Identifying tau protein regions involved in mediating neuronal vulnerability in Alzheimer’s Disease
Supervisor Dr Lovesha Sivanantharajah ([Email Address Removed])
Host: School of Natural Sciences, Bangor University, Wales, UK
Applications are invited for a three- and half-year fully funded PhD studentship within the School of Natural Sciences at Bangor University (with the possibility of a 6-month extension). The studentship covers the full cost of tuition fees, a maintenance stipend (approx. £16,062 per annum), and a very generous research allowance. The studentship can commence any time between October 2022 and January 2023.
Uncovering why some brain regions are more susceptible than others to tau tangle formation is a critical step towards a better understanding of the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). Using a genetic toolset for targeting gene expression to single neuron types in the Drosophila central nervous system (CNS), we found that the effects of tau on different neuron types were not uniform; rather, they represented a spectrum of responses with some neurons more vulnerable to tau than others. To better understand the mechanisms underlying this vulnerability or resilience to tau, the PhD student will build on these findings to identify the regions of the tau protein important for mediating this response to tau. The PhD student will get the opportunity to gain a variety of multi-disciplinary skills used in neurobiology (e.g., genetics including RNA-interference, immunohistochemistry, molecular techniques, biochemical assays, etc.) whilst working in a highly relevant area of dementia research. Though a framework for the project will be provided, students are invited to add their own stamp reflecting their research interests.
The successful applicant must have a first or upper second-class honours degree in an appropriate subject and preferably a relevant Masters’ qualification. A background in neurobiology is highly desirable but this should not deter candidates who have expertise in other areas but are lacking in neurosciences, as access to training will be provided. Experience in Drosophila husbandry, genetics, molecular biology and cellular biology, and biochemistry is desired but not essential.
Strong work ethic and genuine enthusiasm for research are essential, as is the ability to work both independently and cooperatively.
This studentship covers in full the tuition fees for British citizens and other nationals who do not require a visa (e.g., Europeans with settled status). International candidates are welcome to apply; however, they must first contact Dr Lovesha Sivanantharajah ([Email Address Removed]) to discuss the issue of fees.
Informal enquiries should be directed to Dr Lovesha Sivanantharajah ([Email Address Removed]). Please include your CV and brief summary of your research interests.
How to apply:
must be received by 17 August 2022 through our online application system:
Applications must contain the following documents:
1. Covering letter: Include your motivation for applying for this studentship, aspirations beyond conducting a PhD, and any reasons that you feel you are particularly suited to undertaking this project.
2. References: Include two letters from academic staff to be submitted in support for this specific application.
3. Curriculum Vitae: This should be no longer than two pages.
4. Research Proposal: two pages including a clear description of the research questions, hypotheses, the approach to collecting and analysing data, and a proposed timeline.