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PhD position: ERC-funded project: neural control of locomotion before and after spinal cord regeneration in salamanders

ABG-110460 Thesis topic
2023-01-25 Public/private mixed funding
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Université de Sherbrooke
Sherbrooke - Canada
PhD position: ERC-funded project: neural control of locomotion before and after spinal cord regeneration in salamanders
  • Psychology, neurosciences
Neuroscience, locomotion, regeneration, spinal cord

Topic description

In mammals, voluntary locomotion is lost after full transection of the spinal cord. In salamanders, the spinal cord regenerates and the animal recovers voluntary locomotion after a few weeks. How this occurs is largely unknown. Genetic dissection of salamander neural circuits is now feasible with methods for manipulation, elimination, and visualisation of cells. Such approaches can be combined with neuroscience tools such as calcium imaging (confocal and two-photon imaging), patch-clamp electrophysiology, optogenetics, tracing and movement analysis (for review see Ryczko et al. 2020 Trends in Neurosciences, 43(11):916-930, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tins.2020.08.006). The candidate will use these powerful approaches to dissect the organisation of salamander locomotor circuits in the intact and regenerated spinal cord. The present ERC synergy grant project will be carried out in close collaboration with modelers and roboticists who are building a detailed model of the salamander circuits (team of Pr. Auke Ijspeert, EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland) and experts in genomics and regeneration who generate transgenic salamanders (team of Pr. Andras Simon, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden).

Starting date


Funding category

Public/private mixed funding

Funding further details

European Research Council

Presentation of host institution and host laboratory

Université de Sherbrooke

HOST LABORATORY: Pr. Ryczko has expertise in the neural control of locomotion and published research in excellent journals (PNAS, Science, Journal of Neuroscience…). The lab receives grant support by the CIHR, NSERC, FRQS, CFI and ERC. We are equipped for optogenetics, viral injections, patch-clamp recordings, confocal and two photon calcium imaging, high-resolution movement analysis based on deep learning, and microscopy (confocal, light-sheet, two-photon, STED). 

PhD title

Doctorat en Physiologie

Country where you obtained your PhD


Institution awarding doctoral degree

Université de Sherbrooke

Candidate's profile

REQUIREMENTS: The candidate should have obtained a master's degree in neuroscience or an equivalent field. An asset for the candidate would be to have experience in electrophysiology or calcium imaging, optogenetics, or movement analysis, and a keen interest in motor control.

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