BBSRC CASE PhD Studentship in Integrative and Behavioural Neuroscience: Perineuronal Nets in Cognition and Behaviour

Vacancy Reference Number
BBSRC CASE PhD Studentship
Closing Date
18 Jan 2022
UKRI PhD stipend (£15,840 p.a.) plus stipend enhancement by industry partner (£1,000 p.a.)
School of Psychology, University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham, NG7 2RD b-neuro, Division of Pharmacy and Optometry, University of Manchester, Stopford Building, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PT
4 years
Perineuronal nets (PNNs) are extracellular matrix structures surrounding neurons in the mammalian central nervous system. They have been implicated in cognitive and behavioural functions, and disruption of PNNs has been associated with neuropsychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia. This project will examine how PNNs in prefrontal cortex and hippocampus, where they mainly surround GABAergic inhibitory interneurons, contribute to cognition and behaviour in rats. First, we will test the idea that PNNs are important for inhibitory GABA function and associated cognitive and behavioural processes (Aim 1). Second, we will examine the link between NMDA receptor hypofunction, a key pathophysiological factor implicated in schizophrenia, integrity of PNNs in prefrontal cortex and hippocampus and cognitive and behavioural function (Aim 2). The project will use brain site-specific manipulations of PNNs (Aim 1) and the subchronic phencyclidine model of NMDA receptor hypofunction (Aim 2) in combination with behavioural tests, in vivo electrophysiology and ex vivo histological methods. This industry-linked PhD project will be supervised by Tobias Bast and Helen Cassaday (Behavioural Neuroscience, Psychology, University of Nottingham) and Michael Harte and John Gigg (b-neuro at the University of Manchester).

Further Information

Further information on the project can be found here:

Information on how to apply can be found here:

General information about the Nottingham BBSRC Doctoral Training Programme (DTP) can be found here:

Behavioural Neuroscience Group, University of Nottingham:

b-neuro, University of Manchester:

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