The Excellence in Science PhD scholarship will be awarded to outstanding applicants interested in pursuing PhD studies in the mechanisms of memory and learning. The studies will be undertaken under the mentorship of Professor Bryce Vissel, Director of Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine, Faculty of Science, University of Technology Sydney.
Memory and learning is a highly dynamic and malleable process. Once memories are formed, they are not necessarily fixed and can change long after storage. In particular, seemingly stable memories can be returned to a modifiable state when the memory is retrieved, possibly to allow for updating by further experience.
About the project
This project uses animal models of contextual fear learning (and other behavioral studies) to investigate the mechanisms by which the brain forms and modulates memories. This will be achieved by assessing cellular changes occurring in the hippocampus, a region of the brain critical for the acquisition and modulation of contextual memories. The study will involve animal surgery, behavioural tests of learning and memory, mouse brain tissue dissection, Western blotting for protein analysis, immunohistochemistry, microscopy as well as advanced approaches to manipulate behavior, including optogenetics etc.
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