PhD PROPOSAL FOR THE PASTEUR-PARIS UNIVERSITY INTERNATIONAL PROGRAM

 

Deadline for full application: December 15th, 2013

Interviews: March, 2014

Start of the Ph.D.: October 1st, 2014

 

 

Department: Neuroscience

 

Title of the PhD project: Newborn neurons in the adult brain: Why and where?

 

Name of the lab: Perception and Memory

 

Head of the lab: Pierre-Marie Lledo

 

PhD advisor: Pierre-Marie Lledo

 

Email address: pmlledo@pasteur.fr

 

Web site address of the lab: http://www.pasteur.fr/ip/easysite/pasteur/en/research/scientific-departments/neuroscience/units-and-groups/perception-and-memory

http://www.ura2182.cnrs-bellevue.fr/pam/index.html

http://pmlledo.squarespace.com/

 

Doctoral school affiliation and University: ED3C Ecole Doctorale Cerveau Cognition Comportement  Paris VI

 

 

Presentation of the laboratory and its research topics:

 

Lab profile:

Our lab has employed techniques from systems and molecular neuroscience to probe the mechanisms of early neural wiring, the limits of early brain plasticity, and how such neuronal plasticity depends on neurogenesis throughout life. Such work could have profound implications for developmental disorders as well as learning and education. The lab has pioneered use of the olfactory system as a model system for sensory systems and plasticity, and has become accepted world-wide as one of the centers of expertise in elucidating the functional implications of adult neurogenesis. Our lab has pioneered the use of viruses to study the development of newborn neurons in situ.

 

Description of the project:

 

Summary of the project:

The continuous neuronal replacement in the adult brain, the so-called adult neurogenesis, is puzzling for two reasons. First, in a fundamental context, the ability of the adult forebrain to produce new neurons remains an important issue to be addressed. At the same time, adult neurogenesis represents a suitable model system for investigating central questions in applied stem cell biology. The focus, then, is to identify the factors controlling the development of new neurons under conditions prevailing in the adult brain and to unveil the respective influence of genetic determination and brain activity on their development and functioning.

Since the inception of the unit in 2002, the major research lines have focused on the biology of neural stem cells, and in particular the underlying mechanisms that control the continuous neuronal production of the adult forebrain, and the diversity of cell types being produced. We have also significantly contributed to the understanding on how new cells proliferate and migrate, leaving unsolved the functional meaning of these processes. Is there anything special brought into play by the new neurons besides their later production?

            The PhD project seeks to address these questions to create new knowledge on the basic mechanisms and functions of adult neurogenesis. Together we will combine our expertise involving molecular genetics, cell biology and advanced imaging, neurophysiology, behavioral studies and modeling to understand when, why and how new cells integrate into already functioning circuits and how a pathological context influences adult neurogenesis.

 

References:

 

Five selected most recent publications (2008 - 2012)

  1. Alonso M, Wagner S, Lepousez G, Gabellec MM, Torquet N & Lledo P-M (2012). Activation of adult-born neurons facilitates learning and memory. Nat. Neurosci. 15, 897–904.
  2. Lazarini F, Gabellec MM, Torquet N & Lledo P-M (2012). Early activation of microglia triggers long-lasting impairment of adult neurogenesis in the olfactory bulb. J. Neurosci. 32, 3652-64.
  3. Belvindrah R, Nissant A et Lledo P-M. (2011). Abnormal neuronal migration changes the fate of developing neurons of the postnatal forebrain. J. Neurosci. 31, 7551-7562.
  4. Nissant A, Bardy C, Katagiri H, Murray K & Lledo P-M (2009). Neurogenesis promotes synaptic plasticity in the adult olfactory bulb. Nat. Neurosci. 12, 728-30
  5. Grubb M, Nissant A, Murray K & Lledo P-M (2008). Functional maturation of the first synapse in olfaction: Development and adult neurogenesis. J. Neurosci. 28, 2919-32.

 

 

 

Keywords: Brain plasticity; Memory; Neurodegenerative diseases; Cell migration.

 

Expected profile of the candidate (optional):

 

Contact:  P-M Lledo (pmlledo@pasteur.fr)

 

 

Mis à jour le 16/09/2013