Master thesis project - A mathematical model of neurotransmitter release at Univesity of Copenhagen

Communication between neurons relies on the release of neurotransmitters from vesicles. This is achieved when these vesicles fuse with the plasma membrane in response to action potentials (APs). Before APs can activate fusion, vesicles need to enter a molecular state that is calcium sensitive. This reaction is called vesicle priming and ensures that primed vesicles release their transmitter content when the intracellular calcium concentration increases as a consequence of AP-induced calcium influx. In this project, you will investigate how synaptic vesicle priming and fusion are achieved on a molecular level using mathematical simulations (both deterministic and stochastic models).

For an impression of the type of work, please refer to two recent papers: Kobbersmed et al., 2020 elife; Kobbersmed et al., 2022 elife.

Specifically, you will help develop a (mathematical) theory based on available literature. You will implement this theory in Matlab/Python to perform model simulations (deterministic and stochastic models).

For this project, you will work in the Walter lab, department of Neuroscience, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Copenhagen university. The lab uses both theoretical and experimental approaches (using Drosophila as a model system) to investigate neurotransmission. For questions regarding the project, please contact associate professorDr. Alexander Walter, awalter@sund.ku.dk.

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