06/03/2019

PhD in Medicine: Investigating the interplay of maternal obesity and Neuro-immune interactions in neuropsychiatric disorders: a developmental approach

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  • ORGANISATION NAME
    Cardiff University
  • ORGANISATION COUNTRY
    United Kingdom
  • DEADLINE DATE
    15/03/2019
  • RESEARCH FIELD
    Formal sciences
    Natural sciences
    Professions and applied sciences

Outline

Growing evidence suggests that gene-environment interactions are critical in the pathogenesis of neuropsychiatric disorders.

Maternal metabolic conditions, including obesity and diabetes, which are associated with chronic sub-threshold inflammation, are established risks factors for these disorders in the offspring. However, the mechanisms linking these maternal conditions to alterations in the wiring of circuits underlying defective behaviors are unclear. Given the increasing rates in overweigh and obesity, it is critical to understand the impact of maternal obesity on the developing brain.

The PhD will address this important issue in mouse models of maternal obesity. We will use lightsheet microscopy and brain clearing of in utero electroporated brains to analyse brain wiring in the offspring. Using grafting experiments in brain slices, we will investigate the interplay between inflammation and neuronal development. Last, by combining cell sorting with mouse genetics and omics approaches, we aim to decipher cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying developmental defects in the offspring of maternal obesity.

What is funded

Tuition fee support: Full UK/EU tuition fees

Maintenance stipend: Doctoral stipend matching UK Research Council National Minimum

Duration

3 years

Eligibility

Residency: Open to all UK/EU students without further restrictions

Academic criteria: Applicants should possess a minimum of an upper second class Honours degree, master's degree, or equivalent in a relevant subject.

Applicants whose first language is not English are normally expected to meet the minimum University requirements (e.g. 6.5 IELTS).

Plus additional experience in cell sorting would be an advantage.