|Funding for:||UK Students, EU Students, International Students|
|Funding amount:||From £18,662 annual stipend|
|Hours:||Full Time, Part Time|
|Placed On:||5th September 2023|
|Closes:||1st November 2023|
Characterising a novel neuroimmune pathway to treat neurodegenerative disease. MRC GW4 BioMed DTP PhD studentship 2024/25 Entry, PhD in Clinical & Biomedical Sciences
The GW4 BioMed2 MRC DTP is offering up to 22 funded studentships across a range of biomedical disciplines, with a start date of October 2024.
These four-year studentships provide funding for fees and stipend at the rate set by the UK Research Councils, as well as other research training and support costs, and are available to UK and International students.
About the GW4 BioMed2 Doctoral Training Partnership
The partnership brings together the Universities of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff (lead) and Exeter to develop the next generation of biomedical researchers. Students will have access to the combined research strengths, training expertise and resources of the four research-intensive universities, with opportunities to participate in interdisciplinary and 'team science'. The DTP already has over 90 studentships over 6 cohorts in its first phase, along with 38 students over 2 cohorts in its second phase.
The 80 projects available for application, are aligned to the following themes;
Applications open on 4nd September 2023 and close at 5.00pm on 1st November 2023.
Studentships will be 4 years full time. Part time study is also available.
Research Theme: Neuroscience & Mental Health
Microglia are brain-resident immune cells. Alongside conventional molecular signals, evidence suggests that specific patterns of brain activity can control microglia function. We have found that a type of brain activity activated during cognition (called gamma oscillations) signals to microglia via a receptor subgroup, which may drive a neuroprotective response. This project will uncover how this signalling works to reveal drug targets for neurodegenerative disease
Rationale Microglia are brain-resident immune cells that provide the main form of defence against neuropathology. There is dynamic crosstalk between microglia and neuronal cells that maintains brain homeostasis and coordinates neuroimmune responses. Recent studies have identified a novel form of neuron-microglia communication driven by rhythmic neuronal activity. Communication between neurons generates rhythmic patterns of electrical brain activity, called neuronal oscillations. Studies have revealed that neuronal oscillations around 40 Hz – called gamma oscillations – generate a signal that regulates microglia function (PMID: 31076275). Specifically, gamma oscillations induce a homeostatic and neuroprotective immune response linked to enhanced microglia surveillance and phagocytosis that can clear pathological proteins (like amyloid-β) in mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) (PMID: 27929004). This is important because impaired gamma oscillations and abnormal microglia function are a feature of neurodegenerative diseases like AD, thereby raising the tantalising possibility that these diseases could be treated by triggering Gamma-Activity Induced Neuron-microglia Signalling (herein, GAINS).
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