Home institution: Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri – Italy (24 months)

Host institution: Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas - Greece (10 months)

PhD Enrolment #1: Verona University – Italy

PhD Enrolment #2: Lisbon University – Portugal

Supervisor #1: Diego Albani

Supervisor #2: Nektarios Tavernarakis

Intersectoral Secondment: Biofabics – Portugal

Objectives: The University of Verona, Italy, in collaboration with Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri of Milan, Italy, is looking to appoint a Marie Curie Research Fellow within a fixed term project entitled: “Action of molecules targeting circadian rhythm pathways in hydrogel-based 3D in vitro models relevant for Alzheimer’s disease (AD)”, funded by the Horizon Europe project TClock4AD.

The doctoral candidate will work for two years in Italy (Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri) and for 10 months in Greece (Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas) and will be involved in a 2-month secondment to a Portuguese company (BIOFABICS).

TClock4AD project abstract: The main objective is to test possible modulators of circadian clock (CC) pathways in hydrogel-based AD advanced in vitro models, this will be pursued with immortalized cell cultures and iPSC-derived neurons/astroglial cells embedded in a collagen-based matrix. The model will be described as for cell viability over time as well as for gene and protein expression focusing on pathways relevant for CC regulation. Specific objectives will be: i) the fine tuning of the 3D model setup and implementation; ii) the evaluation of single and combined toxicity of potential modulators of CC iii) the characterization of selected CC-involved molecular targets (for instance, proteins of the sirtuin family).

Expected outcomes: The fellow is expected to generate breakthrough ideas in the assigned area of research, as well as to carry out research in line with the project plan. The fellow will work in a multidisciplinary environment focusing on in vitro advanced models relevant for neurodegenerative disorders and neuroinflammation. She/he will be in charge of the planning and execution of research activities pertaining the above cited project under proper supervision. The fellow is also expected to contribute to dissemination and communication activities, besides actively collaborating within the TClock4AD network. This DC will work closely with the Lisbon University (FFUL) and Biofabics LDA (Portugal).