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PhD Position in Vertebrate Neurodevelopment and Evolution

Posted by , on 3 July 2017

Closing Date: 15 March 2021

A fully funded PhD position is available in the Laboratory of Regulatory Evolution (Tschopp group) at the Zoological Institute, University of Basel, Switzerland.
Our research interests focus on two main questions: How is phenotypic diversity generated during vertebrate embryogenesis? And how can developmental processes be modified to drive morphological evolution?
The present project will investigate the potential for developmental plasticity in the limb neuromuscular system in response to changes in dactyly, i.e. altering digit numbers. Specific questions we will address include: How are muscle patterning and motorneuron axonal pathfinding coping with changes in digit numbers in vertebrate hands and feet? How is motorneuron pool complexity in the spinal cord affected by additional digit targets in the periphery? We will use a range of methods, including experimental embryology in chicken, genetic mouse models, axonal backfilling, NextGeneration-Sequencing and functional experiments using gene knock-down and overexpression.
The project builds on solid foundations of confirmed preliminary data. For more information please visit
The successful candidate will have a Master (or equivalent) in developmental biology and/or molecular biology, and ideally will have skills in experimental embryology, neurobiology and NextGeneration-Sequencing. A basic understanding of Unix and the R language for statistical computing would be beneficial.
Please send your application with a brief statement of motivation, CV and contact(s) for references (where applicable) to
Evaluation will begin mid-August 2017 and suitable candidates will be contacted shortly after – earliest starting date is Sept. 1st 2017.

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