The neuro-vascular unit and the hemodynamic response regulate how the blood supply in our brain meets the metabolic demand of neuronal activity. There is evidence that this control mechanism degenerates with age and is also impaired in dementia. However, the basic mechanisms underlying this decreased performance in neurovascular coupling are poorly understood. We have developed an in vivo multi photon imaging approach that allows us to investigate the hemodynamic response to sensory stimulation with high spatial and temporal resolution. We can analyse the spatio-temporal properties of vasodilation as well as the effect that activity has on the neuronal function of the brain tissue. In this study we propose to compare the neural activity and hemodynamic response in animal models of dementia at several stages of the disease.
We hope to identify through this research which parameters in the complex hemodynamic response have the biggest contribution to the degeneration with dementia and also old age. This might also lead to the development of imaging based biomarkers for early detection of changes in the brain before clinical symptoms of dementia are detected.
Training/techniques to be provided:
The student will be trained in several in vivo skills including surgical preparation, animal anaesthesia, animal handling and maintenance (Schiessl/Lawrence/Allan). The candidate will be trained using the functional brain imaging setup as well as electrophysiological recordings (Schiessl). The student will be trained to prepare the brain tissue for several histological and immuno-histochemical markers (Lawrence/Allan). The candidate will be trained in modern mathematical approaches for the analysis of functional brain imaging data (Schiessl). The student will be trained in experimental design and how to organise research with different subject cohorts (Schiessl/Lawrence/Allan).
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 previous laboratory experience, particularly in cell culture and molecular biology, are particularly encouraged to apply.
How To Apply
For information on how to apply for this project, please visit the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health Doctoral Academy website (https://www.bmh.manchester.ac.uk/study/research/apply/). Informal enquiries may be made directly to the primary supervisor. On the online application form select PhD Genetics
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.
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
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 https://www.bmh.manchester.ac.uk/study/research/apply/equality-diversity-inclusion/”
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 http://www.internationalphd.manchester.ac.uk