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Durham University

Department of Biosciences

Anatomy and function of the mosquito olfactory system

Project description

Malaria mosquito is one of the deadliest animals on Earth, causing more than 400,000 death per year and affecting half of the world population. Our fight against malaria has currently stalled, due to the emerging insecticide resistance and changing climate. New methods of malaria and mosquito control, based on better understanding of mosquito biology, are urgently needed.
This project will apply cutting-edge genetic tools to study the sense of smell of malaria mosquitoes Anopheles gambiae. You will investigate, based on your research preferences, cellular and/or behavioural responses to odorants of larval and adult mosquitoes with genetically modified olfactory neurons. You will also investigate the anatomy of olfactory innervations of the mosquito brain.
Research skills that will be taught and used for this project include: mosquito rearing, behavioural assays, genetic crosses of mosquitoes, live calcium imaging, brain dissection, immunostaining and confocal imaging, gene knock-down with RNAi.
Required from you are: interest and research experience in neuroscience, enthusiasm and ability to develop the project and drive it forward.

Funding Notes

Applicants must have the ability to SELF FUND in full the costs to cover tuition fees, bench fees, and living stipend for a minimum of 1 year (full time).
Success will depend on the quality of applications received, funding, and meeting the minimum criteria required in terms of language and academic qualifications.
Further general information and the on-line application form for Postgraduate Study at Durham University is available at here.
If you are interested in applying, please contact Dr Olena Riabinina with a CV, contact details of at least two referees, evidence of English language ability, evidence of qualifications and a detailed covering explaining your interest in this project research project and your future career plans.

Supervisor: Lena Riabinina (olena.riabinina@durham.ac.uk), please get in touch with Lena for an informal discussion if you are interested in this project