The intern will carry out the internship within the Developmental Neurobiology Group (GNDe), led by Dr. Fernando de Castro.He/She will work under the supervision of both, Dr. de Castro and Dr. Fernando Josa-Prado, postdoctoral researcher at GNDe.
Our group is looking for a motivated candidate, specially a master student willing to do his research project over a full academic year.
The group is focused in myelin physiology, thus mainly working with oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs) and oligodendrocytes. Research at GNDe covers a wide spectrum of levels. We work from molecular and cell biology levels to rodent animal models of demyelinating diseases (Multiple Sclerosis, leukodystrophias) in preclinical assays. The group is expert in central nervous system (CNS) histology (immunostainings and other key staining protocols), OPCs primary cultures, as well as drug testing in cellular and animal models (EAE, cuprizone, others). GNDe has important national and international collaborators that enrich the scope and projects.
The intern will work on the remyelinating potential of novel hybrid molecules. Demyelinating disorders, with MS as the principal disease associated to myelin miss-regulation, are conditions with high impact both clinical and social. Yet no cure has yet been found for them. Screening for molecules that can induce remyelination in areas of the CNS were myelin homeostasis is affected is one of the main strategies to discover new therapeutic approaches. Our group has already shown in collaboration with the group of Dr. Ana Martínez and Dr. Valle Palomo, that certain phosphodiesterase inhibitors promotes remyelination. However, one main barrier still lies ahead. Drug delivery to OPCs (cells that by differentiating produce myelin), is a key step to make therapies more specific and efficient. In this project, testing hybrid molecules by conjugating drug candidates to peptides we aim to investigate the efficiency of these peptides to deliver the drugs to OPCs.
The intern will perform cell biology techniques, including OPCs primary cultures, drug treatment of cells; he/she will also carry out biochemical /molecular biology techniques (Western blot, molecular cloning, plasmid transfection), immunostaining of cellular and histological samples and imaging with fluorescent microscopy.
The intern will also have the opportunity to see and learn other techniques and projects carried out by Dr. Josa-Prado and the other members of the group, which will be advantageous for his/her holistic understanding of the work at GNDe.