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Ph.D student (M/F), Study of information coding and signal integration in the cerebellar nuclei

This offer is available in the following languages:
Français - Anglais

Date Limite Candidature : lundi 15 août 2022

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General information

Reference : UPR3212-ANTVAL-001
Workplace : STRASBOURG
Date of publication : Monday, July 25, 2022
Scientific Responsible name : Dr Antoine VALERA
Type of Contract : PhD Student contract / Thesis offer
Contract Period : 36 months
Start date of the thesis : 1 October 2022
Proportion of work : Full time
Remuneration : 2135 € rough/month

Description of the thesis topic

Title: Study of information coding and signal integration in the cerebellar nuclei.
The cerebellum is key in enabling fine movements and motor learning. How the cerebellar Nuclei (CN, the sole cerebellar output) integrate sensorimotor information and contribute to motor learning and motor execution is not well understood. The aim of this project will be to identify the role of sensorimotor inputs in the CN, with a particular focus on excitatory inputs. We will identify the impact of these inputs on CN neurons firing patterns at the population level in vivo, as well as characterize whether different input pathway have different synaptic integration properties. To understand how different input pathways are integrated across distinct CN neuronal subpopulations, we will use a combination of in vitro electrophysiology, anatomical tracing, and in vivo calcium imaging (using 2-photon acousto-optic lens microscopy).

Work Context

The candidate will work for a period of 36 months with Dr Antoine Valera in the Institut des Neurosciences Cellulaires et Intégratives (INCI, Strasbourg, France) within the Physiology of Neural Networks Team. The INCI is composed of 120 research and support staff, working in 11 teams. The INCI research topics covers various aspects of neurosciences, such as the study of subcellular mechanisms enabling the communication between neurons, the study of neural networks, or the role of these networks in integrated behavioural responses and associated neuropsychopathologies. The host team “Physiology of neural Networks” study how signal is integrated within different neural networks in vitro and in vivo, with a particular focus on structures involved in motor control (Cerebellum, motor cortex, spinal cord). Dr Valera's project will focus on describing the integration and population coding in the CN, which constitute the output stage of the cerebellum.
The candidate will mainly work with Dr Valera, but will be regularly collaborating with other team members. Teamworking abilities and autonomy skills will be essential. The candidate will also need to be able to provide regular written and oral reports.
The candidate will be attached to the Heath and Life Science Doctoral school (ED414).

Constraints and risks

The candidate will have to perform surgeries on mice for several of the key experiments.

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