In the past years the translocator protein (TSPO) expressed on neurons, astrocytes and microglia has become into research focus as a promotor of neurosteroidogenesis. Neurosteroids can affect many neuronal receptors. It is known that released neurosteroids are positive modulators of the GABAA receptor. However, the knowledge about the effects of neurosteroids on glutamatergic receptors, astrocytes and microglia function is very scarce.
The primary goal of this study is to investigate how several TSPO ligands enhance neurosteroidogenesis thereby modulating the function of glutamatergic receptor subtypes and microglia on the synaptic, cellular and network level. By investigating the molecular and cellular mechanisms whether and how neurosteroids may reverse neurotoxic effects of beta-amyloid, alpha-synuclein and anaesthetics we want to identify synaptic and extrasynaptic glutamatergic receptors involved in mediating neurosteroid-induced neuroprotection. We combine electrophysiological and optical recordings with genetic tools for TSPO and microglia manipulation.
The PhD position is offered from the Klinikum rechts der Isar for 3 years (1/2 E13) and is part of a mutual project, which will be done in collaboration with Prof. Jochen Herms. With this project we intend to elaborate the molecular neuroprotective actions of neurosteroids on pathogens involved in Alzheimer's and Parkinsons's disease. Additionally, we also intend to elucidate the interactions with anaesthetic agents in order to evaluate future applications in clinical anaesthesia. The successful candidate will perform electrophysiological (extracellular and patch-clamp recordings) and optical (calcium imaging) monitoring of neuronal activity in hippocampal and cortical slices. The project requires a strong interest in neuropharmacology, neurophysiology and the ability to work in a team.
Applications will be considered via the GSN application tool starting Dec. 1st. 2018 and should contain a statement about methodological experience and a CV.
Interested candidates are welcome to establish contact via email to email@example.com.