Migraine is the leading cause of years lost to disability in young females, impacting over 1-billion people globally. Sleep, under the regulation of circadian and light-dark cycles is intrinsically linked with migraine, with sleep disruption a commonly reported migraine trigger. We have demonstrated that alteration of sleep, circadian and light processing enhances migraine-related pain processing in rodents and now seek to develop novel translational tools to explore the underlying neuronal circuitry responsible.
The project will:
1. Map the specific neuronal circuits that underlie the shared pathobiology of sleep and migraine to include the intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cell circuits (0-12 months).
2. Develop novel translational tools (e.g. EEG; (months 0-12) to monitor neuronal circuit alterations during migraine and sleep disruption (months 8-24).
3. Explore intervention strategies (e.g. pharmacological/chemogenetics) to uncover novel therapeutic targets (months 24 -36) that can be translated into the clinic.
Key translational aspects will be explored via established clinical collaborations as appropriate. The successful student will develop state-of-the-art in-vivo technologies including surgical, EEG, electrophysiology, viral tract tracing, chemogenetic and behavioural approaches, ensuring they master a number of highly desirable specialist skills above and beyond standard laboratory procedures. As this is a detailed in-vivo project, the candidate will be required to obtain a Home Office personal licence (months 0-3).