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Using Resected Human Tissue in Organotypic Cultures for Epilepsy Research

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  • Full or part time
    Dr S Greenhill
    Prof G Woodhall
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Applications are invited from motivated and ambitious candidates to join a cutting-edge research project into the mechanisms and treatment of drug-resistant childhood epilepsy. This is a full-time PhD position funded by the Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospital Charity and Aston University. The successful candidate will join a project led by Dr Stuart Greenhill and funded by the Academy of Medical Sciences.

Epilepsy is a serious and widespread condition affecting around 1 in 200 people. In some cases children with frequent, focal epileptic seizures need to have surgery to remove the focus of their seizures, usually because the condition is not responsive to drug treatment. The Birmingham Children’s Hospital is a leading centre for the diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy, and is host to the CESS centre for paediatric epilepsy surgery. In partnership with Mr Richard Walsh, a leading neurosurgeon, and colleagues from Aston and the Birmingham Children’s Hospital (BCH), including Prof Stefano Seri, the Greenhill and Woodhall laboratories are engaged in an ambitious project to use brain tissue removed from patients during epilepsy surgery to create organotypic culture preparations on which new drugs can be tested and electrophysiological studies performed. The successful candidate will use a combination of molecular biology and culture techniques, electrophysiology, calcium imaging and immunohistochemistry to investigate the pathophysiology of childhood epilepsy and develop novel treatments that will reduce the need for future surgeries. Candidates with experience in cell or tissue culture, slice electrophysiology recordings or calcium imaging are particularly encouraged to apply.

Aston University was ranked 5th out of 94 UK Higher Education Institutions for research in Allied Health Professions (REF 2014) and was ranked 1st for research environment. Additional information about research in the School can be found at https://www2.aston.ac.uk/lhs/research

Informal enquiries can be made to Dr Stuart Greenhill ([Email Address Removed])

Application Requirements:

- Eligible Applicants should hold at least a Bachelor (Hons.) Degree of either 1st Class/ 2.1 or MSc/MRes in a relevant discipline.
- EU Applicants will need to demonstrate adequate proficiency in English Language skills, with a minimum overall score of 93 (Internet Based) (with a minimum score in each section of: R: 18, W: 23, L: 19 and S: 19) in TOEFL or IELTS with minimum marks of 6.0 in each section and an overall band of 6.5.
- Informal enquiries should be addressed to Dr Stuart Greenhill ([Email Address Removed])
- To apply please complete the on-line application form at: https://www2.aston.ac.uk/lhs/research/postgraduate-research/apply quoting reference: ‘BCH_Greenhill on all applications.
- The Closing Date for applications is: 31 August 2019

Funding Notes

Home/EU students will receive funding to cover full tuition fees and a tax-free stipend will be provided at the current RCUK rate of £15,009 p.a. The studentship is available for three years, subject to satisfactory progress review at the end of the first year, with an anticipated registration date of 1st October 2019.



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