4-Year Full-time PhD Studentship available to study the therapeutic potential of drugs targeting noradrenaline in inflammatory related neurodegenerative diseases
Lab : The Neuropsychopharmacology Research group, led by Andrew Harkin, is based in the Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience in Trinity College Dublin. The group utilizes a range of behavioral, imaging, cellular and molecular techniques and has ongoing collaborations with a number of industrial partners and investigators from a variety of disciplines. A current focus uses a clinically relevant experimental platform to facilitate the development of new therapeutics for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. This program links excellent researchers to enterprise, and will assess new treatments by focusing on pharmacological strategies to reduce inflammation and protect the brain from degeneration. The successful applicant will work with a multi-disciplinary team of postdoctoral research fellows, postgraduate researchers and clinical collaborators.
For related references please see the following: https://www.tcd.ie/medicine/staff/AHARKIN;
Project description: Noradrenaline (NA) is a neurotransmitter that elicits anti-inflammatory actions in the brain by stimulating beta2-adrenoceptors in microglia. NA is depleted in the brains of patients suffering from chronic neurodegenerative disease, and loss of NA neurons causes neurodegeneration to progress. Consequently, drugs aimed at restoring normal NA tone are likely to have therapeutic potential. Over the last number of years, work in the group has demonstrated beneficial effects of NA and drugs which activate the beta2-adrenoceptor in combating neuroinflammation. Following on from these observations, this project aims to determine if targeting microglial beta2-adrenoceptors with NA or selective drugs which activate these receptors can inhibit microglial activation to combat inflammation associated with neurodegeneration. This project will potentially deliver a new treatment for neurodegenerative diseases by focusing on the repurposing of NA drugs to reduce inflammation and protect the brain from degeneration.
Funding: This Provost’s PhD Project Award is generously funded through alumni donations and Trinity’s Commercial Revenue Unit. The award will cover full tuition fees (EU or non-EU ) for a period of 4 years for a new entrant fulltime PhD candidate. The candidate will receive a stipend of €16,000 per year for four years.
Qualifications: The successful candidate must have a primary degree (minimum upper 2.1 or Master’s degree) in Pharmacology, Biomedical Sciences, Immunology, Neuroscience, Physiology or a closely-related discipline. Candidates must be willing to take on the coordination/organisation of logistical aspects of the project. Candidates should be highly-motivated, display a high level of initiative and have excellent written and oral communication skills. The candidate should be able to work independently and also integrate as part of a team. Candidates will ideally possess some prior research experience and ideally with some of the following techniques: cell culture, cell biology techniques, immunocyto- or immunohistochemistry, light and immunofluorescent microscopy.
Start date: from September 2020/March 2021
Applications: Please email a one-page cover letter outlining your suitability for the post, your full CV and details of two referees (incl. email addresses) to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Provosts Project Award”. Applications should be submitted as ONE .pdf file. Acknowledgement of receipt of your application will not be made. You will receive an update on your application following shortlisting. All informal enquiries welcome. Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin is an equal opportunities employer.
Closing date for applications: noon (GMT) September 14th 2020.