tool in perinatal brain injury 100%
A PhD position is available in the Laboratory for Prenatal Medicine in the Department of Obstetrics and Fetomaternal Medicine, Insel Hospital (Prof. Daniel Surbek, Prof. Andreina Schoeberlein), for highly motivated candidates interested in studying the role of glial cells in perinatal brain injury.
Starting date: February 1st, 2023 (or as agreed) Duration: 3-4 years
Perinatal white matter injury is the leading cause of long-term neurologic morbidity in infants born preterm. While astrocyte reactivity is a known hallmark of perinatal white matter injury, the role of reactive astrocytes in disease pathophysiology is still unclear. In a mouse model of perinatal white matter injury, we have recently shown that impairing the formation of a specific C3-expressing neuroinflammatory reactive astrocyte sub-type by blocking expression of microglial-derived cytokines rescues defects in postnatal myelination as well as behavioral deficits. To confirm relevance to human disease, we have demonstrated the presence of C3-expressing reactive astrocytes in human neonatal post-mortem brain tissue affected by perinatal white matter injury. Our data points to C3-expressing inflammatory reactive astrocytes as putative drivers of myelination failure in perinatal white matter injury and a potentially promising therapeutic target and biomarker in this disease.
During the period of PhD training, the sought student will conduct research to answer two main questions: Do reactive astrocytes play a causal role in producing the myelination defects characteristic of acute perinatal brain injury? Can we harness reactive astrocyte-derived extracellular vesicles detected in peripheral blood as diagnostic tools in perinatal brain injury? The student will lead the experimental component of these aims including experimental planning, execution, data analysis, and preparation of data for presentation and publication.
Salary: According to the University of Bern Guidelines
Application: Please send your CV including a motivational letter as well as the names and contact details of two references as a single PDF document to email@example.com.