ENC PhD projects cycle 2

Projects cycle 2 started

For the 2nd cycle of this Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorate program, we have selected 8 students.They started their work in the Fall of 2011. On this page you can find links to more information about the 8 projects of cycle 2.

Project 1: The role of DLG-MAGUKs as signaling scaffolds for linking modulatory neurotransmitter systems to long-term synaptic plasticity

PhD student: Plinio Das Neves Favaro, Brazil
Home Institute:
European Neuroscience Institute Göttingen; Principle Investigator: Oliver Schlüter
Host Institute: Bordeaux Neurocampus; Principle Investigator: Christophe Mulle

PSD-93, PSD-95, SAP97 and SAP102 constitute the family of DLG-MAGUKs. PSD-95 is the prototypic signaling scaffold of the postsynaptic density (PSD), with around 300 copies per single synapse… >Go to Executive Summary

Project 2: Control by purines of neuron-glia interaction during neuroinflammation

PhD student: Jimmy George, India
Home Institute:
Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology (University of Coimbra); Principle Investigator; Rodrigo A. Cunha
Host Institute: Bordeaux Neurocampus; Principle Investigator: Thierry Amédée

Neuroinflammation is a feature associated with evolution of brain damage. It is mostly glial cell (astrocytes and microglia) that sustain neuroinflammation, but it is currently unclear if the establishment of a neuroinflammatory status results from intrinsic dysfunction of glial cells or if this is triggered by damaged neurons… >Go to Executive Summary

Project 3: Targeting cellular migration into the CNS in early MS

PhD student: Margit Lanzinger, Austria
Home Institute:
Neuroscience Center Zürich; Principle Investigator: Burkhard Becher
Host Institute: Amsterdam Neuroscience; Principle Investigator: Elga de Vries

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic inflammatory disease of the central nervous system that leads to severe neurological deficits. During autoimmune inflammation of the CNS, which is observed in MS as well as its representative

animal model experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), bloodderived immune cells cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB) to invade the CNS, and ultimately induce severe tissue damage… >Go to Executive Summary

Project 4: Septin-dependent structural plasticity of dendritic spines

PhD student: Monika Bańko, Poland
Home Institute:
Neuroscience Center Zürich; Principle Investigator: Helge Ewers
Host Institute: Bordeaux Neurocampus; Principle Investigator: Daniel Choquet

A central feature of excitatory glutamatergic synapses in the brain is their ability to adjust their strength individually in response to stimuli. Glutamate receptors of the NMDA-type mediate synaptic plasticity by changing the number of APMA-type glutamate receptors in the postsynapse, which in term leads to a stronger or weaker response to glutamate release at this very synapse… >Go to Executive Summary

Project 5: Specificity and plasticity of lateral connections onto the dendritic tree of layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons in mouse visual cortex

PhD student: Patricia Molina-Luna, Venezuela
Home Institute:
Neuroscience Center Zürich; Principle Investigator: Björn Kampa
Host Institute: Amsterdam Neuroscience; Principle Investigator: Huibert Mansvelder

Neurons in the visual cortex respond well to bars of different orientations moving into different directions. While this has been known for many decades and the underlying mechanisms of orientation and direction selectivity have been intensively studied, it is still unclear how we encode our natural visual environment… >Go to Executive Summary

Project 6: High resolution imaging of ‘‘Positional Priming’’

PhD student: Girish Kedar, India
Home Institute:
Amsterdam Neuroscience; Principle Investigator: Heidi de Wit
Host Institute: European Neuroscience Institute Göttingen; Principle Investigator: Silvio Rizzoli / Erwin Neher

Since the work of Katz in the early 1950s it has been known that Ca2+ -entry is coupled within milliseconds to a secretory event. Rapid neurotransmitter release in synchrony with Ca2+- entry requires an exquisite ultrastructural organization that allows interactions between Ca2+- channels and release-ready-vesicles (RRP) at shortest possible distances1… >Go to Executive Summary

Project 7: Novel molecular targets in the battle against epilepsy: a role for the presynaptic signaling molecule STXBP1

PhD student: Margherita Farina, Italy
Home Institute:
Amsterdam Neuroscience; Principle Investigator: Dr. Ruud Toonen / Prof. M. Verhage
Host Institute: Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology (University of Coimbra); Principle Investigator: Dr. Ines Araujo / Prof. C.M. Carvalho

Epilepsy is a devastating and poorly understood disease that affects 1–2% of the world population making it one of the most common neurological disorders. Epilepsy is characterized by recurrent unprovoked seizures and is caused by disturbances in the delicate balance between excitation and inhibition in neural circuits.… >Go to Executive Summary

Project 8: Cellular, molecular and systems-level mechanisms underlying the establishment of a brain cognitive reserve in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease

PhD student: Senka Hadžibegović, Serbia
Home Institute:
Bordeaux Neurocampus; Principle Investigator: Bruno Bontempi
Host Institute: Neuroscience Center Zürich; Principle Investigator: Isabelle Mansuy

The “cognitive reserve” model suggests that individuals with greater brain reserve capacity (i.e. with higher level of education or occupational attainment) may develop resilience to neurodegenerative damage and optimize behavioral abilities through differential recruitment of neural networks and/or alternative cognitive strategies… >Go to Executive Summary

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