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SELF-FUNDING MSc BY RESEARCH PROJECT: Circadian Oscillators in Drinking and Feeding Brain Circuits.

   School of Physiology, Pharmacology & Neuroscience

About the Project

Daily or circadian rhythms pervade all aspects of our physiology and behaviour (Hastings et al., 2018). By convention, these rhythms are attributed to the activity of the brain’s suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN). Cells of the SCN contain a molecular clock and the daily cycle in clock genes/protein expression drives 24h variation in SCN neuronal activity. However, clock gene expression is not limited to the SCN and several findings indicate that brain circuits controlling thirst and appetite also contain intrinsic circadian oscillators (Guilding et al., 2009; Northeast et al., 2019). How these oscillators are organised, how they respond to SCN signals, and how they drive rhythms in neuronal activity and behaviour remains unresolved. In this project, live neuronal circuit imaging together with multi-electrode array recordings as well as optogenetic and chemogenetic manipulations will be used to determine how thirst and appetite circuits are organised to initiate, maintain, and terminate ingestive behaviour. 

Funding Notes

This project is for students who can fund the project themselves; there is no financial support.
Please apply to the Faculty of Life Sciences, School of Physiology and Pharmacology, selecting the programme 'MSc by Research'
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Guilding et al., (2009) A riot of rhythms: neuronal and glial oscillators in the mediobasal hypothalamus. Molecular Brain 2: 28.
Hastings et al., (2018) Generation of circadian rhythms in the suprachiasmatic nucleus. Nature Reviews Neuroscience 19: 453-469.
Northeast et al., (2019) Keeping time in the lamina terminalis: novel oscillator properties of forebrain sensory circumventricular organs. FASEB Journal in press.

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