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Fully Funded PhD Scholarship: Developing the next generation of neural stimulation devices.


Project Description

RMIT University and the Bionics Institute invite applications from highly motivated individuals to complete a PhD in the field of medical bionics.

The aim of this project is to develop the next generation of neural stimulation devices that use optical stimulation or combined optical/electrical stimulation in order to improve the precision of neural activation. The project will use cutting edge optogenetic techniques to express a light sensitive ion channel in neurons so that they can be activated with low-powered blue micro-LEDs. Electrophysiological recordings will be used to examine whether optical stimulation strategies can improve the spatial precision of neural activation. A significant advantage of improved precision of stimulation of the auditory nerve, for example, would be the ability to stimulate independent channels that would greatly enrich the auditory percept from a cochlear implant, such as the ability to perceive music.

The methods that will be used in this project include: electrophysiology, viral gene therapy, surgical device implantation, optical/electrical stimulation, optical modelling, cell culture, histology, immunohistochemistry, and behavioural testing.

The Bionics Institute [http://www.bionicsinstitute.org/] offers a unique, vibrant, and multidisciplinary research environment in which experience and skills can be attained across research areas related to improved technology for hearing, vision (bionic eyes), and neurological disorders (e.g. deep brain stimulation for movement disorders), and all in the heart of Melbourne, Australia.

Funding Notes

We are looking for talented and enthusiastic applicants with first class honours or equivalent in any of the following disciplines: neuroscience, physiology, biomedical engineering, or similar degrees. Electrophysiology and cell culture skills are desirable.
This scholarship is fully funded, details are available on the RMIT Website [View Website]
Expressions of interest or queries can be sent to our Student Enquiries email:

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