M1 / M2 internships available
Diet influences brain function however the underlying mechanisms are unknown. Given its promising potential in therapeutic use (1,2), it is of outmost importance to understand the mechanisms by which diet affects neural circuit function, and thus cognition and behavior. In order to study the effects of different diets and the resulting internal states on brain function, we use as a model an extensively described neural circuit in the drosophila larva (3,4). This well-known circuit controls the decision between startle and escape behaviors following a mechanical stimulus. Thanks to the refined genetic tools that exist in Drosophila, we can thus monitor the effect of diet on this circuit at all scales, from molecules, to single neuron activity in intact animals, to behavior.
We have recently found that a high-sugar diet changes the decision to startle or escape, as well as neuronal circuit activity. Still, we lack a comprehensive overview of the exact internal state produced by high-sugar feeding. Are larvae lacking amino acids from this diet? Thus, are they in a starvation-like state? Are they attracted or repelled by sugar after spending a long time in contact with it? What are the physiological consequences of this diet on their overall behavior?
We offer an M1 or M2 internship to answer these questions. The student will develop behavioral paradigms and new analyses based on the existing set ups in the lab (automated video-tracking, automated behavioral detection, quantitative behavioral analysis), by using both his/her ideas and existing protocols in the literature. This internship is also an opportunity to discover the Drosophila model, learn its advantages and other techniques used in the lab from Drosophula genetics to connectomics and functional imaging.
1. Mattson, M. P., Moehl, K., Ghena, N., Schmaedick, M. & Cheng, A. Intermittent metabolic switching, neuroplasticity and brain health. Nat. Rev. Neurosci. 19, 63–80 (2018). 10.1038/nrn.2017.156
2. Adan, R. A. H. et al. Nutritional psychiatry: Towards improving mental health by what you eat. Eur. Neuropsychopharmacol. 29, 1321–1332 (2019). 10.1016/j.euroneuro.2019.10.011
3. Jovanic, T. et al. Competitive Disinhibition Mediates Behavioral Choice and Sequences in Drosophila. Cell 167, 858-870.e19 (2016). 10.1016/j.cell.2016.09.009
4. Masson, J.-B. et al. Identifying neural substrates of competitive interactions and sequence transitions during mechanosensory responses in Drosophila. PLOS Genet. 16, e1008589 (2020). 10.1371/journal.pgen.1008589
Functional studies of candidate pediatric cancers driver’s genes in a rare pediatric cancer.
M1 and M2 internships available. The team of Neurogenetics of Drosophila, headed by Daniel Vasiliauskas, has a number of Masters (M1 and M2) projects available, two of which are highlighted here.
The hired individual (postdoctoral researcher) will contribute to research projects supported by an Equipe FRM grant, on morphogenetic mechanisms underlying eye malformations in the blind Mexican cavefish.
The « Computational Neuroscience » group of NeuroPSI Institute, and the European Institute for Theoretical Neuroscience (EITN), recruit a postdoctoral researcher for the computer modeling of neural networks implicated in decision making, in collaboration with Ruben Moreno-Bote (Barcelona).
The applicant will organize and undertake in-depth comparative studies of several mouse models holding distinct mutations in the DMD gene to address a range of cognitive and executive functions in a variety of behavioral paradigms. He/she will also perform statistical analyses, generate and archive results reports, and contribute to dissemination of the produced knowledge through scientific written and oral communications in French and/or English.