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The University of Southampton
Biological Sciences

PhD studentship: X-ray microscopy of synaptic dysfunction during neurodegeneration [Closed]

Published: 15 July 2010
School of Biological Sciences

Working at the interface between neuroscience and physics.

Project Description

Novel high-resolution X-ray microscopy techniques are being created in on-going EPSRC projects at the University of Southampton. These hold the promise of allowing us to directly ‘see’ biological structures with nanometre precision, getting down to the size-scales of the molecular complexes whose properties underlie biological functions from mitochondria to man.

We are looking for a talented individual with a good degree in natural sciences (2.1/1st), and with a good grounding in the physical sciences (eg. ‘A’level physics). You need to have a strong interest in how the molecular machinery of a cell self-organises to produce its function, and how disorganisation can lead to neurological disorders.

The project will involve working at the interface between neuroscience and physics, developing and testing the application of these novel X-ray microscopy techniques to studying the physiology and pathology of neuronal signalling. In the project you would learn tissue-culture of wild-type and transgenic mouse neurones, and the use of conventional confocal & EM microscopy. You would adapt tissue preparation to the new systems, make direct comparisons of X-ray microscopy images to conventional systems, and create new understanding of synaptic and neuronal dysfunction through innovative use of the new technologies. The project will be co-supervised by Dr John Chad (Neuroscience) and Dr Bill Brocklesby (Optoelectronics Research Centre).

Funding Status

Competition Funded Project (UK Students Only)

Subject Areas Involved

Biological Sciences: Neuroscience / Structural biology
Physical Sciences: Biophysics / Optical Physics


Mills, B. Rogers, E.T.F.Grant-Jacob, J. Stebbings, S.L.Praeger, Paula, A.M. Froud, C.A. Chapman, R.T.Butcher, T.J. Brocklesby, W.S. Frey, J.G. (2009)
EUV off-axis focusing using a high harmonic source.
Proceedings of the SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
736003 (12 pp.)

Horak, P. Chapman, R.T. Poletti, F. Frey, J.G. Brocklesby, W.S. (2009)
Nonlinear optical mode coupling by ionization in an Ar-filled capillary with high-power short-pulse excitation.
2009 Conference on Lasers & Electro-Optics Europe & 11th European uantum Electronics Conference (CLEO/EQEC): pp. DI 10.1109/CLEOE-EQEC.2009.5196318

Mills B, Chau CF, Rogers ETF, Grant-Jacob J, Stebbings SL, Praeger M, de Paula AM, roud CA,Chapman RT, Butcher TJ, Brocklesby WS, Frey JG. (2009)
Simultaneous measurement of structure and XUV dielectric constant of nanoscale objects using diffraction of high harmonic radiation
2009 Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO), 2 pp.

Swabey MA, Chambers P, Lutman ML, White NM, Chad JE, Brown AD & Beeby SP. (2009). The biometric potential of transient otoacoustic emissions.
International Journal of Biometrics 1, 349-364.

Bailey JA, Wilson PR, Brown AD, Chad J, (2008).
Behavioural simulation and synthesis of biological neuron systems using VHDL.
IEEE International Behavioral Modeling and Simulation Workshop, San Jose, CA, USA 7: 12

Sadgrove MP, Chad JE, Gray WP (2005)
Kainic acid induces rapid cell death followed by transiently reduced cell proliferation in the immature granule cell layer of rat organotypic hippocampal slice cultures
Brain Research Volume: 1035 Issue: 2 Pages: 111-119

McManus T, Sadgrove M, Pringle AK, Chad JE, Sundstrom LE (2004)
Intraischaemic hypothermia reduces free radical production and protects against ischaemic insults in cultured hippocampal slices
Journal of Neurochemistry Volume: 91 Issue: 2 Pages: 327-336

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Studying here

If you choose to study at Southampton, you¿ll work with internationally respected academics and experience world-leading research as it happens

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