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The Neurobiology Division conducts research in the fields of neurobiology and neuropathology. We investigate mechanisms that regulate normal brain function as well as the causes and consequences of dysfunction during ageing and in acute or chronic neurodegenerative disease. Read more

Research profile

The Neurobiology Division conducts research in the fields of neurobiology and neuropathology. We investigate mechanisms that regulate normal brain function as well as the causes and consequences of dysfunction during ageing and in acute or chronic neurodegenerative disease.

The division has an excellent track-record in the supervision and training of postgraduate students by staff highly experienced in teaching and research. It has 13 Group Leaders and 1 career track fellow who supervise more than 10 postgraduate students.

Why our work is important

Some of our current research focuses on:

-identifying new TSE strains and their zoonotic potential, examining routes of transmission and the genetics of host susceptibility to disease
-characterising the pathways and cells involved in the uptake and transport of TSE agents to the brain using rodent models and our natural scrapie sheep flock
-understanding mechanisms of neurodegeneration associated with both chronic and acute neurodegenerative disease using unique disease models
-understanding the long-term consequences of adverse experiences in early life on future health
-identifying novel mechanisms regulating homeostasis and responses to stress in neuronal networks

In addressing these fundamental questions we contribute to the improvement of both animal and human health, livestock productivity and welfare.

Students will be able to take advantage of our multidisciplinary tools including proteomics, bio-imaging, computer-aided behavioural analysis, genetics, molecular biology, in vitro cell models, transgenic rodent models and natural diseases of large animals to dissect biological networks in the nervous and immune systems. The Roslin Institute is uniquely placed to transfer our experience of rodent models into livestock species such as sheep and pigs.

Training and support

Studentships are of 3 or 4 years duration and students will be expected to complete a novel piece of research which will advance our understanding of the field. To help them in this goal, students will be assigned a principal and assistant supervisor, both of whom will be active scientists at the Institute. Student progress is monitored in accordance with School Postgraduate (PG) regulations by a PhD thesis committee (which includes an independent external assessor and chair). There is also dedicated secretarial support to assist these committees and the students with regard to University and Institute matters.

All student matters are overseen by the Schools PG studies committee. The Roslin Institute also has a local PG committee and will provide advice and support to students when requested. An active staff:student liaison committee and a social committee, which is headed by our postgraduate liaison officer, provide additional support.

Students are expected to attend a number of generic training courses offered by the Transkills Programme of the University and to participate in regular seminars and laboratory progress meetings. All students will also be expected to present their data at national and international meetings throughout their period of study.

Facilities

In 2011 the Roslin Institute moved to a new state-of-the-art building on the University of Edinburgh's veterinary campus at Easter Bush. Our facilities include: rodent, bird and livestock animal units and associated lab areas; comprehensive bioinformatic and genomic capability; a range of bioimaging facilities; extensive molecular biology and cell biology labs; café and auditorium where we regularly host workshops and invited speakers.

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Research profile. Read more

Research profile

The scientific goal of the Centre of Cognitive and Neural Systems (CCNS) is to understand information processing by the central and peripheral nervous systems, at several different levels of analysis, from cognitive psychology through cognitive neuroscience and brain imaging, behavioural neuroscience and neuropharmacology, and extending to theoretical models of neuronal networks.

Members of the CCNS are divided into different research groups with a focus on:

  • human cognitive neuroscience (including ageing)
  • the neurobiology of learning, memory and plasticity (focusing on hippocampus and cortex)
  • the processing of nociceptive somatosensory information, cerebrovascular physiology and pharmacology
  • the consequences of drug action, including drugs of abuse

Although the CCNS is hosted by the School of Biomedical Sciences, its membership is drawn from several different Schools across all three Colleges.

Training and support

During their studies, postgraduate students are assigned a personal thesis committee, which monitors progress.

Students attend seminars and the generic skills training programme provided by the Life Sciences Graduate Programme.

Postgraduates can often act as demonstrators for undergraduate teaching.

Students are strongly encouraged to present their findings at national and international conferences and to publish their findings in international journals during their postgraduate training.

Facilities

The CCNS is based at the Central Campus, and has excellent facilities for cognitive and systems neuroscience, including human cognitive neuroscience and functional MRI facilities, rodent surgical facilities, testing rooms for water mazes, event arenas, single unit recording in freely moving rodents, in vivo and in vitro (slice) electrophysiological recording, histology, confocal microscopy and wet-lab facilities.

We also offer expertise and facilities for functional imaging in animals and excellent genetic models of CNS diseases. Molecular and cellular analysis of cell death and plasticity underpin in vivo investigating.



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Research profile. Our research aims to enhance understanding of disease processes in animals and to translate that understanding into improved therapies for both animal and human disease. Read more

Research profile

Our research aims to enhance understanding of disease processes in animals and to translate that understanding into improved therapies for both animal and human disease.

Research focuses on:

  • the improvement of health and welfare of domestic animal species;
  • the protection of public health;
  • alleviation of human poverty (in the context of tropical diseases).
  • providing holistic solutions to global challenges in human and veterinary medicine and the livestock industry.

Most of our research is carried out within The Roslin Institute, which is incorporated with the School and is the major centre of research.

Training and support

Studentships are of 3 or 4 years duration and students will be expected to complete a novel piece of research which will advance our understanding of the field. To help them in this goal, students will be assigned a principal and assistant supervisor, both of whom will be active scientists at the Institute.

Student progress is monitored in accordance with School Postgraduate (PG) regulations by a PhD thesis committee (which includes an independent external assessor and chair). There is also dedicated secretarial support to assist these committees and the students with regard to University and Institute matters.

All student matters are overseen by the Schools PG studies committee. An active staff:student liaison committee and a social committee, which is headed by our postgraduate liaison officer, provide additional support.

Students are expected to attend a number of generic training courses offered by the Transkills Programme of the University and to participate in regular seminars and laboratory progress meetings. All students will also be expected to present their data at national and international meetings throughout their period of study.

Facilities

The Veterinary Campus at Easter Bush includes the new “state-of- the-art” Roslin Institute Building, the Small Animal and Large Animal Hospitals, the Riddell-Swan Cancer Imaging Centre as well as the New Vet School. Our facilities include: rodent, bird and livestock animal units and associated lab areas; comprehensive bioinformatic and genomic capability; a range of bioimaging facilities; extensive molecular biology and cell biology labs; café and auditorium where we regularly host workshops and invited speakers.



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Normal growth of an animal, from the fertilised egg through to end of life maturity, requires concerted action of all the genes found in the animal genome. Read more

Research profile

Normal growth of an animal, from the fertilised egg through to end of life maturity, requires concerted action of all the genes found in the animal genome. Not all genes are active at any one stage or in any one cell type. Gene expression is dynamic yet programmed. Sometimes this programming goes awry and disease ensues. Research in the Division of Developmental Biology aims to characterise, understand and ultimately exploit the ever changing profile of gene expression found in mammals. This will allow the development of a better understanding of biology which in turn will enable new biotech, agricultural and biomedical advances to become reality.

We believe that a supported, active and innovative post-graduate student community is essential if we are to deliver our goals. This community represents the scientists, entrepreneurs, communicators and regulators of the future.

Research in the Division of Developmental Biology aims to enhance fundamental knowledge of the control of cellular growth and differentiation aiming to underpin the development of better disease intervention strategies.

We will advance our understanding of function in these essential biological processes through mechanistic studies at the cell, tissue and whole animal level with particular focus on:

animal biotechnology and stem cells
tissue and organ development
tissue damage and repair
regulatory networks in development

Within the Division of Developmental Biology we have 19 Group Leaders plus 2 Career Track Fellows who supervise about 30 students at any one time.

Training and support

Studentships are of 3 or 4 years duration and students will be expected to complete a novel piece of research which will advance our understanding of the field. To help them in this goal, students will be assigned a principal and assistant supervisor, both of whom will be active scientists at the Institute. Student progress is monitored in accordance with School Postgraduate (PG) regulations by a PhD thesis committee (which includes an independent external assessor and chair). There is also dedicated secretarial support to assist these committees and the students with regard to University and Institute matters.

All student matters are overseen by the Schools PG studies committee. The Roslin Institute also has a local PG committee and will provide advice and support to students when requested. An active staff:student liaison committee and a social committee, which is headed by our postgraduate liaison officer, provide additional support.

Students are expected to attend a number of generic training courses offered by the Transkills Programme of the University and to participate in regular seminars and laboratory progress meetings. All students will also be expected to present their data at national and international meetings throughout their period of study.

Facilities

In 2011 The Roslin Institute moved to a new state-of-the-art building on the University of Edinburgh's veterinary campus at Easter Bush. Our facilities include: rodent, bird and livestock animal units and associated lab areas; comprehensive bioinformatic and genomic capability; a range of bioimaging facilities; extensive molecular biology and cell biology labs; café and auditorium where we regularly host workshops and invited speakers.

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Research in the Division of Genetics and Genomics aims to advance understanding of complex animal systems and the development of improved predictive models… Read more

Research profile

Research in the Division of Genetics and Genomics aims to advance understanding of complex animal systems and the development of improved predictive models through the application of numerical and computational approaches in the analysis, interpretation, modelling and prediction of complex animal systems from the level of the DNA and other molecules, through cellular and gene networks, tissues and organs to whole organisms and interacting populations of organisms.

The biology and traits of interest include: growth and development, body composition, feed efficiency, reproductive performance, responses to infectious disease and inherited diseases.

Research encompasses basic research in bioscience and mathematical biology and strategic research to address grand challenges, e.g. food security.

Research is focussed on, but not restricted to, target species of agricultural importance including cattle, pigs, poultry, sheep; farmed fish such as salmon; and companion animals. The availability of genome sequences and the associated genomics toolkits enable genetics research in these species.

Expertise includes genetics (molecular, quantitative), physiology (neuroendocrinology, immunology), ‘omics (genomics, functional genomics) with particular strengths in mathematical biology (quantitative genetics, epidemiology, bioinformatics, modelling).

The Division has 18 Group Leaders and 4 career track fellows who supervise over 30 postgraduate students.

Training and support

Studentships are of 3 or 4 years duration and students will be expected to complete a novel piece of research which will advance our understanding of the field. To help them in this goal, students will be assigned a principal and assistant supervisor, both of whom will be active scientists at the Institute. Student progress is monitored in accordance with School Postgraduate (PG) regulations by a PhD thesis committee (which includes an independent external assessor and chair). There is also dedicated secretarial support to assist these committees and the students with regard to University and Institute matters.

All student matters are overseen by the Schools PG studies committee. The Roslin Institute also has a local PG committee and will provide advice and support to students when requested. An active staff:student liaison committee and a social committee, which is headed by our postgraduate liaison officer, provide additional support.

Students are expected to attend a number of generic training courses offered by the Transkills Programme of the University and to participate in regular seminars and laboratory progress meetings. All students will also be expected to present their data at national and international meetings throughout their period of study.

Facilities

In 2011 The Roslin Institute moved to a new state-of-the-art building on the University of Edinburgh's veterinary campus at Easter Bush. Our facilities include: rodent, bird and livestock animal units and associated lab areas; comprehensive bioinformatic and genomic capability; a range of bioimaging facilities; extensive molecular biology and cell biology labs; café and auditorium where we regularly host workshops and invited speakers.

The University's genomics facility Edinburgh Genomics is closely associated with the Division of Genetics and Genomics and provides access to the latest genomics technologies, including next-generation sequencing, SNP genotyping and microarray platforms (genomics.ed.ac.uk).

In addition to the Edinburgh Compute and Data Facility’s high performance computing resources, The Roslin Institute has two compute farms, including one with 256 GB of RAM, which enable the analysis of complex ‘omics data sets.

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Research on Infection and Immunity aims to enhance understanding of the mechanisms of host defence against infection, and translate this understanding into prevention and treatment. Read more

Research profile

Research on Infection and Immunity aims to enhance understanding of the mechanisms of host defence against infection, and translate this understanding into prevention and treatment.

The research programmes include a wide range of activities including studies of host/pathogen interactions (including work on viruses, bacteria, parasites and spongiform encephalopathy agents), the immune systems of animals and how they respond to pathogen challenge, genetic resistance to disease and epidemiology of disease. These activities are underpinned by major programmes in animals genomics and bioinformatics.

Training and support

Studentships are of 3 or 4 years duration and students will be expected to complete a novel piece of research which will advance our understanding of the field. To help them in this goal, students will be assigned a principal and assistant supervisor, both of whom will be active scientists at the Institute. Student progress is monitored in accordance with School Postgraduate (PG) regulations by a PhD thesis committee (which includes an independent external assessor and chair). There is also dedicated secretarial support to assist these committees and the students with regard to University and Institute matters.

All student matters are overseen by the Schools PG studies committee. The Roslin Institute also has a local PG committee and will provide advice and support to students when requested. An active staff:student liaison committee and a social committee, which is headed by our postgraduate liaison officer, provide additional support.

Students are expected to attend a number of generic training courses offered by the Transkills Programme of the University and to participate in regular seminars and laboratory progress meetings. All students will also be expected to present their data at national and international meetings throughout their period of study.

Facilities

In 2011 the Roslin Institute moved to a new state-of-the-art building on the University of Edinburgh's veterinary campus at Easter Bush. Our facilities include: rodent, bird and livestock animal units and associated lab areas; comprehensive bioinformatic and genomic capability; a range of bioimaging facilities; extensive molecular biology and cell biology labs; café and auditorium where we regularly host workshops and invited speakers.

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