[visionlist] Research Associate position in retinal development

Evelyne Sernagor evelyne.sernagor at newcastle.ac.uk
Tue Apr 19 09:08:11 -04 2022

Are you interested in understanding how developing neurones and blood vessels interact to form the neurovascular unit?

This is a unique opportunity to become involved in an exciting project funded by the Leverhulme Trust<https://www.leverhulme.ac.uk/> that will investigate how early retinal spontaneous waves of activity may guide the development of retinal vasculature.

You will be the main Research Associate working on this project, together with a PhD student. You will use state-of-the-art electrophysiological and imaging approaches to investigate fundamental unresolved questions in developmental neuroscience.

The Project - Spontaneous neuronal activity emerges at early developmental stages in the CNS, long before sensory experience is even possible. It always coincides with vascularisation, suggesting a close link between these events. However, little is known about that causative link because it is challenging to study in 3-dimensional brain networks.

The retina offers unique opportunities to study these questions because blood vessels initially grow in a planar fashion, just above the retinal output ganglion cell layer. At the same time, waves of electrical activity sweep across the entire layer. We recently found evidence for the presence of transient cellular clusters associated with hotspots of spontaneous activity and with the progression of blood vessel outgrowth in the neonatal retina. We hypothesize that these transient cells are highly active neurones that generate hypoxic conditions, thereby attracting nascent blood vessels to provide local oxygen supply.

This project aims to investigate the nature of these cluster cells and understand how they are involved in angiogenesis, thereby uncovering important principles that govern the development and maturation of neurovascular networks in the CNS.
The project will use cutting-edge molecular techniques (single-cell RNA sequencing) combined with novel in vitro experimental approaches recently established in Newcastle (https://www.ncl.ac.uk/bioimaging/flamefacility/<https://www.ncl.ac.uk/bioimaging/flamefacilitymedicalschool/>), bringing together high resolution electrical and optical recordings.

This post is fixed term for a period of 42 months.

For informal enquiries contact - evelyne.sernagor at newcastle.ac.uk<http://evelyne.sernagor@newcastle.ac.uk/> or majlinda.lako at newcastle.ac.uk<http://majlinda.lako@newcastle.ac.uk/>

For more details and to apply, please follow this link
Deadline for application: 12 May 2022

Evelyne Sernagor, PhD
Professor in Retinal Neuroscience
Biosciences Institute
Faculty of Medical Sciences
Newcastle University
Framlington Place
Newcastle NE2 4HH, UK
Tel: +441912088541
Fax: +441912085227
Email: evelyne.sernagor at ncl.ac.uk

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