Visual Neuroscience and Molecular Biology (PhD/MPhil)
PhD 3-4 years, MPhil 2 years (Full-time) / opportunities available (Part-time) / n/a (Distance / E-Learning)
To offer knowledge and expertise for post doctoral/lectureship positions in neuroscience, molecular biology, molecular genetics, cell biology and vision science. Also for research positions in industry and the Health Service, scientific informatics and science writing.
- International centre of excellence
- Laboratory suites equipped with state-of-the-art facilities for cell and organ culture, histology, neuroscience, protein analysis, molecular biology, gene transfection, molecular genetics, absorption/emission spectroscopy, and microscopic imaging
- Has made a number of novel discoveries:
- Identification of the gene responsible for the major form of optic atrophy
- Lipofuscin is a photoinducible free radical generator that causes cell dysfunction
- Matrix metalloproteinases are upregulated in the development of myopia in mammals and identification of a new member of the MMP family
- Damage to the centrifugal visual system alters eye development and its retractive state, suggesting that the brain influences emmetropisation
- Developed innovative experimental or genetic models for studying corneal transplantation, ocular development, neural tracing, oxidative damage to the retina and a variety of eye diseases
- Supported by grants from the MRC, BBSRC, Wellcome Trust, EU, Medical Charities, Health Service and the private sector
An MPhil or PhD by research at the School of Optometry and Vision Sciences is based around a specific, well-defined research topic. All students have regular meetings with their supervisory team, as well as an advisor who is not directly involved with the project, and is able to objectively monitor the progress of the research, and to provide independent guidance. In addition to the core research topic, the School provides a diverse programme of transferrable skills training, which complements the University Graduate College Programme.
- Genetic models of eye disease
- Understanding and preventing corneal dystrophies
- Improving corneal storage for transplantation
- Gene transfer
- Structure of the optic nerve head in the healthy and glaucomatous eye
- Pupillary, accommodative and eye movement disorders
- Impact of neural plasticity on eye disease
- Ageing and cell dysfunction
- Role of growth factors in neovascularisation
- Oxidative damage and retinal dysfunction
- Stem cell biology
- Light damage to the eye
- Mechanisms and prevention of neural cell death
This course aims to provide the graduate with a skillset which will advance them towards the goal of becoming an independent researcher. In addition to research project specific skills, graduates can expect to develop transferrable research skills in areas such as study design, statistical analysis, scientific writing, research governance and ethics, and presentation of research findings. The School seminar series provides the opportunity for graduates to widen their general understanding of Vision Research. There are also opportunities to develop teaching skills, through supervision of the undergraduate course, and the University Graduate College provides courses addressing diverse aspects of generic skills training, such as computing skills, time management, rapid reading, and careers planning.
Those who successfully gain their research degree generally find employment commensurate with their academic achievement within six months of graduation. Positions include postdoctorate or lectureships within Universities, senior appointments within NHS Trusts, professional service appointments within major optometric companies, pharmaceutical, and other industry employment such as Novartis, Astra Zeneca and Johnson & Johnson.
Suitable for graduates in optometry, cell biology, biochemistry, molecular biology, genetics, neuroscience, biology, medicine or any relevant scientific discipline.
A First or Upper Second class UK Honours degree, or equivalent is required.
Note: International students pursuing part-time programmes of study are not eligible for Tier 4 General Student) visas and must have alternative leave to remain in the UK if they intend to study at the University in person.
UK & EU Full Time for 2013/14
UK & EU Part Time for 2013/14
International Full Time for 2013/14
International Part Time for 2013/14
Next intake: The University has four entry points for research degrees; 1st October, 1st January, 1st April or 1st July
Name: Dr Jon Erichsen
Telephone: +44 (0)29 2087 5656