POSITION AVAILABLE FOR a THREE-YEAR PHD FOR BRASILIAN STUDENTS
Mobility Confap Italy, Conselho Nacional das Fundacoes de Amparo e Pesquisa
Project on Astrocyte heterogeneity in the context of the PhD program in Neuroscience
Prof Annalisa Buffo, Neurobiology of Brain Plasticity Group
University of Turin - Dept Neuroscience Rita Levi-Montalcini
Neuroscience Institute Cavalieri Ottolenghi
Regione Gonzole, 10 - 10043 Orbassano (Torino) - ITALY
tel + 39 011 6706614 | fax + 39 011 6706621
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org | skype address: annalisabtorino
Instructions and proposed project > UniBO_Confap_procedure (download pdf)
> Link to the PhD Program Page
Closing date for application and acceptance from the Italian partner, March 15, 2017
Enrollment, October 2017
Description of PhD research area: Program and Project description
Our research focuses on the role of glia and progenitor cells in brain plasticity and repair >
Neurobiology of brain plasticity Group
We believe that specific issues regarding glia and neural progenitors are particularly promising to unveil new keys to the understanding of physiology, disease and repair.
In the intact parenchyma, astrocytes participate in neuronal activity and are increasingly implicated in neurodevelopment and disease. However, how astroglial heterogeneity is achieved developmentally and how much it impacts on CNS functions is largely unknown. Understanding these aspects may reveal unknown features in the aetiology and progression of neurologic and psychiatric disorders.
In this context we aim at understanding phenotypic specification of cerebellar astrocytes and their impact on cerebellar functions in rodent models. So far, we unravelled the embryonic ontogenesis of the distinct types of cerebellar astrocytes and identified transcription factors specifically involved in the specification or amplification of defined astroglial types. Preliminary evidence suggests that the abrogation of these transcription factors in cerebellar astroglia determines morphological alterations and motor disturbances.
The PhD candidate will deepen these analyses to fully unveil the cellular and molecular mechanisms leading to the observed cerebellar phenotypes.
As a side project he/she will also be involved in the investigation of the latent stem cell properties of adult striatal astroglia.
Research will combine clonal and lineage tracing approaches with mechanistic and functional studies focused on candidate transcription factors and extrinsic signals.