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The circadian clock as a regulator of information processing

   Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

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

About the Project

Endogenous biological clocks are a ubiquitous feature of living organisms, driving rhythms in countless cellular and physiological functions, and influencing almost all biological processes. The brain is among the body systems in which daily (circadian) rhythms are most prominent. Those rhythms extend far beyond the main circadian pacemaker in the hypothalamus, and are apparent across the brain as rhythms in gene expression, neuronal connectivity, neurochemistry and excitability. There is a good understanding of how those rhythms regulate the function of the central clock, as well as peripheral tissue function and downstream physiology. Presently though, we have little idea how circadian clocks impact the brain's core function of processing and transmitting information.

 The aim of this project is to use the mouse visual system as a model to determine the role of the circadian clock in information processing. The student will use a systems level approach (large-scale electrophysiological recordings in visual centres of the mouse brain) to investigate how visual information processing is regulated by the circadian clock. This work has the potential to establish new general principles of network plasticity and provide an importance advance in our understanding of circadian biology.

Candidates are expected to hold (or be about to obtain) a minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in a related area / subject.  Candidates with experience in in vivo experiments or with an interest in electrophysiology are encouraged to apply.

For information on how to apply for this project, please visit the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health Doctoral Academy website ( Informal enquiries may be made directly to the primary supervisor. On the online application form select the PhD title.

For international students we also offer a unique 4 year PhD programme that gives you the opportunity to undertake an accredited Teaching Certificate whilst carrying out an independent research project across a range of biological, medical and health sciences. For more information please visit

Funding Notes

“Applications are invited from self-funded students. This project has a Band 2 fee. Details of our different fee bands can be found on our website View Website
Equality, diversity and inclusion is fundamental to the success of The University of Manchester, and is at the heart of all of our activities. The full Equality, diversity and inclusion statement can be found on the website View Website

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