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Förslaget inkom 2008-05-30

Analysis of neuronal circuits controlling locomotion in mice mutant for the axon guidance receptor EphA4

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Project description
To understand how the brain functions, it is essential to gain knowledge about the brain´s most central components; the neuronal networks. Local neuronal networks called central pattern generators (CPGs) are essential in coordinating rhythmic behaviours such as walking, breathing and swimming. In our lab we study neuronal networks in the spinal cord that control the timing and pattern of walking movements. These networks have been found to be defective in mice that lack certain axon guidance molecules. In this project, we will study mice lacking the axon guidance molecule EphA4. These mice are unable to move their limbs in an alternating fashion, and instead jump like kangaroos. In order to understand what neurons that are responsible for this phenotype, mice that lack EphA4 in certain populations of neurons have been generated in the lab using the Cre-LoxP system. These will be analyzed using a variety of techniques such as walking analysis, tracing of neuronal populations by fluorescent dyes, electrophysiology, in situ hybridisation, PCR, immunohistochemistry. The project also involves handling of mice. A prospective student will be responsible for the part of the project that involves the walking analyses, handling of mice, PCRs and analyses by immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization.

Our group
The project will be carried out in the research group of Developmental Genetics in the Department of Neuroscience, BMC (Biomedical Centre), Uppsala University (www.neuro.uu.se/devgen). The head of the group is Klas Kullander. Presently, the group consists of 13 members. Further on, the lab is well funded, well published and has established collaborations with several other research groups, both nationally and internationally.

A background in neuroscience, molecular biology, developmental biology, biochemistry or close related subjects would be a benefit for the applicant.

For further questions contact Anna Vallstedt
Anna.Vallstedt@neuro.uu.se


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