Ruprecht-Karls-Universit├Ąt Heidelberg
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SFB 1158_Carr0119 - Scientist (f/m) / PhD position
Project no:
SFB 1158_Carr0119

Project leader:

Project supervisor:
Carr, Richard
Application deadline:
15. Aug 2019
Start of PhD project:
1. Oct 2019

Project description:

Title:
Optogenetic tools to explore the role of GABA in modulating pre-synaptic and axonal signalling in peripheral C-fibre nociceptors
Summary:
A reduction in inhibitory control within the spinal dorsal horn has been widely implicated as a prominent contributor to the development of chronic pain. Accordingly, restoration of spinal inhibition offers a rational and attractive therapeutic strategy. However, the substrates of spinal inhibitory circuits and the mechanisms underlying their disinhibition remain open questions. This project sets out to identify micro-circuits mediating interactions between non-nociceptive and nociceptive signals in the spinal dorsal horn with a focus on circuits involving GABAergic interneurons that make presynaptic inhibitory contacts onto the central terminals of primary nociceptor afferents. The project will specify which functional classes of primary afferent A╬┤ and C-fibre nociceptors are amenable to pre-synaptic modulation by virtue of their expression of axonal GABAA receptors.
References:
Klein et al (2017) JNeurosci, 37, 5204-5214
Sittl et al (2012) PNAS, 109, 6704-9
Carr et al (2010) PlosONE, 5, e8780
Methods that will be used:
Chloride imaging, single fibre electrophysiology, corneal nerve terminal electrophysiology, optogenetic neural modulation, numerical simulations in silico
Cooperation partners:
Stefan Lechner (Heidelberg, Germany)
Valerio Magnaghi (Milan, Italy)
Nicolas Petersen (Copenhagen, Denmark)
Personal qualifications:
Graduates from the life sciences, mathematics, physics, engineering or medicine would be well suited. We are looking for a PhD candidate with an interest in optical tools and their application to biological problems, ideally with a leaning towards understanding biological mechanisms using predicative in silico techniques. Skills with Office, Matlab/Igor/Labview or drawing software would be helpful but not requisite. Training for all techniques will be provided during the candidature including technical courses and FELASA accreditation.
Keywords:
GABAA receptor, C-nociceptor, pre-synaptic inhibition, nerve terminal