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Predicting signalling patterns in neural networks associated with cognitive dysfunctions

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

Project Description

Project team: Dr Paulo Rocha & Prof David Tosh

Project enquiries: [Email Address Removed]

Recording and decoding the electrical activity from the brain is currently a very important approach used by pharmaceuticals and the bioelectronics industry.

Recently, we have devised a disruptive technology able to read and stimulate neuronal networks. Our sensors comprise an insulating substrate and large conducting area electrodes that enable a viable bidirectional communication between the neural network and a computer system. With our sensors, we were able to program a network of primary hippocampal neurons, relevant to memory, to mimic a previously used stimulus and in this way probe memory-related events in-vitro.

Since neuronal networks and connections start to develop at early maturation stages, the engineering challenge for the PhD student is to (1) Create a brain-on-a-chip platform to enable long term neuronal growth/maturation and their role in mimicking an input stimulus; (2) Identify the electric charge and materials to deliver long term and safe stimulation; (3) Determine, in real time, the stimulus pattern, polarity and magnitude that allows cells to mimic a input signal and (4) Determine the proteins responsible for impairing memory in-vitro as a reliable in-vivo model.

Synaptic plasticity will be investigated by using state-of-the-art human-derived Induced Pluripotent Stem cells (iPS) provided by the largest private pharmaceutical company in Germany Boehringer Ingelheim.


CANDIDATE:
Applicants should hold, or expect to receive, an undergraduate Masters first class degree or MSc distinction (or non-UK equivalent). English language entry requirements must be met at the time of application to be considered for funding, see https://www.bath.ac.uk/corporate-information/postgraduate-english-language-requirements/

APPLICATIONS:
Formal applications should be made via the University of Bath’s online application form for a PhD in Electronic & Electrical Engineering. Please ensure that you state the full project title and lead supervisor name on the application form:

https://samis.bath.ac.uk/urd/sits.urd/run/siw_ipp_lgn.login?process=siw_ipp_app&code1=RDUEE-FP01&code2=0014

This project is eligible for inclusion in two funding rounds, subject to funding availability. Application deadlines: Wednesday 29 January 2020 & Wednesday 25 March 2020. Early submission is advised. A full application must have been submitted before inclusion in a funding round.

Anticipated start date: 28 September 2020

Funding Notes

UK/EU candidates will be considered for a University Research Studentship, covering UK/EU tuition fees, a training support fee of £1,000 per annum and a tax-free maintenance allowance at the UKRI Doctoral Stipend rate (£15,009 in 2019-20) for a period of up to 3.5 years.

How good is research at University of Bath in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Metallurgy and Materials?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 20.50

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

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