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The Drosophila neurotrophin system in brain development and plasticity

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

PhD projects are offered to start in 2015 on the investigation of DNT and Toll receptors in brain development and plasticity in the fruit-fly Drosophila. Please see our recent publications: Zhu et al 2008 PLoS Biology; Sutcliffe et al 2013 PLoS One; McIlroy et al 2013 Nature Neuroscience. Our lab aims to understand how the nervous system is formed, and how it works. Structure and function come together in the course of development, and influence each other throughout life, endowing the nervous system with plasticity. As the animal grows and nervous system volume and cell number increase, the two cell types in the nervous system - neurons and glial cells - make adjustments that modify cell division and cell survival, cell migration patterns, axonal trajectories, dendritic arbors and neural circuits. These plastic adjustments result in the robust, reproducible formation of the nervous system across individuals, and over evolutionary time, and enable the changes taking place throughout life, such as during learning and memory. Conversely, these cell interactions fail in diseases of the nervous system (e.g. neurodegeneration, psychiatric disorders and brain tumours) and upon injury (e.g. upon spinal cord injury and stroke). We use the fruit-fly Drosophila because it is a very powerful model organism to address questions swiftly, in vivo and with single cell resolution, whilst it does not raise ethical concerns. This project will use a combination of genetics, molecular biology, cell culture, biochemistry, computational analysis, in vivo confocal microscopy in fixed specimens and in time-lapse, and behaviour. Applications are welcome.

Please find additional funding text below. For further funding details, please see the ‘Funding’ section.
The School of Biosciences offers a number of UK Research Council (e.g. BBSRC, NERC) PhD studentships each year. Fully funded research council studentships are normally only available to UK nationals (or EU nationals resident in the UK) but part-funded studentships may be available to EU applicants resident outside of the UK. The deadline for applications for research council studentships is 31 January each year.

Each year we also have a number of fully funded Darwin Trust Scholarships. These are provided by the Darwin Trust of Edinburgh and are for non-UK students wishing to undertake a PhD in the general area of Molecular Microbiology. The deadline for this scheme is also 31 January each year.

Funding Notes

All applicants should indicate in their applications how they intend to fund their studies. We have a thriving community of international PhD students and encourage applications at any time from students able to find their own funding or who wish to apply for their own funding (e.g. Commonwealth Scholarship, Islamic Development Bank).

The postgraduate funding database provides further information on funding opportunities available View Website and further information is also available on the School of Biosciences website View Website

Related Subjects

How good is research at University of Birmingham in Biological Sciences?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 42.80

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

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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