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PhD Studentship: Immune basis of neurologic function and circuitry

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  • Full or part time
    Dr S Hong
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Applications are invited for a fully-funded PhD studentship in the UK Dementia Research Institute at UCL, UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology, to start 1st October 2019.


Microglia are active participants in brain wiring – sculpting and refining neural circuits and influencing synaptic development and function. Microglia mediate synapse pruning via complement signalling (C1q, CR3/C3) in the developing brain (Stevens et al., Cell 2007, Schafer et al., Neuron 2012) and when this process is reactivated in the adult brain, synapses are lost (Hong et al., Science, 2016, Lui et al. Cell 2016, Vasek et al., Nature 2016, Dejavonic et al., Neuron 2018, Shi et al., Science Translational Medicine 2017). Complement components are induced during normal ageing (Stephan et al., J. Neurosci. 2013) but the molecular mechanisms that govern how and which synapses are targeted are poorly understood. Understanding what regulates complement signalling in the adult brain is crucial to learning how microglia and neurons communicate with each other to maintain proper brain function. This studentship will aim to provide mechanistic insight into local signals that regulate microglia-synapse pruning to aid foundational knowledge of brain physiology.

Entry requirements

Applicants who have or expect to obtain a 1st or upper 2nd class honours degree in biochemistry, molecular biology, neuroscience, biomedical sciences or related disciplines.

Informal enquiries

Please email Dr Soyon Hong for further information about the project ([Email Address Removed])

Application procedures

Application is by CV and covering letter emailed to [Email Address Removed]. The successful applicant will then need to apply online to UCL by submitting the PhD application form via

Closing Date: 5pm, Friday 5th July 2019

Funding Notes

In line with BBSRC eligibility conditions, the studentship is open to UK and EU candidates. EU candidates must have been living in the UK for 3 years prior to the course commencing. The studentship is funded through a BBSRC Collaborative Training Partnership CASE award with AstraZeneca for 4 years and will cover UK/EU university tuition fees and an annual stipend of £21,009.

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