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A Poly-pharmacological Therapy to Restore the Injured Spinal Cord
Portugal (PorMSIC) - University of Minho, Braga
Life and Health Sciences Research Institute (ICVS) Universidade do Minho Campus de Gualtar 4710-057 Braga Portugal
Type of Research Project
- Basic science
What is the background of the project?
Spinal cord injury leads to devastating neurological deficits that have a strong impact in the physiological, psychological and social behavior of patients. For these reasons, it is urgent to develop therapeutic strategies that can specifically target this problem. When the spinal cord suffers a mechanical trauma it begins a cascade of cellular and biochemical reactions that leads to further damage. This cascade of reactions, also known as "secondary injury", it is characterized by a strong inflammatory response, glutamate excitotoxicity, release of myelin-derived inhibitors and the formation of a glial scar. The modulation of the secondary events will most likely play a central role in future clinical therapy. Although there are promising results, it is missing an integrative approach that combines the activation of growth promoting programs; while at the same time attenuate growth inhibitory pathways and promotes neuroprotection.
What is the aim of the project?
The project aims to determinate the bioactivity of the selected drugs when combined into a single pharmacotherapy approach in the process of restouring an Injured Spinal Cord.
What techniques and methods are used?
Upon administration of selected drugs on the test subjects (rodents), there will be done animal behavior analysis and animal surgery to investigate the effect of the pharmacological plan and to extract spinal cord tissue for further analysis. Then, it will be used techniques such as Immunohistochemistry, Fluorescence Microscopy, Western Blot and Polymerase Chain Reaction in the spinal cord tissue in order to further investigate the effects of the drug administrated.
What is the role of the student?
- The student will observe the practical experiments but will be highly involved in the analysis of the results
- The tasks will be done under supervision
What are the tasks expected to be accomplished by the student?
Depending on what is happening in the lab at the time the student arrives they may do two different tasks: 1) In Vivo experimentation: It will involve animal surgeries (rat or mice) as well as animal behavior. 2) Post-mortem characterization: It will involve immunohistochemistry of the spinal cord tissue and its observation on the fluorescence microscopy. May also involve using western blot and real time polymerase chain reaction.
Will there be any theoretical teaching provided (preliminary readings, lectures, courses, seminars etc)
Will there be any theoretical teaching provided for the student (preliminary readings, lectures, courses, seminars)? Please describe. The student will be provided some preliminary readings on spinal cord injury. The student must read the article attached with this project.
What is expected from the student at the end of the research exchange? What will be the general outcome of the student?
- The student will prepare a presentation - The student will prepare a scientific report
What skills are required of the student? Is there any special knowledge or a certain level of studies needed?
No special skills are required
Are there any legal limitations in the student’s involvement
Type of students accepted
This project accepts: - Medical students - Graduated students (less than 6 months) - Pre-Medical students from the American-British system
- NunoSousa;Rui L.Reis;António J.Salgado;From basics to clinical: A comprehensive review on spinal cord injury
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