Electrical synapses in the spinal cord: Cellular distribution and changes in expression during development

University of Dundee

Past award

Student: Simonas Griesius : University of Dundee

Year Award Started: 2016

Our work looks at bacteria that cause disease in different parts of the body. We use the model bacterium Escherichia coli as it causes thousands of infections each year with diseases ranging from those in the bladder, brain, gut and blood. We recently found that one rare amino acid, produced by humans in brain tissue and in the urine, acts as a key signal for some strains to causes infection. We found a new “sensing system” that the bacteria use to measure the levels of this amino acid inside a human and help the bacteria decide whether or not to attach at a particular site. In this work, the student will see if this sensing system is also important for E. coli strains that cause meningitis in young babies. To achieve this, the student will remove the sensing system from the bacteria and see how this affects the ability of the bugs to attach to human cell lines. This work might help in the design of new vaccines to combat meningitis in babies.

Research area: Neurological conditions (including stroke)


Dr Sheriar Hormuzdi
School of Medicine