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Biological Rhythms and Neuronal Pharmacology


   School of Pharmacy (Medway Campus)


About the Project

We are pleased to offer the opportunity for a self-funded PhD student to join our research teams within the School of Pharmacy, University of Kent and the Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Oxford. The research aims of this project are to explore the role of potassium channels, in particular TRESK and TASK3, in regulating and maintaining circadian rhythms in mammals.

Circadian rhythms form a vital part of our everyday lives and are essential for homeostatic regulation of mammalian body systems and are heavily influences by our day-night cycles. These rhythms range from key physiological cellular systems to higher-level behavioural patterns, examples include hormonal rhythms (e.g. melatonin) sleep-wake cycles and mental alertness. Such inherent biological rhythms are regulated by a neuronal cell autonomous circadian pacemaker located in the hypothalamic region of the mammalian brain which receives environmental light information form specialised photoreceptive cells located within the retina of the mammalian eye. Deficits in the regulatory mechanisms of this mammalian clock can result in a number of clinical disorders such as, seasonal affective disorder (S.A.D), depression and onset of cancer. This studentship will focus on understanding the role played by basal potassium conductance at the level of the retina through to the circadian clock, in mammals. The project will involve the use of novel transgenic mouse lines and both behavioural and physiological experimental techniques. The successful candidate will spend time at the Universities of Kent and Oxford, benefiting from the research environment provided by each institution.

Informal enquires should be made to Dr. Gurprit Lall (; Tel: +44 (0)1634 202964), Prof. Zameel Cader () Applications should be in the form of a full C.V. and covering letter either emailed or sent to Dr.Gurprit Lall, Medway School of Pharmacy, University of Kent, Anson Building, Central Avenue, Chatham, Kent, ME4 4TB.

Entry requirements:

Applicants should have or expect to obtain a first or upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate subject and a Masters (at Merit or above) in Pharmaceutical Science or closely related subject.

How to Apply:

To apply please go to https://msp.ac.uk/postgraduate/?course_id=785&course_level=postgraduate

You will need to apply through the online application form on the main University website. Please note that you will be expected to provide personal details, education and employment history and supporting documentation (curriculum vitae, transcript of results, two academic references). You are not required to submit a research proposal.

We welcome applications from people with disabilities and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds.

Funding Notes

This project is a self-funded opportunity available to both Home/EU and International students.

Applicant must have access to funding to cover tuition fees, living costs and any related project costs (i.e. bench fees).

References

T. Lalic, A. Steponenaite, L. Wei, S. Vasudevan, A. Mathie, S. Peirson, G. Lall, and M. Cader, “TRESK is a key regulator of nocturnal suprachiasmatic nucleus dynamics and light adaptive responses”, Nature Communications, vol. 11. Nature, 2020 [Online]. Available: https://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-17978-9

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