Title: Evidence-based optimisation of electrical neuromodulation targeting recovery of skilled upper limb function following cervical spinal cord injury (located in Campus Biotech, Geneva)
Description: Spinal cord injury (SCI) results in devastating effects on patient quality of life, permanently disrupting motor, sensory and autonomic functions. Over the past decade, our lab has refined a therapeutic approach involving electrochemical neuromodulation of spinal circuits and robot-assisted training procedures to promote extensive and ubiquitous neuroplasticity that has restored refined hindlimb function in animal models of severe thoracic SCI. As improvements in upper limb function are the number one priority for tetraplegic SCI patients, we will aim to develop, adapt, and optimize similar strategies to restore upper limb function in rodent models of cervical SCI. As well as establishing an effective neurorehabilitation strategy for restoration of upper limb function, this project aims to gain important understanding of the mechanisms underlying neuromodulation of the cervical spinal cord.
Tasks: The student must be comfortable with handling rats, as a large part of this project will involve the training and rehabilitation of injured rats. In addition to this the student will participate in the implementation of an activity-dependent closed-loop stimulation paradigm, the histological processing of neurological tissue, and analysis of both functional and anatomical data.
If interested, please contact Quentin Barraud, Phd