IIT has established a collaboration with Università degli studi di Genova a PhD curriculum in Neuroscience and Neurotechnologies within the general course in Neuroscience and finances several PhD positions. All research activities are expected to be developed within IIT premises, in Genoa, under the supervision of IIT researchers. Training will be shared between the University and the IIT.
2 positions are offered within the UE funded project Fet-Proactive Hermes and linked to the following research projects:
Title: Biohybrid Systems for Functional Brain Repair in Temporal Lobe Epilepsy
This highly interdisciplinary project merges together brain organoids bioengineering, neuromorphic electronics and artificial intelligence to achieve the anatomical repair of the hippocampus and the functional restoration of limbic networks in temporal lobe epilepsy models. This is a high-risk/high-gain project that requires creative thinking and strong problem-solving skills. An interdisciplinary, team-oriented and proactive mindset are a must; you should demonstrate a strong interest in engineering approaches to the neurosciences and a strong will of learning.
During the project, you will interact with experts in the above-mentioned fields to design and perform open-loop and closed-loop electrophysiology experiments (field potential and/or microelectrode array recording) using brain slices and 2D/3D cell cultures.
You should hold a Master’s degree in Life Science (Medicine, Biology Biotechnology, Pharmacy, or similar). A good background in in vitro electrophysiology is desirable; knowledge of epilepsy models and good command of MATLAB programming language and Simulink environment are a plus.
Tutor: Gabriella Panuccio (email@example.com).
Title: Engineering a biomimetic extracellular matrix to promote brain regeneration
This is a highly interdisciplinary European project, whose long-term vision is to achieve the full healing of epilepsy, an incurable brain disorder characterized by aberrant synaptic transmission and nervous tissue degeneration. The brain damage regards not only the neurons and their synaptic connections, but also the surrounding microenvironment that provides mechanical support and bio-cues to the cells, i.e. the extracellular matrix. In the context of this project, the PhD candidate will conduct a research thesis on exploiting molecular components of the brain extracellular matrix and biomimetic materials to rebuild the brain matter that is damaged or lost due to epilepsy. The experimental approach will include biomaterial analysis (bioactivity; physico-mechanical properties), stem cell and brain organoid technology, biochemistry and molecular biology, and optical approaches for functional imaging. Applicants should hold a Master’s degree in Life Science (Biotechnology, Biology, Pharmacy, Medicine, or similar) and should show a very strong interest both in neuroscience and in neural tissue engineering for regenerative medicine.
Tutor: Gemma Palazzolo (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Successful candidates will develop the research project at the Enhanced Regenerative Medicine lab in Genova where they will be part of an exciting and international working environment and will work in brand new laboratories equipped with state-of-the-art instrumentation.
Excellent communication skills in English, as well as ability to interact effectively with members of the research team, are mandatory.
In order to apply for these positions, it is mandatory to refer to the procedures administered by the Università di Genova. The official call is available at this link: Bando di ammissione al XXXV ciclo del dottorato di ricerca the relevant section for both positions are found in the Allegato A, in the Neuroscience section, curriculum Neuroscienze & Neurotecnologie. Indications on how to apply are also available at the Phd School at Università di Genova - Admission Guide
Please, apply before deadline: 12am (noon - Italian time) on June 12th 2019