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Self funded BMS Project: Innate immune responses in aymotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia.


   York Biomedical Research Institute


About the Project

Applications accepted for PhD Only

Neurons express an innate immune response cascade to regulate synaptic homeostasis. We have identified activation of components of this innate immune cascade in response to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia associated (FTD) mutations. We aim to characterise the pathway and the disease related actions of these responses using a model motor neuron in Drosophila. The advanced genetic toolbox, cell biology, imaging, physiology and behavioural analysis available in Drosophila will allow us to dissect the pathway to understand how it regulates neuronal function, and subsequently understand how this signalling is affected in the presence of ALS and FTD associated mutations. We will then aim to study and confirm the presence of these responses in rodent neurons in vitro. You will learn to use functional genetics, high resolution microscopy, live-imaging, cell culture and biochemical analysis. Understanding these pathways will allow us to consider novel therapeutic approaches to ALS and FTD, which are as yet untreatable via modulation of immune responses.

The York Biomedical Research Institute at the University of York is committed to recruiting extraordinary future scientists regardless of age, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, disability, sexual orientation or career pathway to date. We understand that commitment and excellence can be shown in many ways and have built our recruitment process to reflect this. We welcome applicants from all backgrounds, particularly those underrepresented in science, who have curiosity, creativity and a drive to learn new skills.

Entry Requirements: Students with, or expecting to gain, at least an upper second class honours degree, or equivalent, are invited to apply. The interdisciplinary nature of this programme means that we welcome applications from students with backgrounds in any biological, chemical, and/or physical science, or students with mathematical backgrounds who are interested in using their skills in addressing biological questions. 

Programme: PhD in Biomedical Science (3 years)

Start Date: 1st October 2022

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Funding Notes

This is a self funded research project. Applicants need to have adequate funds to meet the costs of a self-funded research project including tuition fees and living expenses for the duration of the research programme.

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