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Glial cells in nervous system development and regeneration in the fruit-fly Drosophila

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

Looking for keen PhD students to search for the molecular mechanisms underlying glial function in repair and regeneration in the nervous system using the fruit-fly Drosophila as a model organism. The involvement and functions of glial cells in normal brain development, upon genetic alterations and injury, and in repair and regeneration will be investigated. We have discovered a gene network that promotes glial regeneration and central nervous system repair upon injury in the fly (Kato et al 2011 PLoS Biology 9, e1001133; Kato & Hidalgo 2013 JoVE; Losada-Perez et al 2016 J Cell Bilogy; Hidalgo and Logan 2017 Current Opinion in Neurobiology). Using these discoveries as starting point, the project will search for molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying interactions between neurons and glial cells, repair and regeneration in the central nervous system of Drosophila. We use the fruit-fly because of its powerful genetics and the opportunity to investigate regeneration and repair, whilst manipulating neuronal activity using modern optogenetic tools. This research project falls within the areas of genetics, developmental biology and neuroscience. The techniques that you will use will include cutting edge genetics, molecular biology, cell culture, in vivo confocal microscopy in fixed specimens and in time-lapse, imaging, optogenetics and behavioural assays.

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Please find additional funding text below. For further funding details, please see the ‘Funding’ section.
The School of Biosciences offers a number of UK Research Council (e.g. BBSRC, NERC) PhD studentships each year. Each year we also have a number of fully funded Darwin Trust Scholarships.

Funding Notes

All applicants should indicate in their applications how they intend to fund their studies. We have a thriving community of international PhD students and encourage applications at any time from students able to find their own funding or who wish to apply for their own funding (e.g. Commonwealth Scholarship, Islamic Development Bank).

The postgraduate funding database provides further information on funding opportunities available View Website and further information is also available on the School of Biosciences website View Website


Kato et al 2011 PLoS Biology 9, e1001133;
Kato & Hidalgo 2013 JoVE;
Losada-Perez et al 2016 J Cell Biology;
Hidalgo and Logan 2017 Current Opinion in Neurobiology

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

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