Fully Funded PhD Scholarship in Psychology at the University of Sheffield: When do astrocytes contribute to the control of brain blood flow?

University of Sheffield - Department of Psychology

Fully Funded PhD Scholarship in Psychology at the University of Sheffield

This is one of many projects in competition for the current funding opportunities available within the Department of Psychology

Project title: When do astrocytes contribute to the control of brain blood flow?

Primary supervisor:  Dr C Howarth

Project description: In order that the brain can function normally, it is essential that blood flow within the brain is well matched to neuronal metabolic demand. When neurons are active they send a message to the local vasculature to increase blood flow (a phenomenon called neurovascular coupling) and so increase the supply of nutrients: glucose and oxygen. This increase in blood flow and blood volume is the basis of non-invasive functional imaging signals such as BOLD fMRI. Understanding how different cells are involved in neurovascular coupling is important not only for understanding what functional imaging signals can tell us about the brain but also for helping us to understand what goes wrong in diseases where neurovascular coupling is altered. We will investigate which cells are involved in controlling brain blood flow under various conditions (e.g. in response to increased neuronal activity, in response to a physiological stimulus). Of particular interest are astrocytes, a supporting cell within the brain. Although astrocytes have been shown to modify the diameter of cerebral arterioles, their role in the regulation of brain blood flow in response to neuronal activity remains controversial.

Start date: 1 October 2017

Requirements:  Applicants must have a minimum of a first class or high upper second-class undergraduate honours degree and a distinction or high merit at Masters level in psychology or a related discipline.

For further details and the application process please visit:

http://www.shef.ac.uk/psychology/prospectivepg/funding

Closing date for applications is 5pm Wednesday, 1 February 2017

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Type / Role:

PhD

Location(s):

Northern England