Defining the molecular mechanisms preventing central nervous system axon regeneration after trauma

University of Birmingham

About the Project

We are seeking talented, motivated students with a passion for research in central nervous system trauma and disease (e.g., spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury and eye/optic nerve injury) to join the Neuro-Regeneration Group which is part of the Neuroscience, Trauma and Ophthalmology Section (N&O) led by Professor Zubair Ahmed (https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/staff/profiles/inflammation-ageing/ahmed-zubair.aspx). Applicants should have a first or upper second-class honours degree in a relevant scientific discipline, and who are self-funded or have typically applied for, or secured funding for their studies from their government, employer or associated charitable organisations.

RESEARCH IN THE NEURO-REGENERATION GROUP

The Neuro-Regeneration Group is part of the wider Neuroscience and Ophthalmology Section within the Institute of Inflammation and Ageing at the University of Birmingham. We are interested in identifying the molecular mechanisms of why the central nervous system (CNS) is unable to regenerate after injury. We are particularly interested in pathways that control the normal processes of inflammation, tissue repair, neuroprotection, axon regeneration and how these go wrong after injury or disease.

Broadly speaking we have three main areas of interest:

• factors that control the death of neurons

• factors that control intrinsic neuronal repair mechanisms

• factors that prevent the regeneration of neurons

We combine state-of-the-art imaging (e.g., Light sheet microscopy), in vitro and ex vivo models of CNS injury with systems biology approaches to large omics datasets (e.g., RNAseq, metabolomic or proteomic data) and murine models of CNS injury and disease (See references for some examples of recent high impact publications from our group).

PhD projects, using these approaches and answering translationally relevant research questions are available to self-funded or scholarship-funded graduates interested in joining the Neuro-Regeneration Group.

APPLICATION ROUTES

Self-funded or scholarship-funded graduates interested in joining Neuro-Regeneration Group can select one of 3 different routes for undertaking a PhD in the field of Inflammation and Ageing.

Applicants with research experience and/or Master’s degree should apply directly to the Institute of Inflammation and Ageing for either a 3 or 4 year full-time PhD – https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/courses/research/med/inflammation-ageing.aspx. This route requires applicants to submit a drafted research proposal.

Applicants seeking additional research experience or who have yet to complete a Master’s degree should apply to the 4 year Integrated Doctoral Training Programme in Life Sciences for Health, which combined a MRes and PhD – https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/pgr/idtp/index.aspx.

Applicants will need to submit the following documentation during the application process.

• Detailed CV, including your nationality and country of birth;

• Covering letter highlighting your research experience/capabilities and why you wish to undertake a PhD in the team;

• Names and addresses of two referees;

• Copies of your degree certificates with transcripts written in English;

• Evidence of your proficiency in the English language, if applicable.

• Evidence of scholarship application/funding or independent funding.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

University of Birmingham offers pre-sessional English Language courses through the Birmingham International Academy – https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/international/bia/presessional/index.aspx

For additional information on postgraduate studying at University of Birmingham please click – https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/study/postgraduate

For additional information on research at the College of Medical and Dental Sciences please click – https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/research/activity/mds/index.aspx

For additional information on research in the Institute of Inflammation and Ageing please click – https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/research/inflammation-ageing/index.aspx

For additional information on research within the Neuro-Regeneration Group please click – https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/research/inflammation-ageing/neuroscience-trauma-and-ophthalmology.aspx.

Funding notes:

Applicants are invited from self-funded or scholarship-funded graduates ONLY.

Applicants will be self-funded or will have typically applied for, or secured funding for their studies from their government, employer or associated charitable organisations.

Overseas graduates require IELTs of 6.5 overall.

Applying directly to the Institute of Inflammation and Ageing for either a 3 or 4 year full-time PhD – https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/courses/research/med/inflammation-ageing.aspx.

Applying to the 4 year Integrated Doctoral Training Programme in Life Sciences for Health, which combined a MRes and PhD – https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/pgr/idtp/index.aspx.

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