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MSc BY RESEARCH PROJECT: ’Cortical-midbrain interactions and their contribution to pain chronification in rodents’


Project Description

The Group:
This Masters by Research (MSc) is entirely laboratory based giving you the best possible experience of life as a researcher as well sufficient time to develop skills and techniques. You will be working in a cutting-edge in vivo neuroscience research laboratory using the latest technology and approaches in pre-clinical research. On-going work in the group includes collaboration with industry partners and medical professionals giving you the fullest possible experience of multidisciplinary research.

The Project:
The medial prefrontal cortex has been implicated as in important locus in the transition to and maintenance of chronic pain in human patients. However, our understanding of the functional contributions that the mPFC makes to sensory and/or affective aspects of the pain state remains limited, and pre-clinical investigation is required to reveal neurophysiological mechanism that may for basis for novel and effective therapeutics.

This project will study alterations to interactions between the mPFC and the midbrain periaqueductal grey, the latter forming an important source of descending control of spinal pain processing which is known to be an important determinate of chronic pain in humans and animals. You will use viral vectors to transduce brain networks and make selective manipulation using opto- and chemogenetic approaches to reveal functional effects in pain behaviour and their casual contribution to the pain phenotype. This work will be conducted alongside acute and chronic electrophysiology, including in behaving animals, to deduce underlying neurophysiological mechanism.
In this Masters you will get training and experience in:
• Small animal surgery
• Viral vectors/opto-/chemogenetics
• Animal models and behaviour - including sensory and affective testing
• Acute and chronic electrophysiology.

Funding Notes

This is a one year, self-funded Masters (MSc) by research. Fees are £4235 and bench costs will be covered by our laboratory.
Applicants should have (or expect to receive) a First or Upper second-class honours degree in a biomedical discipline.

Start date: Sept 2019

Please contact Dr Robert Drake () for further information.

How good is research at University of Bristol in Biological Sciences?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 64.60

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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