Movement and its finely tuned control are at the center of all behaviors. The neuronal circuits controlling movement are found throughout the nervous system. Many brain diseases lead to impairment of motor function, and motor circuits are subject to plasticity and learning. Studies of motor circuits are therefore central to understanding brain function and the target for rehabilitation. The model organisms for studies of the healthy brain include rodent and human, and the methods to interrogate motor circuits span from anatomical, electrophysiological, molecular, genetic, behavioral and imaging to computational approaches. For studies of the developing and diseased brain approaches to modulating brain plasticity, develop assistive devices or brain-computer interfaces will be performed. Choosing this research sub-column, you will get training from and do frontline research with world-known experts within this diverse motor field.
Chronic pain is recognized as a disease, affects one out of five adults, is not optimally treated, and has a considerable impact on society. In acute pain, the nervous system has a dynamic protective response. The unfavorable continuation of pain, sometimes after resolution of the initial cause, serves no obvious beneficial function. Major unsolved fundamental questions about pain include a better understanding of the underlying changes in the peripheral and central nervous system when pain progresses from acute to more persistent conditions. This pain neuroscience sub-column is composed of highly specialized research units spanning from fundamental pain neuroscience to pre-clinical and clinical/human settings. If you choose this research sub-column, you will conduct frontline neuroscience research and have access to high quality training from world-known experts and facilities with first-class equipment.
Doing lab rotations within either of these sub-columns, you will be exposed to theme specific PhD courses and be able to formulate a PhD project with a basic science and/or a translational view with members of the sub-column.