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Viral vector and RNAi strategies to determine the role of beta2 containing nicotinic receptors in aversive learning


Dr. Sarah King has recently returned (August 2004) to the UK after working for seven years in the Department of Psychiatry, Yale University, USA. As a new Lecturer in the Department of Psychology at the University of Sussex (permanent position) Dr. King endeavours to set up an active and internationally competitive research programme studying the actions of nicotine and role of nicotinic receptors (nAChRs) in brain function and psychiatric disorders. Dr. King requests funds to aid this reintegration back in to Sussex, the UK and Europe by supporting the costs of a technician, equipment and consumables. In the USA, Dr. King worked with transgenic mice, generating lines with temporal and region specific expression of beta2 subunit containing nAChRs, and tested hypotheses as to the brain circuitry underlying the role of nAChRs in behavioural processes. By bringing the expertise and knowledge gained in the USA back to the UK, Dr. King wants to further develop and use new genetic tools to study nAChR function in vivo.

Combining the transgenic work with cutting edge techniques, viral-mediated gene transfer and RNA interference, will provide novel and efficient methods to study nAChR function. These tools will be used to determine the brain circuits in which nicotine acts to enhance aversive learning. This work falls into the objectives of the 6th Framework Programme. Dr. King is an ideal candidate for a Marie Curie Mobility Action International Reintegration Grant. Having returned to the UK from the USA, she can introduce these new and cutting edge techniques, and provide an invaluable contribution to the European research community, by advancing European research in the field through her essential knowledge, experience and position. Dr. King's research objectives and plan fit solidly into the Life Sciences, genomics and biotechnology for health research area, specifically on the research topic's studying the brain and combating diseases of the nervous system.

Field of science

  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/genetics and heredity/rna
  • /medical and health sciences/medical biotechnology/genetic engineering/gene therapy
  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/neurobiology

Call for proposal

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Funding Scheme

IRG - Marie Curie actions-International re-integration grants


Sussex House, Falmer
United Kingdom