Neurobiology and Neurodegeneration PhD / MPhil / MD

Neurobiology & Neurodegeneration integrates expertise in cell biology, structural biology, signalling and the use of model organisms to investigate neuronal development, ageing, neurodegeneration and addiction. Research is undertaken within the Department of Cellular and Molecular Physiology.

Why study with us?

  • 100%

    4* and 3* in research environment in Clinical Medicine REF (2014).

  • 309

    academic members of staff.

  • 359

    registered postgraduate research students.

Overview

A leading international centre for research into the fundamental principles of human physiology. We have recognised expertise in all aspects of modern physiology ranging from the regulation of gene expression to cell, tissue and whole organism biology.

Our experimental approaches involve biochemical, behavioural, electrophysiological, molecular, structural and imaging techniques applied to mammalian cell systems and also to model organisms such as Caenorhabdities elegans and Drosophila melanogaster. We complement these studies with work at the level of the individual protein and also by studying conserved mechanisms in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Together these research programs provide an exciting and dynamic research environment which benefits from increasing collaboration with The Liverpool Neuroscience group, including clinicians working in neurology.

Our research interests

  • Neuronal cell and synaptic biology
  • Mechanisms underlying the exocytotic release of neurotransmitters
  • Formation of neuronal cytoskeleton and neuronal networks during development
  • Structural basis for target protein recognition by neuronal calcium-binding proteins, including how neuronal calcium signals are translated into physiological responses by calcium sensor proteins
  • Role of heat-shock and other neuronal chaperone proteins in protection from damaging challenge (e.g. alcohol or nicotine exposure) and from neurodegeneration (such as Alzheimer’s disease).

Research themes

Research areas specifically focus on:

  • Neuronal cell and synaptic biology
  • Mechanisms underlying the exocytotic release of neurotransmitters
  • Formation of neuronal cytoskeleton and neuronal networks during development
  • State-of art imaging and optogenetic techniques in primary neurons
  • Structural basis for target protein recognition by neuronal calcium-binding proteins, including how neuronal calcium signals are translated into physiological responses by calcium sensor proteins
  • Role of heat-shock and other neuronal chaperone proteins in protection from damaging challenge (e.g. alcohol or nicotine exposure) and from neurodegeneration (such as Alzheimer’s disease)
  • How neurodegeneration can be prevented by genetic or chemical factors
  • Development of fundamental model systems that can be used for initial stages of drug discovery for neuronal disorders (including epilepsy).

Facilities

The research infrastructure of the Institute of Translational Medicine is designed to give researchers access to world class facilities in the best possible environment.

Our centres, facilities and resources give us the ability to drive biomedical research from patient samples to the laboratory bench and vice versa from newly generated drug compounds into clinical trials. They provide powerful, productive collaborations between experts within the University and organisations worldwide.

  • Biomedical Imaging
  • Centre for Antimicrobial Pharmacodynamics
  • Centre for Drug Safety Science
  • Health Data Science Network
  • Centre for Preclinical Imaging
  • Clinical Trials Research Centre
  • Harris-Wellbeing Preterm Birth Research Centre
  • Liverpool Bio-Innovation Hub (LBIH) Biobank
  • Liverpool Cancer Trials Unit
  • MRC North West Hub for Trials Methodology Research
  • North West Cancer Research Centre – University of Liverpool
  • Pancreas Biomedical Research Unit
  • UK Experimental Arthritis Treatment Centre for Children
  • Wolfson Centre for Personalised Medicine

Postgraduate researchers also benefit from flexible access to world-class equipment and expertise through the Shared Research Facilities provided by The Technology Directorate.

Study options and fees


MPhil / PhD / MD Duration Home/EU Students International Students
Full time 2-4 years £4,327* (2019) £23,650* ^ (lab based programmes)
£18,000* (non Lab based programmes) (2020).
Part time 4-6 years £2,163.50* (2019) £11,825* (lab based programmes) £9,000* (non Lab based programmes) (2020)

*This fees excludes potential research support fees also known as ‘bench fees. You will be notified of any fee which may apply in your offer letter.

^Self funded full time international students studying a lab based programme will receive a £2,000 reduction in their fees for the first year only.

Entry requirements

Applications are welcomed from well qualified graduates who would typically hold a UK first degree or equivalent in the first or 2:1 class, or a 2:2 class degree plus a Masters degree, in a relevant subject.

We welcome applications from within the EU and around the world. You should ensure that your qualifications are equivalent to those required to study for this research degree. See our guidance on international qualifications.

You must also have reached a minimum standard of English and be able to provide evidence of this. See our English language requirements for international students.

How to apply

Research degree applications can be made online.  Before you apply, we recommend that you identify a supervisor and develop a research proposal.  You'll also need to ensure that you have funding to cover all fees.

Applications are open all year round.

More about applying for research degrees

Apply online

Find a supervisor

Your supervisor is your main source of academic support and mentoring. You'll need to find a supervisor before you start your research degree. It's helpful to identify a supervisor and discuss your research proposal before you apply.

View supervisors in this area

Need help finding a supervisor? Contact us

Related studentships: self-funded and funded PhD projects