Behavioural and Social Neuroscience - Milan Brázdil
Behavioural and Social Neuroscience - Milan Brázdil

PhD Topics

Doctoral position: microRNA in focal cortical dysplasia and Epilepsy

Field of study: Neurosciences , 4-years doctoral degree programme, full-time study mode

Department: 1st Department of Neurology, Faculty of Medicine, Masaryk University, Behavioural and Social Neurosciences group, CEITEC, Masaryk University

Annotation: Epilepsy is a frequent neurological disorder that has severe impact on patients’ health and quality of life. The process of epileptogenesis is currently poorly understood and there is no medical approach capable of curing this disorder completely or a biomarker diagnosing early stages of this disease and prevent the development of clinical symptoms. Recent research has discovered the connection between altered microRNA (miRNA/miR) expression and pathological processes in the brain tissues leading to epilepsy onset in animal models and probably in human. However, the influence of dysregulated miRNA expression in epilepsy onset has not been fully explained yet. In addition, an increasing number of publications shows that some miRNAs are specific for certain tissues or pathology and released into the blood stream where they could be easily detected and thus reveal the current condition of the patients. For this reason, the miRNA has become rapidly studied as a potential non-invasive biomarker.

Relative miRNA expression in human brain tissue

We are planning to continue in our recently published work („Bencurova P, et al. MicroRNA and mesial temporal lobe epilepsy with hippocampal sclerosis: Whole miRNome profiling of human hippocampus. Epilepsia. 2017;58(10):1782-1793“) and analyse  miRNA profiles in focal cortical dysplasia (FCD; subtype of epilepsy). For this reason, we are looking for a highly motivated PhD student, who will join our Behavioural and Social Neurosciences group and help us to uncover the molecular background of FCD and find its potential biomarkers for early diagnosis.

Number of positions: 1

Link to the grant project: This doctoral thesis will be a follow-up of our previous project: miRNA and biochemical pathways in epilepsy (GAČR 16-04726S).

Funding for PhD student beyond the term of scholarship: it is planned in upcoming grant proposals.

IHC - primary neuron culture


  • Complete MA / Mgr. / MSc. Degree in the field relevant to biology, genetics, or biochemistry
  • Good communication and interpersonal skills
  • Fluency in spoken and written English is required at level B2
  • Previous publication activity is beneficial
  • Practical experience and theoretical knowledge of basic molecular biology methods (protein isolation, isolation and quantification of nucleic acids, PCR, gel electrophoresis) are required
  • Practical experience in advanced molecular biology methods (e.g. sequencing, qPCR, Western Blot, cellular and tissue cultivation, IHC, IF) is beneficial, but not required

Supervisor: prof. MUDr. Milan Brazdil, Ph.D.

  • Publication activity: Web of Science: h-index 25, 1726 citation, 251 publications
  • International cooperation: Institut de Neurosciences des Systems Marseille, University of Exeter, Mayo Clinic Rochester, University of Birmingham, Aston University
  • Number of graduated PhD students: 7

To apply please submit  application (including CV, short statement of research background / interests) by e-application (here).