Investigation of modulatory mechanisms of the corticostriatal pathway in animal models of autism spectrum disorder

  • Description of the research topic

    Autism is a well-known developmental disorder with difficulties in social interaction, in the background of which abnormal corticostriatal connections may play a key role . The pathological information flow within this network results in gradually worsening social and communication skills during the early childhood, however the exact mechanism is still unknown. The aim of this project is to characterize the functional changes of the corticostriatal network on the cellular and network level using extracellular field potential or multi-unit recordings and patch clamp method combined with optogenetics in the valproate rodent model of autism spectrum disorder. The introduction of double virus injection technique will allow the specific activation/inhibition of the direct and indirect striatal pathways. Since most of the striatal cells are GABAergic, we also plan to experimentally increase or decrease the inhibitory processes using VGAT-Cre mice expressing different opsins to reveal their contribution in the disease. The consequences of optogenetically modulated corticostriatal innervation will also be investigated with social interaction test.

    Thesis supervisor: Sándor Borbély & Petra Varró

    Required language skills: angol
    Further requirements: The ideal candidate for this PhD work is a dedicated and hard-working student with good English language skills, who is willing to perform in vivo and in vitro animal experiments, to learn advanced computerized recording and data analysis methods.

    How to Apply?

    If you are interested apply here: [PhD] Doctoral School of Biology – Eötvös Loránd University (elte.hu)

    For more information visite the following website: Doctoral School of Biology (elte.hu)

  • Funded: Not Funded

    Master Degree: Required

    Duration: 4 Years

    Full/Part Time: Full Time

    Starting Date: 06 September 2021

    Deadline to Apply: 31 May 2021

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