- Mechanisms of Central Nervous System Myelination - Fully funded PhD positions are available in a newly established Emmy-Noether research group to investigate mechanisms of myelination in vivo using zebrafish as model organism.
Myelin, the insulating structure that surrounds most axons, is absolutely critical to nervous system function. It enables rapid nerve conduction and myelinating cells (oligodendrocytes in the CNS) provide metabolic support to axons. Damage and defects to myelin have severe neurological consequences evident in diseases like Multiple Sclerosis, and also in developmental pathologies such as Diffuse White Matter Injury.
We are aiming to elucidate mechanisms that regulate oligodendrocyte behaviour using zebrafish as a model organism. Embryonic zebrafish are easy to manipulate genetically and optically transparent, making it a preeminent model for in vivo live imaging.
You will have the opportunity to further shape this exciting area of research. We are interested in addressing how cellular interactions affect myelination during development and after myelin damage; and how exactly specific molecules regulate oligodendrocyte behaviour and myelination.
Depending on the agreed project, applied methods include in vivo optical imaging along with genetic/pharmacological manipulations, or biochemical analyses. The research group is located at the Institute of Neuronal Cell Biology, providing an environment in which PhD students will benefit from highly interactive supervision, but simultaneously are part of a wider lively neuroscience imaging group.
Applicants should hold an MSc or equivalent. A scientific background in neuroscience and experience with some of the applied methods are welcome, but not required. Candidates with the motivation to drive aspects of this research forward are invited to get in touch by sending a statement of motivation along with CV and letters of support.