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Using quantitative live imaging to understand neural tube formation in the developing embryo

   Institute for Molecular Bioscience

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  Dr Melanie White  Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The brain and the spinal cord arise from a common precursor, the neural tube, formed very early in embryonic development. Changes in cellular architecture must be tightly coordinated in space and time to generate the forces that sculpt and shape the neural tube. Failure of the neural tube to form correctly results in some of the most common and severe birth defects.

The morphological changes that shape the neural tube are driven by remodelling of the cellular actin cytoskeleton and the extracellular matrix (ECM). However, the dynamic interplay between the cytoskeleton and ECM, and how this is controlled in real time, remains unknown due to a lack of tractable in vivo models and live imaging.

We have projects available using quantitative live imaging approaches to study neural tube morphogenesis from the molecular scale to the tissue scale. Neural tube development will be investigated using transgenic avian embryos with opportunities to complement the work using zebrafish and human iPS cell models. 

This is an opportunity to join the newly established Dynamics of Morphogenesis lab at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB). You will have access to a fantastic range of infrastructure including one of the largest and most comprehensively equipped imaging facilities in Australia. The lab values an open, supportive and collaborative environment in which to pursue your scientific excellence. To take full advantage of this opportunity you will need to be passionate about science, driven to succeed and ready to use your initiative.

Skills in molecular, cell and developmental biology, live imaging, mechanobiology or biophysics would be of benefit but enthusiasm and initiative are of most importance. 

Applicants must meet the entry requirements for the PhD program, including English language proficiency.

Fully funded 3.5 year scholarship (with possibility of 6 month extension) with a standard rate - linked to grants awarded to the host laboratory. Both Australian and International students can apply. The studentship covers tuition fees and provides an annual stipend (currently set for 2022/23 as 28,597 AUD per annum, tax free). Additional benefits of the scholarship include a laptop provided by the host university.

For further information, please contact Dr Melanie White: [Email Address Removed]

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