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PhD Studentship: Expression of autism susceptibility genes in the earliest stages of human cerebral cortex development.

This job is no longer available

Newcastle University
16 April 2012
North East England > Tyne & Wear
Course fee
not specified

Further information

PhD Studentship: Expression of autism susceptibility genes in the earliest stages of human cerebral cortex development.

  • Anatomical Society of Great Britain and Ireland.
  • Reference Code: IN046

Closing Date: 31st March 2012


Dr Gavin Clowry , Institute of Neuroscience
Professor Susan Lindsay , Institute of Genetic Medicine

Anatomical Society of Great Britain and Ireland.

Duration of the award
3 years from 1st October 2012

Project description
Our previous work, including microarray, quantitative PCR, histological and cell culture studies demonstrated that area specific gene expression is a feature of the earliest stages of human cortical development. A re-analysis of our microarray findings found that more than 50% of the top autism susceptibility genes show significant expression at the onset of human neocortical development and many show rostro-caudal expression gradients.

Understanding the genetic causes of autism spectrum disorders, which have a prevalence of approximately 1% of the population, requires a complete mapping of patterns of susceptibility gene expression in both space and time.

Therefore, we propose a student, using human fetal brain specimens provided by the Human Developmental Biology resource in Newcastle, studies the expression patterns of a group of related autism suceptibility genes at this crucial developmental stage by:

1) Confirming expression by quantitative PCR.
2) Localizing expression in tissue sections using immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization.
3) Studying regulation of expression in primary cell cultures from different regions of fetal human neocortex.  

Value of the Award and Eligibility
The award covers the fees at the Home/EU rate and a stipend of £13,590 per annum is provided.

The studentship is available to British, Irish or European citizens who have spent at least three years at a British, Irish or European university and already hold, or expect to hold by October 2012, an MRes or MSc qualification. Non-EU students granted 'Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK' are entitled to be considered.

Person Specification
An upper-second-class Honours degree in an anatomical, medical, dental or veterinary subject, including biology, genetics and neuroscience related courses plus normally further research experience and/or a further qualification such as for example an MRes

How to Apply
You must apply through the University's online postgraduate application form inserting the reference number and selecting "Doctor of Philosophy (Medical Sciences) - Neuroscience' as the programme of study.  Only mandatory fields need to be completed (no personal statement required) and a covering letter, CV and (if English is not your first language) a copy of your English language qualifications must be attached. The covering letter must state the title of the studentship, quote the reference number IN046 and state how your interests and experience relate to the project.

Further Information
Please contact:

Dr Gavin Clowry
Institute of Neuroscience
Newcastle University
0191 222 5981


Newcastle University

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