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Grand Challenge PhD in Rihel Lab at UCL

Posted by , on 11 September 2012

Closing Date: 15 March 2021

PhD Position
University College London
Department of Cell and Developmental Biology
PhD Supervisor: Dr. Jason Rihel
Application Deadline: Oct. 15, 2012

Funding Availability:  Funding PhD Project (Grand Challenge; European/UK Students; including a stipend of £18,000 a year, Home/EU fees and £5000 per year research funds).  Non-UK/EU citizens are eligible but must have the ability to pay the difference between the Home/EU fee and the International fee for the 3 years.

Sleep is a fundamental biological process that has a major impact on human health, cognitive performance, and quality of life, yet the genetic and neural mechanisms that regulate sleep/wake behaviour are largely unknown. In the Rihel lab, we use zebrafish as a model system to study the regulation of sleep because it combines the powerful genetics of invertebrate models with the basic brain structures that regulate sleep in humans. We use high throughput behavioural assays to measure sleep behaviours in the fish and exploit genetic tools to manipulate critical regulators of sleep, such as the functionally conserved hypocretin/orexin (Hcrt) signalling system.  Recently, we have performed both small molecule and genetic screens to identify potential novel regulators of sleep in zebrafish. 

The successful PhD student will combine cutting edge techniques in molecular biology and behavioural neuroscience to explore the function of novel sleep genes and drugs.  In particular, the research will aim to map the neural circuits that are altered by small molecule and neuropeptide manipulations.       

Applicants should have a degree in molecular biology, neurobiology, or a similar field.  A 2:1 or better is normally required according to UCL eligibility criteria.

Send all enquires to Dr Jason Rihel (  Applicants should send a CV and names and contact details of two referees.

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