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Neural circuit function in the olfactory bulb

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Monday, March 12, 2018
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Applications are invited from UK and EU residents for a fully funded Ph.D. studentship in the lab of Dr. Jamie Johnston based in the School of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Leeds. The project will investigate the neural circuitry of the olfactory bulb.

The primary function of the olfactory system is to detect and classify odourants. This is achieved by an odourant binding and activating a particular set of olfactory receptor neurons. How the olfactory system categorises such patterns of neural activity into different odours is still unclear. This computation of “pattern recognition” is a general problem faced by the brain, occurring across sensory modalities and in many forms e.g., facial and speech recognition. As pattern recognition is a primary function of the olfactory system, it is an ideal place to study how this computation is implemented by neural circuitry. The project will focus on the olfactory bulb, the first circuit in the olfactory system, and will investigate how the output of the circuit encodes different input patterns and what aspects of the circuit change during learning.

The applicant will acquire a range of cutting-edge physiological techniques to analyse the function of neural circuits. The project will employ optogenetic and odour stimulation to probe the input to the olfactory bulb while multi-photon imaging and/or electrophysiology will measure the output of the circuit. A key aspect of this project will be the development of computational models of the olfactory circuitry, the models will guide and be tested by experiment.

We are seeking a talented and highly motivated individual with a strong interest in neuroscience. The successful applicant will have some research experience and achieved a first or upper second-class honours degree in neuroscience, physiology or a related discipline. Applications from engineering, computer science, physics and maths graduates are also encouraged. Some experience with programming (e.g. Python, Igor Pro, Matlab or similar) will be highly advantageous.

Funding Notes

Project is eligible for funding under the FBS Faculty Studentships scheme. Successful candidates will receive a PhD studentship for 4 years, covering fees at UK/EU level and stipend at research council level (£14,777 for 2018-19).

Candidates should have, or be expecting, a 2.1 or above at undergraduate level in a relevant field. If English is not your first language, you will also be required to meet our language entry requirements. The PhD is to start in Oct 2018.
Please apply online here View Website Include project title and supervisor name, and upload a CV and transcripts.

How good is research at University of Leeds in Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 44.05

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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