Neuro-immune interactions: nerve pathways controlling inflammation in the intestine

Research Opportunity
PhD students, Honours students, Master of Biomedical Science
Number of Honour Places Available
Number of Master Places Available
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Martin Stebbing
Co-supervisor Email Number Webpage
Prof John Furness

Summary The healthy gut communicates with the brain and lives in harmony with the many bacteria it contains. Disorders of gut health lead to diabetes and metabolic disease, inadequate nutrition, pain, nausea, poor digestion, liver disease, and digestive diseases. The digestive Physiology and Nutrition Laboratory is working to develop new approaches to treating bowel diseases through neuromodulation, an exciting new approach in which nerves are stimulated to treat disordered function, through drug development and by unravelling the basic mechanisms essential for digestive health. We are also working to understand the reasons why gastrointestinal functions become disordered when there are pathologies of the central nervous system, such as in Parkinson’s Disease.

Project Details

This study aims to better understand the nerve pathways that sense inflammation in the intestine and control the innate immune cells that mediate inflammatory reactions in the gut. It will also determine how these nerves change in inflammatory conditions of the bowel both in animals and in humans.
You will use neuronal tracing and molecular techniques to identify and characterize the neurons that project to and control immune cells of the gut.  You will also use electrophysiological recordings, immunohistochemical and molecular techniques to study the responses of these neurons and changes in their properties during acute and chronic inflammation of the gut in animal and human tissue from patients with inflammatory bowel disease.

Research Opportunities

PhD students, Honours students, Master of Biomedical Science
Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

Graduate Research application

Honours application

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.

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