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Investigating the role of CD4+ T cells in CNS remyelination


   School of Medicine, Dentistry & Biomedical Sciences

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  Prof D Fitzgerald, Dr A Kissenpfennig  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

Remyelination is a natural regenerative process that replaces damaged myelin to maintain insulation and protection of long axons. This process frequently fails in demyelinating diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and there are no therapeutics available to restore this process. Consequently, patients frequently suffer from neurological impairments such as vision loss, paralysis and cognitive impairment. CD4+ T cells have been shown to support CNS repair however their role in remyelination has received little attention. One study showed that remyelination is impaired in the absence of CD4+ T cells. However, since then our understanding of CD4+ T cell subsets has expanded dramatically to include a wide range of subsets that are functionally diverse. We hypothesise that CD4+ T cell subsets exert differential effects on CNS remyelination. To test this we have developed a novel organotypic brain slice (OBS) model of remyelination. In this study we will test the effect of different T cell subsets on remyelinating OBS in 3-D using a novel algorithm we have developed. We will increase the complexity of our technology by co-culturing remyelinating OBS with CNS antigen-specific T cells of each subset. Together, these studies will provide insight to the influence of T cells in CNS repair.

Funding Notes

DEL Research Studentships

Eligibility for both fees and maintenance (£13,590 in 2011/12) depends on the applicants being either an ordinary UK resident or those EU residents who have lived permanently in the UK for the 3 years immediately preceding the start of the studentship. Non UK residents who hold EU residency may also apply but if successful may receive fees only.

For further details re eligibility criteria (including academic, citizenship and residency criteria) please click on the following link: www.delni.gov.uk/postgraduate-studentships-terms-and-conditions-2011-12.pdf

References

Please visit the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences, Centre for Vision and Vascular Science website for further details: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/CentreforInfectionandImmunity/

When applying, please choose 'Medicine' as your subject area/School.
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