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Regulation of appetite during inflammation and its functional implication for disease outcomes (Manchester-Melbourne Dual Award)

Project Description

Inflammation requires energy to fight infection and sustain immune responses, yet during inflammation there is a dramatic loss of appetite. This loss of appetite (anorexia) is considered adaptive, however how inflammation impact on brain circuits controlling appetite and how anorexia impacts on disease progression and outcomes remain largely unknown.

The advent of new genetic technologies now provides a powerful means by which to unravel the contribution of discrete neurone populations to behaviour and physiology with unprecedented spatial and temporal resolution. Using these technologies, the host laboratories have identified brain hubs where inflammatory activity and appetite regulation intersect and have started to characterise the brain circuits involved.

The overarching aim of this project is to resolve these circuits and characterise them at the genetic, structural and functional level. To this end, the student will receive training in using the latest genetic technologies available that will allow him/her to genetically tag distinct neurones after they have responded to nutritional and/or inflammatory signals. When combined with preclinical models of inflammatory disease, these genetic technologies will then allow the student to identify the neurones and their connections, record their activity and selectively activate/inhibit them to interrogate their significance to normal physiology and inflammation.

These studies have important medical implications: they have the potential to improve our understanding of appetite regulation during inflammation and to identify novel strategies to ameliorate the effects of inflammatory diseases.


Funding Notes

This project is available to UK/EU candidates. Funding covers fees and stipend for 3.5 years. Candidates will be required to split their time between Manchester and Melbourne.

Applications should be submitted online and candidates should make direct contact with the Manchester supervisor to discuss their application directly. Applicants must have obtained, or be about to obtain, at least an upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject.

As an equal opportunities institution we welcome applicants from all sections of the community regardless of gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation and transgender status. All appointments are made on merit.


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