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What is the impact of atypical neurogenesis on brain activity, cognition and behaviour?

Department of Neuroscience

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Dr A McNeill , Dr M Freeth Applications accepted all year round Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Neurogenesis is the process by which stem cells form brain cells. This process is disrupted by genetic mutations causing childhood neurological disorders which cause symptoms such as learning disability, behaviour problems and epilepsy. We have identified 2 novel genetic causes of childhood neurological disorders due to mutations in transcription factors (SOX11, MYT1L) which lead to reduced neurogenesis. These children have learning difficulties, but their symptoms have not been properly studied. There are also other childhood neurological conditions due to mutations which cause increased neurogenesis (mutations in CHD8). In this project we will identify in detail the learning and neurological problems in both these groups using detailed psychological tests. We will also use state of the art EEG tests to examine how these different genetic mutations alter brain functional circuits. This will help us understand how genes that cause alterations to neurogenesis can cause childhood neurological problems. It will also provide a detailed description of the challenges faced by these children and provide vital information to help guide their medical care and education.

Funding Notes

This project is open to self-funded students only.

Entry Requirements:
Candidates must have a first or upper second class honors degree or significant research experience.


Interested candidates should in the first instance contact (Dr Alisdair McNeill,

How to apply:
Please complete a University Postgraduate Research Application form available here:

Please clearly state the prospective main supervisor in the respective box and select (Neuroscience) as the department.
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