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SELF-FUNDING MSc BY RESEARCH PROJECT: Investigating the mechanisms of action underlying ketamine's efficacy in major depressive disorder

   School of Physiology and Pharmacology

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  Prof E S J Robinson  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Bristol United Kingdom Neuroscience

About the Project

Major depressive disorder is one of the most challenging conditions facing modern society and is associated with significant personal and societal costs. Until recently, treatments for depression were limited and many patients either failed to respond or found side effects to much to tolerate. These treatments also had a delayed onset of action meaning patients did not show improvement for many weeks after initial diagnosis and treatment. This all changed with the discovery that the NMDA antagonists and drug of abuse, ketamine, can reduce symptoms of depression as soon as 1 hr after treatment and a single dose can have effects which last up to 14 days. However, ketamine is not an ideal treatment due to side effects, abuse liability and risks of adverse effects such as bladder and kidney problems (Robinson, 2018). This project will investigate the underlying molecular mechanisms which contribute to ketamine's effects and use this knowledge to test potential alternative treatments which achieve similar efficacy but with reduce risks. The student will have an opportunity to gain hands on in vivo skills in behavioural neuroscience and psychopharmacology. 

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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Robinson, E. S. J. Translational new approaches for investigating mood disorders in rodents and what they may reveal about the underlying neurobiology of major depressive disorder. Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences 373, doi:10.1098/rstb.2017.0036 (2018).