Type of employment: Fixed-term employment, 4 years if full-time studies
Extent: 100 %
Location: Sahlgrenska Academy, Göteborg
First day of employment: as agreed
Reference number: UR 2012/101
From mice to men: Interrogating human astrocytes
Perhaps the single most prominent event in neurosciences in the last two decades has been the recognition of astrocytes as cells that control many morphological and functional aspects of the central nervous system, both in health and disease. Our results point to astrocytes as important modifiers of regeneration and plasticity (Kinouchi et al., Nature Neurosci., 2003, Widestrand et al., Stem Cells, 2007) and a therapeutic target in neurotrauma or brain ischemia (Wilhelmsson et al., J. Neurosci., 2004; Li et al., J Cereb. Blood Flow. Metab., 2008), and provide a platform for the development of novel treatment paradigms for neuroprotection and brain repair.
We have established and on a mouse brain tissue successfully applied single cell quantitative rtPCR technique (allowing to quantitatively assess the number of mRNA molecules) as a method to interrogate individual astrocytes and obtain their molecular signature (Ståhlberg et al., Nucleic Acids Res., 2011). In this PhD project, we will apply the single cell quantitative rtPCR technology to live human adult astrocytes and neural progenitor cells to identify molecularly distinct cell subpopulations and thus better understand the underlying molecular mechanisms relevant to regeneration and plasticity. We will also address the molecular nature of the interactions between astrocytes and human progenitor cells utilizing genetically modified astrocytes with pro-neurogenic and plasticity-promoting properties. The experimental methods will span from molecular biology (e.g. gene expression profiling) to state-of-the-art cell culture techniques including our newly developed three-dimensional cell culture method and the use of mouse transgenic systems. It has a direct coupling to translational research that we pursue in the field of regenerative neuroscience at the Laboratory for astrocyte biology and CNS regeneration and at the Center for Brain Repair and Rehabilitation, Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Institute for Neuroscience and Physiology.
The successful candidate will be part of a highly dedicated international team of people with biochemical, biological, medical and clinical competences, will interact with our international collaborative network with PhD education provided both locally and within our EU-funded collaborative networks that connect laboratories of excellence in this field within Europe.
PhD positions are financed mainly through education grants during the first two years and employment as doctoral students during the last two years and pertains to a doctoral degree
The general entry requirements are fulfilled if you have either 1, a second cycle degree (usually described as a masters degree) or 2, completed courses at an academic level corresponding to at least 240 education credits. At least 60 of these credits must be at second cycle level. 60 credits is equal to one year of full-time studies.
You also need to fulfill the specific entry requirements which is an English language requirement; Engelska B.
After the application deadline has passed, an initial assessment of the candidates eligibility is made at the faculty office and sent to the project supervisor for selection.
For more information about the project please contact the project supervisor, contact information can be found on the top right corner.
For more information regarding PhD education at the Sahlgrenska academy visit http://www.sahlgrenska.gu.se/doktorandportalen
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