We have a fantastic opportunity funded by the University of Queensland for a PhD student scholarship. The position will be with the Queensland Brain Institute (QBI). This institute focuses on understanding the normal and pathological functions of the nervous system and on looking for treatments against diseases of the brain. The host group, which combine supervision from a senior clinician and a senior research fellow initially trained in the industry (genetics and drug discovery), is currently working at identifying risk-genes involved in neurodevelopmental and mental disorders (mainly schizophrenia) using patients’ samples and at understanding the role of these genes in the nervous system. The main focus of this PhD will be to translate some of their genetics discoveries into functional knowledge. The PhD student will handle several high-priority genes and investigate their function using the zebrafish animal model. The primary goal will be to successfully generate knockout mutant animals and investigate the impact of the corresponding loss-of-function to the brain development and function, with a particular emphasis on synaptogenesis and synaptic function.
The applicant will benefit from an international network and top-notch supervision from experts in the field of mental disorders, genetics, animal models and drug discovery. This is a unique opportunity that, beyond self-development, will enable the applicant to learn state-of-the-art techniques such as animal transgenesis, CRISPR-technology and high-end microscopy (including optogenetics, calcium imaging and super-resolution microscopy). The applicant will also have the opportunity to play a role in side projects focusing on drug discovery using the zebrafish.
We also have another great opportunity that would suit an enthusiastic international or national student who is interested in understanding how current anti-psychotic medications and other neuroactive drugs work at the cellular and molecular level in the brain. The applicant will take advantage of the zebrafish animal model and calcium imaging genetic tools as well super-resolution approach (unique within the zebrafish field) to investigate the effect of clozapine and other drugs at the synaptic level. Considering the novelty of this approach, this research will guarantee that the applicant will build a strong and novel set of skills that will set them apart from their peers. The applicant will benefit from co-supervision from a clinician expert in mental health, a senior research fellow expert in genetics and drug discovery as well as a Professor expert in super-resolution microscopy.
Contact Professor Bryan Mowry on email@example.com.
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