SUPERVISORS: Dr Thomas Theil and Dr Pleasantine Mill
This project will dissect how cell signalling via the primary cilium coordinates the activity of neural stem cells during the development of the cerebral cortex. Proliferation and differentiation of cortical stem cells are tightly controlled processes. Changes in these parameters can have profound effects on cortical size and are thought to underlie cortical malformations in human disease and the expansion of the human cerebral cortex during evolution.
To investigate roles of primary cilia in cortical stem cell development, the project will employ Inpp5e mutant mice which display an elongated, folded cerebral cortex. Using a combination of in utero electroporation with super resolution and live imaging of primary cilia dynamics in the developing brain the project aims to understand how primary cilia control the signalling required to determine the balance between stem cell proliferation and neurogenesis and how cilia determine the asymmetric inheritance of cell fate determinants These analyses will be a vital step towards gaining a comprehensive understanding of how cilia coordinate the proliferation of cortical stem cells in health and in ciliopathies, human syndromes caused by defects in cilia structure and/or function.
The PhD student will be closely integrated into the Theil and Mill research groups which have overlapping and complementing interests in cortical development and primary cilia. The student will benefit from the excellent research environment and the unique research infrastructure including state of the art animal and super-resolution imaging facilities at the Centre for Discovery Brain Sciences and at the Institute for Genetics and Molecular Medicine at the University of Edinburgh.
Applications for BBSRC EASTBIO studentships are invited from excellent UK students (and EU citizens if they meet UK Research Council residency criteria) with at least a BSc (Hons) 2.1 undergraduate degree.
HOW TO APPLY?
Applications, and curriculum vitae should be sent to PGR student team at RDSVS.PGR.Admin@ed.ac.uk
APPLICATION DEADLINE: 4th December 2017.