Attend the Virtual Global Study Fair | Register Now Attend the Virtual Global Study Fair | Register Now

SELF-FUNDED MSCR - Neural circuit mechanisms underlying the role of acetylcholine in cerebellar dependent behaviour.

   School of Physiology, Pharmacology & Neuroscience

  , Dr Jasmine Pickford,  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

The cerebellum is a crucial structure in the brain for controlling behaviour, including motor coordination and learning. We are investigating the role of acetylcholine in the cerebellum and have discovered that, in rats, infusion of acetylcholine receptor antagonists into the cerebellar nuclei causes deficits in a variety of motor tasks and unexpectedly also alters feeding behaviour. The proposed project will build on these highly novel findings and will investigate the neural circuit mechanisms underlying how cerebellar acetylcholine contributes to behaviour.

The project will take place across two multi-disciplinary research teams, allowing experience of state-of-the-art neuroscience techniques. The primary method will involve chemogenetic and/or optogenetic inhibition or stimulation of cholinergic projections to the cerebellum to provide insight into how endogenous acetylcholine release into the cerebellar nuclei influences voluntary behaviour and the learning of new motor skills. This will involve injections of viral vectors into specific cholinergic areas of the rat brain that project to cerebellum followed by light or chemo modulation of those fibres within the cerebellar nuclei and immunohistochemical processing of brain tissue to examine the resulting viral expression throughout the network. In addition, there is the possibility of using specialist transgenic rat lines (such as ChAT-Cre rats) in order to provide more detailed and specific data on cholinergic mechanisms.  There will be opportunities to get involved with a range of other anatomical and behavioural analysis linked to this work to gain experience of how the different levels of neuroscience research interact and inform each other.

The work from this project will enhance our understanding of how the cerebellum controls normal behaviours and provides the opportunity to gain experience of a range of state-of-the-art neuroscience techniques.

How to apply:

MSc by Research (MScR) is a 1-year research degree that provides an intensive lab-based training and a preparation for PhD study. You will carry out your studies as part of your research group – like a PhD student does. Towards the end of the year, you write up a thesis on your research and are examined on this. This degree suits students wanting to gain maximum research experience in preparation for PhD applications.

We are keen to recruit a diverse range of students and to ensure our research is open to all. We particularly welcome applications from groups traditionally under-represented in life sciences research. Please check the University webpages for the current tuition fee information. Most MScR projects also require a bench fee. This varies depending on the research and your project supervisor can tell you the bench fee for the project.

To apply, follow the link below and choose the programme "Physiology, Pharmacology and Neuroscience (MSc by Research)".

PhD Physiology, Pharmacology and Neuroscience | Study at Bristol | University of Bristol

Funding Notes

This project is available to UK and international students who wish to self-fund their MScR or who have access to their own funding.
Please contact Prof. Richard Apps directly for information about the project.

How good is research at University of Bristol in Biological Sciences?

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

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

Email Now

Search Suggestions
Search suggestions

Based on your current searches we recommend the following search filters.

PhD saved successfully
View saved PhDs