University of Cambridge

Job Opportunities


Funded PhD in The Influence of Tau Pathology on Hippocampal Neuron Function

As part of a BBSRC-funded Collaborative Training Partnership (CTP) between Eli Lilly and Company Ltd and the University of Cambridge, we have a 4-year fully-funded PhD position available. The project will use a method developed at Eli Lilly and further characterised in our laboratory to study the functional consequences of seeding tau pathology in organotypic slice cultures. Tau pathology is one of the pathological hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease and pathogenic tau species have been found to seed tau pathology in other tissue. By studying this in slice cultures, we can readily investigate both the seeding mechanism and its consequences for the function of neurons and synapses in electrophysiological studies, and we can ask whether these can be alleviated for example by blocking microglia. The successful candidate will use tissue from transgenic mice to establish and maintain slice cultures in the Coleman laboratory, working alongside experts in this method (Harwell and Coleman, Mol Neurodeg 2016), and characterise their electrical properties in the Karadottir group, interacting with substantial expertise in patch clamping. Eli Lilly will contribute additional method development during a period hosted in Windlesham, Surrey, a training programme with other CTP students, tau seeding material and intellectual input. The student will become proficient in mouse genetics, cell and tissue culture, immunofluorescence and confocal microscopy, electrophysiology, western blotting and molecular biology.

This is a fully funded, four-year PhD studentship commencing 1st April 2019 that includes:

  • A fee waiver equivalent to the Home/EU rates. Overseas students may apply but will need to fund the difference between the Home and Overseas fee from another source.

  • A stipend at £16,777 per annum.

To be enrolled on the PhD course, applicants should have (or expect to obtain) at least 2:1 honours degree or equivalent.

Applications should be made via the standard admissions procedure on the University's Graduate Admissions website ( please select Easter Term 2019 as the start term.

Please include Professor Michael Coleman as the Supervisor's name on application and the reference number.

Applicants should also include their expression of interest letter in the application; this can be added to the section "Additional Information to Support Application".

Deadline for applications for this studentship is 12 noon on Monday 5th November 2018.

Interviews are likely during week commencing 19th November 2018.

Informal enquiries, including if your availability is later than April 2019, should be directed to Professor Michael Coleman on

Any queries relating to the application process should be sent to Shannon Tinley- Browne at

Please quote reference ZE16782 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

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