The School of Medicine(opens in new window)!Opens in a new window within Western Sydney University is a leader in neuroscience and cognition research, with a strong reputation for delivering research outcomes of the highest quality. We are now offering a research scholarship to a highly motivated PhD candidate to work within a research group addressing the astrocyte-mediated mechanisms leading to neuronal toxicity in neurodegeneration. The project is funded through the GRS in Western Sydney University.
In this project, we propose to investigate the mechanisms by which neuroinflammation impact motor neuron hyperexcitability in ALS and AD. Whilst the loss of neurons is central to ALS and AD, it is becoming clear that other cell types in the brain (such as astrocytes) contribute to neurodegeneration and death. Astrocytes normally exhibit a supportive role for neurons, but during neurodegenerative diseases their function changes, advancing disease processes. Currently, the precise mechanisms behind the dysfunctional astrocyte-mediated neuronal toxicity remain unclear, however evidence from animal and human cell models suggests that preventing astrocyte dysfunction could protect neurons from degeneration and death. Thus, our overarching aims are to expose the astrocyte-mediated mechanisms leading to neuronal toxicity in AD and ALS and to use our findings to test potential therapeutics.
The project will be based at the School of Medicine in Campbelltown campus with the opportunity to work with Dr Yossi Buskila on novel recording and imaging techniques including patch clamp, optogenetics and two-photon imaging.
The successful applicant should:
- hold qualifications and experience equal to one of the following (i) an Australian First Class Bachelor (Honours) degree, (ii) coursework Masters with at least 25% research component, (iii) Research Masters degree, or (iv) equivalent overseas qualifications.
- demonstrate strong academic performance in subjects relevant to Physiology, neuroscience, neurobiology or neurophysiology.
- have an understanding of the importance of research on neurodegenerative disorders.
- be willing to learn electrophysiological and imaging techniques applicable to neurophysiology.
- be enthusiastic and highly motivated to undertake further study at an advanced level.
International applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency.
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- Domestic candidates will receive a tax-free stipend of $30,000(AUD) per annum for up to 3 years to support living costs, supported by the Research Training Program (RTP) Fee Offset.
- International candidates will receive a tax-free stipend of $30,000(AUD) per annum for up to 3 years to support living costs. Those with a strong track record will be eligible for a tuition fee waiver.
- Support for training, conference attendance, fieldwork and additional research costs as approved by the School.
International candidates are required to hold an Overseas Student Health Care (OSHC)(opens in new window)!Opens in a new window insurance policy for the duration their study in Australia. This cost is not covered by the scholarship.