Job ID: 61597

PhD student position The role of reactive astrocytes in neurodegeneration: towards identification of novel treatment strategies

Position: Ph.D. Student

Deadline: 9 November 2021

City: Gothenburg

Country: Sweden

Institution: Laboratory of Astrocyte Biology and CNS Regeneration, Center for Brain Repair, Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden



Astrocytes are involved in processes ranging from the establishment and maintenance of neuronal synapses, regulation of synaptic transmission and blood flow, to the control of both neuroprotective and regenerative responses in the brain. These findings identify astrocytes as a major factor in the maintenance of brain health, point to astrocytes as central players in many brain diseases, and make them a novel target for the treatment of brain diseases. We and others previously demonstrated that reactive gliosis, while beneficial in many neurological diseases, can in specific disease contexts become maladaptive, with severe consequences for the CNS homeostasis and function. We hypothesize that the maladaptive response of reactive astrocytes is the core mechanism leading to the development and progression of some neurodegenerative disorders.

This project will address cellular and molecular mechanisms of astrocyte malfunction and provide the basis for designing future treatment strategies for neurodegenerative conditions with maladaptive role of reactive astrocytes. The project will include advanced cell culture techniques, including iPS-derived astrocytes, immunocytochemistry, high content image and data analysis, transcriptomics, bioinformatics and related analytical methods.

The successful candidate will work in a highly dedicated international team of people with competence in biochemistry, biology, biomedicine neuroscience and neurology. The project will benefit from the frontline international, multidisciplinary collaborative environment of the EU Joint Project in Rare Diseases ALEXANDER (which we co-coordinate), as well as from the ongoing collaborations with AstraZeneca and TATAA Biocenter.

We are looking for a highly motivated candidate with well documented experience in molecular and cellular biology laboratory work. The candidate should have medical, clinical (licenced or specialized clinitian) or biological background, strong interest in neuroscience and in the understanding of the molecular mechanisms of human diseases. The project demands a command of English at the C2 level (corresponding to Cambridge English Proficiency).

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