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1 year post-doc position in Neurobiology at Bristol University

Research Assistant in Cell Biology/Neurobiology Bristol University

Our recent work shows that a variety of stressors including nanoparticle exposure will cause cell barriers to send signals that will damage other human cells on the other side of the barrier. This damage at a distance does not occur as a result of a direct exposure of the cells. Instead the stressors induce an increase of mitochondrial free radicals within the barrier cells which in turn provokes signalling within the layers of the barrier through gap junctions and hemichannels including connexin and pannexin channels. As a result there is a  liberation of secondary molecules from the barrier which elicit a variety of lesions in the cells below the barrier including single and double DNA strand breaks and chromosome aberrations. Our work so far shows that human fibroblasts and embryonic stem cells are vulnerable to this ‘damage at a distance’. We now wish to focus our attention on the behaviour of neurones. Dissociated neurones or organotypic tissue slices of cerebral cortex and hippocampus will be exposed to the media and the levels of cell death, apoptosis, mitochondrial free radicals, autophagy, axon and dendrite outgrowth will be measured. Different regions of brain will be compared (e.g. CA1 v CA3 in hippocampal slices) to look for evidence of selective neuronal vulnerability.


This is an interdisciplinary project for one year which is supported by the Waterloo foundation. The applicant will work in well-equipped and modern laboratories in the Musculoskeletal Research Unit at Southmead Hospital and in the MRC Centre for synaptic plasticity in the school of medical sciences at Bristol University.

Enquires can be made to Dr Patrick Case and Professor Jeremy Henley

Salary Midgrade I point 3 £38,943



Sood, S. Salih, D. Roh, L. Lacharme-Lora, M. Parry, B. Hardiman, R. Keehan, R. Grummer, E. Winterhager, P.J. Gokhale, P.W. Andrews, C. Abbott, K. Forbes, M. Westwood, J. Aplin, E. Ingham, I. Papageorgiou, M. Berry, J. Liu, A.D. Dick, R.J. Garland, N. Williams, R. Singh, A.K. Simon, M. Lewis, J. Ham, L. Roger, D.M. Baird, L.A. Crompton, M.A. Caldwell, H. Swalwell,  M. Birch-Machin, G. Lopez-Castejon, A. Randall, H. Lin, M-S. Suleiman, W.H. Evans, R. Newson, C.P. Case Signalling of DNA damage and cytokines across cell barriers exposed to nanoparticles depends on barrier thickness Nature Nanotechnology  6, 824–833 (2011)

Bhabra G, Sood A, Fisher B, Cartwright L, Saunders M, Evans WH, Surprenant A, Lopez-Castejon G, Mann S, Davis SA, Hails LA, Ingham E, Verkade P, Lane J, Heesom K, Newson R, Case CP. Nanoparticles can cause DNA damage across a cellular barrier. Nature Nanotechnol.;4:876-83 (2009).

Kantamneni S, Wilkinson KA, Henley JM. Ubiquitin regulation of neuronal excitability. Nature Neurosci. 2011 Feb;14(2):126-8.

Posted on 24/02/2012

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