About the Project
In this project, we wish to extend our studies into looking at the effects of Willin/FRMD6 on primary neuronal differentiation but also synaptic activity. To uncover the latter question, we will use another novel optical based technology which we have developed, where we can measure the connectivity of a neuronal network in a new high throughput optogenetics technique (Afshar Saber et al., 2018). Specifically, we can measure calcium activity in neurons using what we have called the “OptoCaMP” which combines a novel combination of optogenetics with an optical calcium readout. We will also utilise our bespoke advanced optical microscopy that we have previously developed which includes novel light sheet and super-resolution microscopy. By utilising this blend of cutting-edge optical technology, we will be able to identify how Willin/FRMD6 can change neuronal development and activity. An additional significance is that recently Willin/FRMD6 has also been shown to be potentially involved in neurodegeneration processes, as such our studies will under-pin the fundamental understanding of the mechanisms in play. As indicated above, the successful candidate will develop a wide range of interdisciplinary skills from primary neuronal culturing (including brain slice), through to biochemistry and advanced optical technologies.
Applications can be made online via our online portal- https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/study/apply/postgraduate/research/
Angus L, Moleirinho S, Herron L, Sinha A, Zhang X, Niestrata M, Dholakia K, Prystowsky MB, Harvey KF, Reynolds PA, Gunn-Moore FJ.
Oncogene. 2012 31(2):238-50.
All-Optical Assay to Study Biological Neural Networks.
Afshar Saber W, Gasparoli FM, Dirks MG, Gunn-Moore FJ, Antkowiak M.
Front Neurosci. 2018 12:451.
Willin/FRMD6 Influences Mechanical Phenotype and Neuronal Differentiation in Mammalian Cells by Regulating ERK1/2 Activity
Kronenberg N, Tilston-Lunel A, Thompson F, Chen D, Yu W, Dholakia K, Gather M, Gunn-Moore FJ
Front Cell Neurosci. 2020 14, 11 p., 552213.
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