Laboratory of Neuromuscular Plasticity
at the Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology,
Polish Academy of Sciences
is currently seeking a post-doc in biology
We are currently seeking an enthusiastic scientist for a postdoctoral position in our Laboratory who will participate in the project titled: “Spinal cord repair from endogenous stem cells in the spinal niche (NEURONICHE)”. This is a consortium project financed by the EU program ERA-NET CoFund under Horizon 2020 (for more information see http://www.neuron-eranet.eu/en/ ). The team of our consortium comprises colleagues from the UK, Germany, Belgium, France and Poland, among them basic neuroscientists and neurosurgeons. For information and application please contact the Laboratory Head, Prof. Urszula Sławińska (firstname.lastname@example.org). For more information about the Laboratory of Neuromuscular Plasticity see http://en.nencki.gov.pl/laboratory-of-neuromuscular-plasticity.
A goal of the consortium project is to identify the signals acting on stem cells in fish, and then to use them to improve the reaction of stem cells of humans (in a dish) and to promote spinal cord repair in rat models. In the course of the project, we will develop tools that will aid our research, but also contribute to the work of our colleagues in the consortium. This project will identify repair factors that could then be taken into clinical trials.
The group from Poland propose to use the intra-spinal grafting of the serotonergic neurons of embryonic origin that is known to enhance locomotor recovery (Sławińska et al., 2000, 2013, 2014) to investigate whether this strategy can also promote host neurogenesis as was described for descending serotonergic neurons in zebrafish by British group (Barreiro-Iglesias et al., 2015). We will also use our model to investigate which factors investigated by other groups in the European consortium can be useful to enhance grafted 5- HT neuron survival and growth of their axons in the spinal cord of paraplegic rats.
In order to move forward from the use of fetal tissue for intra-spinal grafting that has been successful in the past, our ambition is to derive 5-HT neurons in vitro from stem cells. For this purpose we are establishing a new unit for tissue culture equipped with new state-of-the-art equipment. The next important step will be to investigate whether these serotonergic neurons generated in vitro from stem cells are able to enhance recovery of hind limb locomotor movements in paraplegic rats as demonstrated with fetal raphe tissue. This important proof of concept will require us to develop in our lab a new experimental setup and method for neuronal culture in order to use stem cells as the source of 5-HT neurons for grafting.
The main task of the postdoctoral project will be to derive 5 HT neurons in vitro from stem cells and then to investigate whether these serotonergic neurons are able to enhance recovery of hind limb locomotor movements in paraplegic rats as demonstrated with grafted fetal raphe tissue
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Application deadline: April 30th, 2017