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(BBSRC DTP) Uncovering the mechanism(s) responsible for a novel neurite co-orientation process

Project Description

How do neurons decide where to grow? Although there is evidence for the role of growth factors (diffusible or bound) as well as electrical activity, the specific mechanism remains elusive. Recently, a rather striking observation was reported involving the co-oriented outgrowth of explanted neural tissue. The halo of neurites extending from these explants was found to be asymmetric with the longest neurites from neighbouring explants extending in the same direction. A global field effect, such as gravity, does not account for this. Remaining possibilities include a diffusion gradient of some type (unlikely but not completely excluded) or electric field communication. The successful applicant will embark on solving this mystery by first learning to successfully establish neural explant cultures and then probing their potential electrical activity using state-of-the-art electrophysiological methods. The project will allow the applicant to examine whether this phenomenon, originally discovered in chick explants, occurs in diverse species (including mouse and fruit flies), and potentially uncover common fundamental mechanism(s) responsible.

Entry Requirements:
Applications are invited from UK/EU nationals only. Applicants must have obtained, or be about to obtain, at least an upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject.

Funding Notes

This project is to be funded under the BBSRC Doctoral Training Partnership. If you are interested in this project, please make direct contact with the Principal Supervisor to arrange to discuss the project further as soon as possible. You MUST also submit an online application form - full details on how to apply can be found on the BBSRC DTP website View Website

As an equal opportunities institution we welcome applicants from all sections of the community regardless of gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation and transgender status. All appointments are made on merit.

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