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Ph.D. (M/W): a new electrophysiological approach to assess the impact of pathogens or of neuroinflammation on neuronal activity (Neurotrace)

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Français - Anglais

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General information

Reference : UMR5282-DANDUN-001
Workplace : TOULOUSE
Date of publication : Monday, July 27, 2020
Scientific Responsible name : Daniel Dunia (CPTP) et Guilhem Larrieu (LAAS)
Type of Contract : PhD Student contract / Thesis offer
Contract Period : 36 months
Start date of the thesis : 1 October 2020
Proportion of work : Full time
Remuneration : 2 135,00 € gross monthly

Description of the thesis topic

A better understanding of the impact of environmental insults (infections, inflammation, pollutants) on brain functions requires the capacity to accurately measure neuronal activity, not only with the best possible spatial-temporal resolution but also in a non-invasive way to allow long-term longitudinal follow-up.
To tackle this endeavor, our project benefits from a long-standing collaboration between infectiologists/Immunologists at CPTP and physicists at LAAS-CNRS. This allowed the designed of novel devices to probe neuronal activity based on nano-electrode arrays using silicium nanowires. Now that the first versions of these devices have been validated, our project will develop around two complementary axes: on one hand, to use this system to assess the impact on neuronal activity of viral proteins for which we have shown that hey could impair neuronal signaling and behavior, as well as of pro-inflammatory cytokines involved in neuroinflammatory-associated cognitive troubles; on the other hand, to contribute at improving the current recording setup, notably by extending our current strategy of single-neuron recording to more integrated approaches that could include the control of neuronal connectivity using fluidics-based approaches. The final goal of this project is to develop a versatile and sensitive system to allow tracking the impact of many insults on neuronal communication.

Work Context

This Ph.D. fellowship has been awarded by the CNRS "Prime" call. It is designed to be developed in two separate labs in Toulouse. The core part of "biological studies" will be performed at the "Centre de Physiopathologie de Toulouse-Purpan (CPTP)", whereas fabrication and optimization of the recording setups will take place at LAAS-CNRS. The two Ph.D. advisors have good experience in working together (two Ph.D. students have been co-tutored in the past years), but this project will, however, require considerable autonomy and flexibility from the successful candidate

Constraints and risks

Training will be required for infectious risks (BSL-2 level), as well as for working in "clean room" for nanowire setups

Additional Information

Experience in electrophysiology would be a plus.

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