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(Concepción) Production and test of molecular tools to label new-born neurons and assess human brain development
Universidad Catolica de la Santisima Concepcion
Ariel Avila, PhD
Ariel Avila, PhD
Type of Research Project
- Basic science
What is the background of the project?
The development of the brain is a complex process that begin with a small number of progenitor cells which lead to the generation of millions of brain neurons and neuronal networks. This process can be studied in the laboratory using in vitro cultured neurons and research animals. For this purpose, many research approaches and tools are used. In particular, new born neurons can be labelled using fluorescent proteins by inserting their genes encoded in expression plasmid and viral vectors. Labelled neurons can then be tracked and studied in detail by monitoring expression markers, morphology and functionality. Importantly, using these approaches, we can gain insight on cellular events related to neurogenesis and maturation of neuronal networks. Moreover, this allows to understand the basic of various mental disorders that affects humans.
What is the aim of the project?
To produce and test molecular tools aimed at labelling new-born neurons to assess various cellular events and mechanisms taking place during neurogenesis and maturation of neuronal networks.
What techniques and methods are used?
In this project we will make use of general molecular and cellular biology techniques such as cloning and analysis of plasmid vectors. In a first stage, plasmids will be amplified using bacteria and a purification kits. Then, plasmids will be used to prepare viral vectors, which will subsequently be tested on cell lines using aseptic cell culture methods. Molecular cloning and cell culture methods, are general research methods used in biomedical research. Therefore, this project will effectively prepare the selected student to join any biomedical research laboratory and/or understand in more detail research articles of the field.
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?
- Extract information from research papers (full text) - Learn through practice routine laboratory methods applied to biomedical research. - Interact with researchers and laboratory personal to get to know about their research endeavours and technical aspects of the research work. - Perform laboratory procedures and analyses to accomplish the goal of the internship
Will there be any theoretical teaching provided (preliminary readings, lectures, courses, seminars etc)
Yes, there will be preliminary readings on the methods and research lines explored in the laboratory. These readings will include manuals and research articles. All material will be provided by the tutor and discussed during day to day work
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
What skills are required of the student? Is there any special knowledge or a certain level of studies needed?
Basic notion and knowledge about critical reading of scientific papers.
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 - Students in biomedical fields
- Morelli G.; Avila A.; Ravanidis S.; Aourz N.; Neve R.L.; Smolders I.; Harvey R.J.; Rigo J.M.; Nguyen L.; Brône B. Cerebral cortical circuitry formation requires functional glycine receptors. Cerebral Cortex. February; 2016. doi:10.1093/cercor/bhw025. PMID: 26891984 (IF: 8.66). https://academic.oup.com/cercor/article/27/3/1863/3056258
- Avila A.*; Vidal PM.; Tielens S.; Morelli G.; Laguesse S.; Harvey RJ.; Rigo JM.*; Nguyen L*. Glycine receptors control the generation of projection neurons in the developing cerebral cortex. Cell Death and Differentiation. 2014 Jun 13. doi: 10.1038/cdd.2014.75. PMID: 24926615 (IF: 8.18). *Corresponding authors. https://www.nature.com/articles/cdd201475
- Avila A.; Nguyen L.; Rigo JM. Glycine receptors and brain development. Frontiers in Neuroscience. 2013 Oct 21;7:184. doi:10.3389/fncel.2013.00184. PMID:24155690 (IF: 4.29). https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fncel.2013.00184/full
- Avila A.; Vidal PM.; Dear T.N.; Harvey RJ.; Rigo JM; Nguyen L. Glycine receptor alpha 2 subunit activation promotes cortical interneuron migration. Cell Reports. 2013 Aug 29;4(4):738-50. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2013.07.016. Epub 2013 Aug 15. PMID: 23954789 (IF: 8.36). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3763372/
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