Studies in neurophysiology and pathophysiology will be carried out in the Department of Physiology (https://www.ucc.ie/en/physiology/). The Department of Physiology has a vibrant research community investigating physiological function from the molecular level right through to whole organs and physiological systems. Dr O'Malley's lab, which investigates neuro-immune and neuro-endocrine interactions, and Dr Rae's lab, which investigates neuropathophysiology in learning and memory processes, are housed in state-of-the-art laboratory facilities in the modern Western Gateway Building.
Required Qualifications/Experience: Minimum 1st class or upper second class honours BSc degree in Physiology, Neuroscience or related Bioscience subject.
Background and Description of Role: Candidates are being sought for a PhD position on a Health Research Board, Ireland funded study, entitled ‘Monoclonal xIL-6R antibodies as a treatment for memory dysfunction in the mdx mouse model of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.'
Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) is a genetic disorder that affects ~ 1 in every 3,600 live male births. The disease is characterised by progressive muscle weakness, disability, immobility and premature death. Symptom manifestation is due to a genetic mutation in the dystrophin gene, which leads to loss of muscle function and chronic inflammation, with elevated levels of immune signalling molecules such as interleukins (IL)-6. However, boys with DMD often also have lower intelligence quotients and deficits in verbal memory. Therefore, the aim of the proposed programme of research is to investigate a potential therapeutic intervention to improve cognitive dysfunction related to dystrophin deficiency. The pre-clinical mdx mouse model of DMD will be used to assess the potential role of IL-6 in memory formation using behavioural assessments, electrophysiological and imaging techniques and Western blotting.
The primary focus of the postgraduate student will be research, however they will also undertake 15 credits of taught modules focussing on generic and transferable skills (e.g. project management, business skills, and presentation and writing skills).
Stipend: €18,000 per annum for a three-year period. Fees are covered.
For full particulars on this studentship please refer to: https://www.ucc.ie/en/hr/vacancies/research/full-details-797767-en.html
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