Connecting European Neuroscience

Ph.D. Student in Leicester/UK

06 December 2017

Ph.D. Student in Leicester/UK

Job ID


The PhD position will be hosted in the group of Dr J Steinert at the University of Leicester. Our interest lies in understanding the synaptic mechanisms of neurodegenerative disorders. The project will investigate Nitric Oxide (NO) signaling at the synapse which is involved in a multitude of cellular pathways with crucial functions in physiology but can also promote nitrosative stress during pathological conditions. Multiple neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD), are exacerbated by abnormal NO signalling associated with increased NO-mediated post-translational modifications, such as 3-nitrotyrosination (3-NT). The mechanistic link between these abnormalities and disease pathogenesis is not clear.

The aim of this work is to identify protein targets to mitigate pathology at the synapse. We will test the hypothesis that 3-NT contributes to neurodegeneration by compromising synaptic functions and that this aberrant signalling induces neuronal decline associated with AD. The project will further explore approaches to minimise 3-NT levels and to monitor consequent effects on phenotypes associated with neurodegeneration and neuronal dysfunction.

For this work, we will employ our expertise in Drosophila physiology, genetics and behaviour. This model system provides unique advantages to apply techniques such as electrophysiology to characterise synaptic responses, vesicle pools or spontaneous activities. Live-confocal imaging techniques to measure neuronal Ca2+, vesicle pools (FM1-43) and protein diffusion (FRAP) as well as biochemistry and whole animal behaviour and survival studies will be used. Facilities on campus for mass spectrometry and electron microscopy are available to complement this project.

We seek a highly qualified and motivated candidate with knowledge in neuroscience or related fields. Experience with in-vivo or in-vitro neurophysiological methods is essential; expertise in biochemical or molecular skills is desirable.

Job Information

Closing date:
Employment start date:
Contract length:
3 years

Contact Information

Joern Steinert
MRC Toxicology Unit
Hodgkin Building
Lancaster Road

University of Leicester
Leicester LE1 9HN

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