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DCS PhD Spotlight sessions 2022

As a consequence of the Covid pandemic, most of the scientific conferences and events have followed a short online format with few keynote talks in the program. While this has still allowed professionals and renowned scientific speakers to share their research, PhD students had less opportunities to present their work and get valuable feedback from the scientific community during their first steps in academia.

As it will still take some time to get back to the pre-pandemic situation in international traveling and face to face events, The Dutch Chemometrics Society would like to provide PhD students a platform to share their research around Chemometrics and related disciplines.

For this reason we are excited to announce the new DCS PhD Spotlight sessions, a series of free online seminars where PhD students will present their work.

The first Spotlight session will held on-line Friday April the 1st from 12:30-13:30 CET.


  • Talk 1: Data integration of oral microbiome and metabolome data using PARAFAC, by Roel van der Ploeg (Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences, University of Amsterdam)
    • Summary: Dental plaque is a biofilm and an important indicator of oral health. Its formation is caused by the establishment of a local bacterial community that connects to the tooth surface using physico-chemical interactions. If not removed by good brushing, dental plaque can accumulate and mature, thus leading to the development of gingivitis: inflammation of the gums. In some people, the development of gingivitis goes much faster and to a greater severity than in others. However, not much is known about the link between gingivitis severity and the oral microbiome and metabolome. A cohort of 41 individuals were subjected to a two-week gingivitis intervention, in which they were not allowed to brush their teeth. Microbiome samples were taken at multiple sites in the mouth, before, during, and after the intervention period. Metabolome samples were collected from saliva only during the intervention period. Hence we have obtained two multiway datasets with modes in the individual, measured variable, and time directions. In this study, we aim to connect the microbiome and metabolome by searching for common patterns using PARAFAC, a multiway decomposition method. PARAFAC decomposes a dataset into components with a loading vector for each mode. By comparing these components between the microbiome and metabolome data blocks, we can search for commonalities for example in the time profile loading. This way we aim to find connections between microbial species and metabolites that show a similar response to the gingivitis intervention over time.
  • Talk 2: Human milk proteins and allergy of mother and child: exploring differences at the univariate and network level, by Pieter Dekker (Department of Agrotechnology and Food Sciences, Wageningen University and Research) 
    • Summary: The human milk proteome comprises a vast amount of proteins with immunomodulatory functions, but it is not clear how this relates to an allergy of the mother or allergy development in the breastfed infant. In this study, we aimed to explore the relation between the human milk proteome and allergy of both mother and infant. We analyzed proteins in a selection of 300 human milk samples from the Canadian CHILD Cohort Study. In the analysis of the data, univariate, multivariate, and network analyses were employed to explore relations between the different groups of allergy statuses.

The session will be streamed online via Zoom platform, will last around 1 hour, and is free of charge. You do not need to register for this event. The Zoom link f will be shared the same day of the event via e-mail to all those who are subscribed to the Dutch Chemometrics Society mailing list. You can subscribe to the DCS mailing list here.

If you are a PhD student and want to present your work or if you are PhD supervisor and you think one of your student may be interested feel free to send us an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We hope you will join and help us put PhD students in the Spotlight again!