An EU-funded position is available to study for 3 years for a PhD at the Wolfson Centre for Age-Related Diseases, King’s College London, to study the relationship between anomalies of the Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) waveform and the underlying cellular defects of the auditory system. A reduction in amplitude of wave 1 of the ABR waveform has been proposed as a diagnostic feature of damage to synapses between inner hair cells and cochlear neurons, which could explain why some people have difficulty in understanding speech even when they have normal or near-normal auditory thresholds (hidden hearing loss). However, there is limited experimental evidence for this so far, mostly confined to mice with noise-induced damage or ageing. This project will use a set of new mouse lines with mutations of known genes that we have found to have either reduced or enlarged wave 1amplitudes to ask if the proposed relationship between synaptic damage and wave 1 amplitudes is a more general phenomenon (and thus a useful diagnostic tool) or can be associated with other primary defects in these new mutants. Methods include analysis of synapses using immunolabelling and confocal microscopy, 3D electron microscopy, electrophysiological recording and modelling of auditory responses to sounds.
This position is part of a European Union-funded consortium called LISTEN (www.listenscience.org), which will provide excellent specialised training, as well as the training provided by the graduate school and strong neuroscience and genetics environment of King’s College London. The student will join the research group of Professor Karen P Steel. Starting date flexible, June or October 2017. Salary range £28,254-31,507
- Expectation of an MSc with Merit or higher or BSc graded at the equivalent of first or upper second class in a relevant subject such as neuroscience.
- Good command of English (IELTS grade minimum 6.5 or equivalent).
- Enthusiasm for using mouse mutants to understand the molecular and physiological basis of auditory dysfunction.
- This position is part of a European Union-funded training network, and to encourage mobility is available only to students who are based outside of the UK (have lived, studied or worked for no more than 12 months in the past 3 years in the UK).
Contact Professor Steel if you have further questions about the project and the research group. To apply, send your full CV, copies of relevant qualifications, contact details of at least two academic referees, and a letter explaining why you are interested in this position to Karen.firstname.lastname@example.org, or apply online: