|Funding for:||UK Students, EU Students|
|Placed On:||17th July 2019|
|Closes:||31st August 2019|
Supervisors: Dr. Evangelos Delivopoulos, Dr. Nandini Vasudevan, Prof. Slawomir Nasuto
Project Overview: Billions of interconnected neurons communicate electrically and form activity patterns in a critical state, finely balanced between order and chaos. Criticality is believed to underlie encoding and transferring of information, so it is a fundamental property enabling information processing in the brain but it can be disrupted when a traumatic event, such as an ischemic stroke, occurs. On the other hand, evidence has shown that specific biomolecules, such as oestrogen, can be neuroprotective, during traumatic events.
In this project, we will examine how oestrogen can salvage neuronal network activity, under neurodegenerative conditions. We will culture in vitro neural networks on multi-electrode arrays (MEA) and chemically treat them to emulate brain pathology. We will then examine how the structure of the neural networks (synaptic connections) and their activity patterns change under different conditions and investigate the neuroprotective effects of oestrogen. The project will conclude with the proposition of a model that links the transition of neural activity between critical and noncritical states and the mechanism of action of oestrogen. Our long term aim is to identify new strategies for the pharmacological treatment of stroke and other neurodegenerative conditions, harnessing oestrogen’s neuroprotective action.
The successful student will receive training in stem cell differentiation, immunocytochemistry, PCR, confocal microscopy and multi-electrode array recordings. They will also be supported by an interdisciplinary team of supervisors, with expertise in neural engineering, cell characterization techniques and modelling of neural network dynamics and oestrogen pathways. The studentship also benefits from an annual allowance that supports conference attendance and external training for the successful candidate.
How to apply:
To apply for this studentship please submit an application for a PhD in Biomedical Engineering at www.reading.ac.uk/graduateschool/prospectivestudents/gs-how-to-apply.aspx.
Please make sure to include a CV and a cover letter, explaining how your skillset aligns with this research position.
Application Deadline: 31st August 2019
Please note that, where a candidate is successful in being awarded funding, this will be confirmed via a formal studentship award letter; this will be provided separately from any Offer of Admission and will be subject to standard checks for eligibility and other criteria.
For further details please contact Dr. Evangelos Delivopoulos, email: email@example.com, tel: 0118 3788615,
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