Connecting European Neuroscience

Ph.D. Student in UK

03 January 2018

Ph.D. Student in UK

Job ID


Trafficking, function and distribution of voltage-gated calcium channels in central neurons

Background: Voltage-gated calcium channels are essential for the function of all excitable cells and are implicated in many cellular processes including neurotransmitter release in the central and peripheral nervous system. One of the main hindrances to studying the trafficking of the therapeutically important CaV2.2 (N-type) channels has been the lack of tools. We have now made a knock-in mouse with this tag in the endogenous CaV2.2, which we previously showed did not affect function (Cassidy et al., 2014).
Aims: The student will perform experiments with brain tissue from the tagged CaV2.2 knock-in mouse to examine the distribution of these N-type calcium channels. They will use confocal microscopy and image analysis to quantify cell-surface expression in neurons and specifically at synapses, identified by fluorescent synaptic markers. They will then develop these studies using cultured neurons and also cross these mice with other knockout mice to examine processes involved in calcium channel trafficking. One aim of this project is to utilise these knock-in mice to examine CaV2.2 presynaptic localisation and correlate this with function in terms of presynaptic release, using optical methods (Hoppa et al., 2012).

Recent References
Hoppa, MJ et. al., (2012) α2δ couples calcium channels to neurotransmitter release sites to control release probability. Nature 486: 122-125.
Cassidy JS, et al., (2014). Functional exofacially tagged N-type calcium channels elucidate the interaction with auxiliary α2δ-1 subunits. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA: 111:8979-84.

Eligibility: this award funds the UK/EU fees and stipend starting at ~£18K (living costs, this stipend is not taxed) for 4 years.
Application procedure: Please send C.V. and personal statement to .
Shortlisted candidates only will be notified by e-mail.

Job Information

Closing date:
Contract length:
4 years
Neuroscience, Physiology and Pharmacology

Contact Information

Annette Dolphin
Professor Annette C Dolphin PhD, FMedSci, FRS.
Mailing address:
Department of Neuroscience, Physiology and Pharmacology, Andrew Huxley Building, University College London, Gower St., London WC1E 6BT, UK.
tel +44 (0)207 679 3276

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