g. genomics, microbiome, registry)

We are looking for a motivated candidate who is interested in clinical nutrition and statistics. Some basic knowledge on R or a similar programming language is preferred but not a requirement. The project will take place in COPSAC, Ledreborg Alle 34, 2820 Gentofte.

Please contact Gözde Gürdeniz if you have further questions.

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