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Modelling the neuronal cell biology of human ageing in vitro.

Project Description

This project is part of an exciting collaboration between the laboratory of Dr Alessio Vagnoni (Department of Basic and Clinical Neuroscience, KCL) and the Neuroplasticity working group at Eli Lilly (Surrey, UK). The student will be based in the laboratory of Dr Vagnoni with a placement at Eli Lilly during the course of the PhD.

The successful candidate will join our efforts to advance the basic understanding of the cell biology of the neuron by modelling the ageing process of human neurons in vitro. The focus of the project is to study neuronal trafficking during ageing and neurodegeneration, with a particular emphasis on mitochondrial dynamics and function. We are currently using innovative methods to study how intracellular transport is regulated in the ageing neurons of Drosophila melanogaster and mice in vivo. This project will allow the student to bridge the gap between Drosophila, mouse and human in vitro models and uncover evolutionary conserved nodes regulating cargo transport in ageing neurons.

The post represents a unique opportunity to join a dynamic research group and receive extensive training in a wide range of techniques (advanced microscopy, cell culture, RNAseq, biochemistry, molecular biology), with a strong focus on data analysis. The Department of Basic and Clinical Neuroscience is located within the Maurice Wohl Clinical Neuroscience Institute, which has excellent laboratories and access to cutting-edge equipment and core facilities, including start-of-the-art microscopy equipment in the Nikon Imaging Centre.
The position is suitable for an outstanding, highly motivated and collaborative individual who has the ambition to contribute to the scientific progress in the field of neuronal cell biology.

For more details/informal enquiries, please contact Dr. Alessio Vagnoni:

Start date: 1st October 2019

Funding Notes

Applicants should have (or be expected to obtain) a 2:1 or 1st class honours degree in a subject relevant to the proposed project. If applicants already possess (or expect to obtain) a research-based MSc degree, a merit or distinction level is required.

The award covers 4-year tuition fees and a competitive stipend, research costs, a travel allowance and the costs associated with a 3-6-month placement at Eli Lilly.

This studentship is available to Home/EU and Overseas students (for Overseas students the difference in fees will need to be made up), for guidance on residency criteria, please follow this link: View Website


For more information about the Collaborative Training Partnership, please refer to:

For information on how to apply, please visit the IoPPN website:

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