UCL Institute of Neurology



Institute of Neurology vacancies are advertised on the central UCL system

Please contact the relevant Institute research department or email Institute HR if you have any queries.

Recruitment for UK DRI at UCL is now open

PhD vacancies

UCL Institute of Neurology and The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Department of Molecular Neuroscience and Neurogenetics.

One three-year PhD fellowship position is available:

1. Identification of molecular mechanisms that underlying neurodegeneration in Friedreich’s ataxia

Applications are invited for one PhD fellowships at the Ataxia Centre, UCL Institute of Neurology under the supervision of Prof. Paola Giunti and colleagues in the Department of Molecular Neuroscience. The anticipated start date is 1st May 2018. This project is aimed at the genetic, cellular and functional analysis of Friedreich’s ataxia models in order to unravel the mechanism that underlay neurodegeneration in this condition.

Details of the fellowships offered:

This project aims to identify novel molecular mechanisms that could help in elucidating the pathogenesis of a disease called Friedreich’s ataxia. The candidate will carry out physiological and cellular/molecular analysis to understand how the disease occurs. The candidate will used multiple models from human fibroblasts of Friedreich’s ataxia patients to relevant mouse models already present in house that recapitulate Friedreich’s ataxia phenotype.  The candidate will learn immunocytochemistry, live imaging to observe various mitochondria assays, in both mouse tissues and cultured cells. The candidate will also learn how to prepare and maintain primary cell cultures, including neurons and cardiomyocyte. The molecular analysis will include learning standard techniques such as PCR, cloning of genomic DNA and western blotting, plus the potential to learn technologies such as RNAseq to measure changes in RNA metabolism.
The PhD project involves working with novel mouse models in addition to other cell models from patients and carriers. The candidate will be expected to obtain a Home Office personal licence. Therefore at the end of his PhD the candidate will be exposed to a high number of different techniques and developed several skills.
This project would suit either a medically qualified fellow or a science graduate.
Applicants must hold a BA/BSc (or EU equivalent) or masters’ degree in one of the following disciplines: genetics, neuroscience, or a biological sciences degree with a strong bias towards either genetics or neuroscience. A sound knowledge of statistics as well as good IT skills are relevant for this project. The successful applicant will enrol in the PhD program at UCL.

Environment: The successful candidate will be tightly integrated in our laboratory at the UCL Institute of Neurology under the supervision of Prof. Paola Giunti, and colleagues in the Department of Molecular Neuroscience. The candidate will attend UCL courses in relevant areas, as well as to interact with students and postdoctoral researchers from other departments.

The fellowships are funded for 3 years (May, 2018 – 30th April, 2021) and will cover UK/EU UCL PhD tuition fees and an annual salary stipend £16,553 with laboratory consumables specific to the project of £6000 per year.

Ideal person specification
Degree (2.1 or above) in a biology/neuroscience subject (or equivalent EU/overseas degree), and in addition ideally an MSc in a related area.
Excellent experimental skills, preferably in cell or molecular genetics
Good analytical skills and statistical knowledge.
Good communication skills especially in written English.
A very strong work ethic, with the ability to problem solving and work within the team.

Duties and Responsibilities
Work in collaboration with other researchers and prepare progress reports on research as required.
Prepare manuscripts for submission to peer-reviewed journals.
Prepare presentations, including text and images, for delivery by self and others.
Travel for training, collaboration and other meetings or conferences.
Contribute to the overall activities of the research team, department and be aware of UCL policies.

Informal enquiries
Please email Prof Paola Giunti for further information about the projects ( p.giunti@ucl.ac.uk).

Application procedures
Application is by CV and covering letter (including motivation for applying) emailed to p.giunti@ucl.ac.uk
Closing Date: 1st May, 2018

References for examples of our work:
'Mitochondrial energy imbalance and lipid peroxidation cause cell death in Friedreich's ataxia'.
Abeti R, Parkinson MH, Hargreaves IP, Angelova PR, Sandi C, Pook MA, Giunti P, Abramov AY.
Cell Death Dis. 2016 May 26;7:e2237. doi: 10.1038/cddis.2016.111.
 Targeting lipid peroxidation and mitochondrial imbalance in Friedreich's ataxia.
Abeti R, Uzun E, Renganathan I, Honda T, Pook MA, Giunti P.
Pharmacol Res. 2015 Sep;99:344-50. doi: 10.1016/j.phrs.2015.05.015. Epub 2015 Jul 2

PhD Studentship
Mechanisms of neurodegeneration in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia
Applications are invited for a PhD studentship in the UK Dementia Research Institute at UCL, UCL Institute of Neurology to start 1st October 2018.

Project: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) are two devastating mid-life neurodegenerative disorders for which no cure is currently available.  Large expansions of a hexanucleotide GGGGCC-repeat in the first intron of the C9orf72 gene is the most common genetic cause of both ALS and FTD. We have made several advances in this area e.g. (Mizielinska et al Science 2014, 345:1192-1194; Simone et al EMBO Mol Med 2018,10:22-31). This studentship will investigate the mechanisms by which the expanded repeat causes neurodegeneration with a focus on cellular modelling, in collaboration with the Alzheimer’s Research UK UCL Drug Discovery Institute.

Funding: The studentship is funded by Alzheimer’s Research UK for 3 years and will cover UK/EU university tuition fees and an annual stipend of £19,500.

Entry requirements: Applicants who have or expect to obtain a 1st or upper 2nd class honours degree in biochemistry, molecular biology, neuroscience, biomedical sciences or related disciplines.

Informal enquiries: Please email Professor Adrian Isaacs for further information about the project (a.isaacs@ucl.ac.uk)
Application procedures: Application is by CV and covering letter emailed to: a.isaacs@ucl.ac.uk

Closing Date:  5pm Friday 11th May 2018

Work experience and internships

If you are interested in arranging a work experience/internship you will need to contact a researcher at the UCL Institute of Neurology and obtain their agreement for a placement to commence.  Final year medical students need to apply to the Elective programme to arrange a placement at the Institute of Neurology.

Please also see: research degrees