Jose Villa Rodriguez studied for a PhD in Food Biochemistry at the University of Leeds

Jose Villa Rodriguez

Can you briefly describe the area you are researching? 

My research has focused on the identification of bioactive polyphenols that can have an effect on carbohydrate metabolism, particularly at the small intestinal site.

What made you choose a research degree?

I have been involved in research activities since I was studying my first degree and it is something I have been passionate about since the first day.

For me it is very exciting trying to find an answer to different phenomena that surround us. I do not see myself doing anything else. 

What is it that makes you passionate about the subject you study?

As a biotechnologist, I am interested in looking at the chemical reactions that occur at the cellular level and polyphenols are molecules that can intervene in several metabolic pathways.

Therefore, I am particularly interested to study the nature of these reactions and how this can be related with the prevention of diet-related diseases since polyphenols are naturally presented in a wide range of foodstuffs.   

Why did you choose the University of Leeds?

I decided to carry out my PhD studies at the University of Leeds because it is a renowned university in the field of Food Science and Nutrition, specifically on the effects of bioactive polyphenols on health which is one of my deepest research interests.

Furthermore, the head of the research group I am part of is one of the leading researchers in this field worldwide.

How would you describe student life in Leeds?

The life in Leeds is very enjoyable. It possesses a great atmosphere and it is a suitable place for people with different personalities.

If you are someone that enjoys nightlife, you can find a wide variety of pubs and clubs but if you prefer a more cultural and peaceful moment, Leeds has a broad range of theatre and music shows as well.

Something that I really love about living in Leeds is that it is close to the beautiful countryside which is perfect for hiking.

What do you like best about the School of Food Science and Nutrition?

The School of Food Science and Nutrition is recognised for its world leading research activities and It has a very friendly work environment which makes your life as a student very enjoyable.

Furthermore, the School really cares for the development of the students, organising different academic events where students can interact and share ideas.

Finally, the School has an international atmosphere with people from all over the world, making it a rich cultural place.  

What would you say to other students thinking of coming to the University of Leeds?

The University of Leeds as a whole it is a great institution and one of the best in the UK.

As far as the school of food science and nutrition is concerned, I would definitely recommend it for research activities where you would be conducting cutting-edge research in a very friendly atmosphere.