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NSERC Undergraduate Summer Research Awards (USRA)        2019

NSERC USRA Opportunities with the Yang group

Area of Research

Animals provide the main source of dietary protein worldwide. The sustainability of this industry is challenged by antibiotic resistance in livestock. Regulatory actions to reduce or eliminate the use of antibiotics in livestock feeds are being considered in Canada and worldwide. However, withdrawal of antibiotics from feeds can result in a number of challenges including compromised gut health and a rise in gut diseases. Therefore, research is imperative to develop antibiotic alternatives that can improve gut health and reduce gut diseases. My research team is to set up a livestock nutritional biochemistry research platform to address gut health issues in livestock and validate alternatives to antibiotics that will support sustainable livestock production.  Students get to interact with a large team of scientists and technical specialists as part of my various research networks including the Manitoba Pork Council, Jefo Nutrition Inc., Manitoba Egg Farmers and Egg Farmers of Canada. More information can be found at

Available Projects

Up to three USRA positions are available to assist in the following projects:

  1. Lipid matrix microencapsulation for effective delivery of essential oils to improve gut health in pigs (NSERC CRD): The project is to investigate the potential effects of microencapsulated essential oils and organic acids with an optimized lipid matrix for improving gut health in weaning pigs.

  2. Gut chemosensing and the regulation of nutrient absorption and barrier function in pigs. (NSERC Discovery): The objective is to investigate the molecular mechanisms of gut chemosensing and the regulation of nutrient absorption and gut health in animals under physiological and challenging conditions.


  1. Strong academic background in animal science, biochemistry, nutrition, molecular biology, or cellular biology.

  2. Special consideration will be given to those candidates with farm experience.


January 2019. For a complete listing of NSERC USRA eligibility criteria, please see:

If you are interested in this opportunity, please contact Chengbo Yang at

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