MPhil/PhD Studentship available full time and part-time
Project title: Pre-clinical targets for vascular dementia treatment
Reference Number: 19-20-006
Start date: Jan 2020
Director of Studies: Professor Robert Fern
2nd Supervisor: Edgar Kramer
3rd Supervisor: Konstantin Glebov
The University of Plymouth’s Faculty of Health: Medicine, Dentistry and Human Sciences is seeking a highly motivated PhD candidate with outstanding abilities. Medical research in the Faculty was ranked first for outputs in REF2014.
White matter makes up about half of the human brain, but we know little about the role of white matter in disease. White matter changes occur early in a number of important neurological disorders and this studentship will focus on a particularly clear example, vascular dementia. Vascular dementia is the second most common form of dementia and arises primarily from ischemic-type injury to white matter. Our laboratory has shown the important role that glutamate receptors have in white matter injury and the successful candidate will use ectrophysiological, myelin imaging and electron microscopy techniques to describe the functional and structural effects of focal WM injury in a novel in vitro model, and the protective effect of potential clinical interventions based on glutamate receptor antagonists. The most successful strategy will subsequently be tested in an in vivo model of dementia. The student will gain expert technical knowledge in electrophysiology, live cell imaging, and electron microscopy, attaining a range of skills suitable for a career in dementia research.
For greater technical detail of the approaches to be used please see:
1. Doyle, S. Hansen, D. Vella, J. Bond, P. Harper, G. Valentino, M. Fern, R. (2018) Vesicular glutamate release from central axons contributes to myelin damage. Nature communications, 9:1032: 1-15. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-03427-1
2. Jackson, J. Bianco, G. O Rosa, A. Cowan, K. Bond, P. Anichtchik, O and Fern, R. (2018) White matter tauopathy: transient functional loss and novel myelin remodeling. Glia, 66: 813-827. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/glia.23286
For further information regarding the project, please contact Professor Robert Fern ([email protected]
The studentship is supported for 3 years and includes full Home/EU tuition fees, plus a stipend of an estimated £15,009 per annum (based on 19/20 full time stipend amounts). Applicants normally required to cover overseas fees will have to cover the difference between the Home/EU and the overseas tuition fee rates (£12,285 for the 19/20 academic year). If you are selected you will be required to provide financial assurances.