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INTEGRATION OF GRAFTED MOTONEURONS INTO THE HOST SPINAL CORD CIRCUITRY – FUNCTIONAL AND MORPHOLOGICAL INVESTIGATIONS
Supervisor:
Urszula Slawinska, Ph.D
Supervisor webpage
http://www.nencki.gov.pl/en/working_groups/neurophysiology/lab_06.html
Foreign partner:
Prof. Antal Nógrádi, M.D, Ph.D, Department of Ophthalmology, University of Szeged, Hungary
Foreign partner webpage:
http://www.spc-repair.szote.u-szeged.hu
Background:
The question whether grafted motoneurones that reinnervate hindlimb muscles via a reimplanted ventral root are able to establish the appropriate connections with the neurons of the host spinal cord and thus to integrate into the circuitry of the host spinal cord is still open. Recent results suggest that the grafted motoneurones, when transplanted into the adult spinal cord, are able to integrate into the host's circuitry to produce a pattern of muscle activity appropriate to the function they are involved in. However, still little is known about the connections between the host tissue and the grafted motoneurones.
Aim of the study:
The aim of the proposed project will be to evaluate the synaptic connection between the host spinal cord neural tissue and grafted motoneurones (and vice versa) using the electrophysiological (expertise from Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology, Warsaw, Poland) and morphological methods (expertise from Department of Ophthalmology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Szeged, Szeged, Hungary).
International exchange:
The PhD student is expected to spend 24 months in the Laboratory of Neuromorphology in the foreign partner laboratory. The PhD student will learn how to use the techniques widely employed in the Lab of Dr. A. Nogradi that involve retrograde tracing, intracellular labelling, immunocytochemistry, electron microscopy, histochemistry and microsurgery. The term of visits will be clarified in according to the schedule of behavioral and electrophysiological experiments performed at the Nencki Institute in the Laboratory of Neuromuscular Plasticity.
Additional requirements for the student:
The candidate should possess master degree in biological sciences or in physics earned within three years before the call; graduates of medical and veterinary schools are also eligible to apply. Good command of English and two letters of recommendation are required. The candidate is expected to have a strong scientific interests and ability to work in a team.


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