Coventry University Featured PhD Programmes
University College London Featured PhD Programmes
University of Bristol Featured PhD Programmes
University of Sussex Featured PhD Programmes
University of East Anglia Featured PhD Programmes

Discovering molecular genetic mechanisms of central nervous system regeneration

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Awaiting Funding Decision/Possible External Funding
    Awaiting Funding Decision/Possible External Funding

Project Description

Is it possible to promote regeneration of the central nervous system after injury, damage or disease? During normal development, neutrons and glia interact to coordinate the generations of neutrons and glia, and direct cell migration patterns, axonal navigation, dendritic arborisation and the emergence of neural circuits. Neuron-glia interactions ensure that the two interacting cell populations in the CNS - neutrons and glia - are produced in the right numbers to deliver normal behaviour. Perhaps after injury or disease, the CNS is or could be reset to a developmental stage enabling cells to re-do again those functions as they did in early development. Thus, directing neuron-glia interactions might be a way to promote CNS regeneration and repair. This presents however important challenges, such as the fact that cellular distances to be travelled in an adult CNS are much greater than in development, it is unclear where new neurons would emerge from, that newly generated neutrons need to integrate into functional neural circuits to contribute to the recovery of behaviour, and whether time itself constraints the regenerative potential of cells. We are addressing all of these and similar questions to discover how to promote regeneration in the damaged CNS using genetics.


Objective: To investigate the molecular and genetic basis of central nervous system regeneration.

Methods: We will use the fruit-fly Drosophila as a model organism. We will use a combination of genetics, molecular cell biology including CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing technology and transgenesis, microscopy, including laser scanning confocal microscopy and calcium imaging of neuronal activity in time-lapse, computational imaging approaches for analysis of images and movies, stimulating and inhibiting neuronal function in vivo using optogenetics and thermogenetics, and recording and analysing fruit-fly behaviour. Ultimately, the findings from our research will have implications beyond Drosophila, with an impact also in understanding how any brain works, in health, injury or disease, including the human brain.

Funding Notes

Self-funded students are welcome to apply. For EU/UK nationals, please apply via the MIBTP programme. For international applicants, funding opportunities via national scholarships will be explored.
Either way, please contact Prof Alicia Hidalgo directly at :

And please submit an official application online following the link below.

References

http://www.biosciences-labs.bham.ac.uk/hidalgo/Alicia_Hidalgo_Lab_Home.html

Kato K, Losada-Perez M, Hidalgo A (2018) The gene network underlying the glial regenerative response to central nervous system injury. Developmental Dynamics DOI 10.1002/dvdy.24565

Hidalgo A and Logan A (2017) Go and stop signals for glial regeneration. Current Opinion in Neurobiology 47, 182-187

Losada-Perez, Harrison, Hidalgo (2016) Molecular mechanism of central nervous system repair by the Drosophila NG2 homologue kon-tiki. Journal of Cell Biology 214 (5) 587-601.

Kato K, Forero MG, Fenton JC and Hidalgo A (2011) The glial regenerative response to central nervous system injury is enabled by Pros-Notch and Pros-NFkB feedback. PLoS Biology 9: e1001133

How good is research at University of Birmingham in Biological Sciences?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 42.80

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

Email Now

Insert previous message below for editing? 
You haven’t included a message. Providing a specific message means universities will take your enquiry more seriously and helps them provide the information you need.
Why not add a message here
* required field
Send a copy to me for my own records.

Your enquiry has been emailed successfully





FindAPhD. Copyright 2005-2019
All rights reserved.