Optimising a model of preterm brain injury in the neonatal rat

Research area

 |  cerebral palsy, preterm birth


 |  preterm brain injury, cerebral palsy, animal model, umbilical cord blood, stem cells therapy


 |  PhD/Doctorate, Honours

Contact supervisors at any time

Dr Courtney McDonald
e: courtney.mcdonald@hudson.org.au

Project description

Babies that are born preterm are at risk of experiencing injury to the white matter of the brain, and as such developing neurodevelopmental disorders such as cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is the most common childhood motor disability and is associated with both motor and cognitive deficits. This project aims to develop and optimise a small animal model of preterm brain injury using neonatal rat pups. The effectiveness of this model can be tested by utilising a suite of behavioural tests previously determined by our group, as well as through analysis of brain tissue using immunohistochemistry, flow cytometry and PCR. This model will also be used to test potential therapies for preterm brain injury, including umbilical cord blood (UCB) stem cell therapies.
This project will involve small animal work including long-term monitoring and behavioural testing. You will also learn techniques involving immunohistochemistry, histology, microscopy and molecular analysis.