[Comp-neuro] PhD programme in Neural Dynamics at Bristol

Rafal Bogacz R.Bogacz at bristol.ac.uk
Sat Jan 22 12:13:01 CET 2011


Dear Colleagues,

4-year PhD programme in Neural Dynamics at the University of Bristol is 
inviting applications for studentships fully funded by the Wellcome 
Trust. More information about the programme is available below.

Best wishes,

Rafal Bogacz

NEURAL DYNAMICS: FROM SYNAPSES TO SYSTEMS IN HEALTH AND DISEASE
Wellcome Trust 4-year PhD Studentships

Introduction

This PhD programme builds on unique research strengths at Bristol and 
will train the next generation of neuroscientists in a supportive 
environment of scientific excellence.

What is neural dynamics? It is the study of the nervous system's 
remarkable capacity to change - at the systems level the dynamic 
interplay between integration and segregation of brain regions enables 
all aspects of behaviour, including learning, memory, homeostasis and 
sensorimotor control. The mechanisms that underpin this activity can be 
explored at multiple levels from the molecular level of epigenetic 
changes through to dendritic remodelling, synaptic plasticity and neural 
networks. These may be very rapid at molecular and synaptic levels 
through to days at the network level and even years for the development 
of new motor skills.

Students will select from a wide choice of projects, which can be 
tailored to their own interests. Projects will include the opportunity 
to combine the very latest molecular and systems level techniques, with 
computational and engineering methods.

The programme also includes the option for an industrial placement or an 
overseas training visit to one of our many international collaborators.

Why enrol for a PhD programme in neural dynamics?

A vital key to comprehending the brain is to understand how the complex 
changes in activity occurring at all levels of neural organization give 
rise to normal brain function. Furthermore, understanding of normal 
brain activity will allow us to investigate abnormalities of neural 
dynamics that underlie many neurological and psychiatric disorders (e.g. 
epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, chronic pain).

Understanding neural dynamics requires interdisciplinary approaches that 
span many neuroscience areas, but crucially, depends on integration of 
experimental and clinical approaches with mathematical and computational 
expertise. This PhD programme will train a future generation of 
neuroscientists who will successfully be able to combine experimental 
and theoretical techniques in their research.

Why Bristol?

Bristol has one of the largest concentrations of neuroscientists in 
Europe and is a major centre for basic and clinical neuroscience. The 
University of Bristol is an acknowledged world leader in many key areas 
of neural dynamics from both an experimental and theoretical 
perspective: Our research spans molecular, cellular and systems levels 
of neuroscience. Together with experts in systems dynamics, based in the 
Departments of Engineering Mathematics, Mathematics, Computer Science 
and the Bristol Robotics Lab we can provide considerable scope for 
ground breaking integrative research projects. Bristol is also a 
fantastic place to live.

How to apply?

Applicants will have a 1st class/2.1 degree or a Masters in a biomedical 
science discipline or a relevant theoretical discipline (mathematics, 
computer science or physics).

The deadline for applications is 18th February 2011.

Please send current curriculum vitae and interim transcript of your 
marks, two signed and sealed references (one of whom should be a project 
supervisor from your current or previous studies) and a one page 
covering letter explaining your particular interest in neural dynamics 
to Lindsey Watson, Graduate Office, Medical Sciences Building, 
University Walk, Bristol BS8 1TD (Lindsey.Watson at bris.ac.uk). Informal 
enquiries may be directed to Professor Richard Apps 
(R.Apps at bristol.ac.uk), Dr Rafal Bogacz (R.Bogacz at bristol.ac.uk), 
Professor Zafar Bashir (Z.I.Bashir at bristol.ac.uk) or Professor Stafford 
Lightman (Stafford.Lightman at bristol.ac.uk)

More details about the PhD programme available at:
http://www.bris.ac.uk/phys-pharm/teaching/neural-dynamics/
(for detailed information click on links "Training programme", "Topic 
and techniques" and "How to apply" on the left side of the website)



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