PhD student program with Iran

Iranian PhD students receive support from the Cognitive Science and Technologies Council of Iran (CSTC) to do a sabbatical in Zurich. The goal of the program is to promote research in cognitive sciences in Iran. Read here about their experiences.

According to the agreement between the ZNZ and the CSTC, excellent PhD students come to Zurich for a period of 6 to 12 months. At the moment, three PhD students are working in ZNZ research groups. The first students elected for the program with the ZNZ are Maryam Sadr, Mahboubeh Ahmadi and Mohammad Ali Sharif. All three started their PhD study in Teheran and, together with their supervisors, applied for a grant of the CSTC.

Maryam does her sabbatical in the lab of Prof. Martin Schwab of the Brain Research Institute. She studies the role of novel receptors of Nogo in animal models of multiple sclerosis (MS). Through manipulation of the Nogo receptors, she looks at the effect on the cognitive outcome of MS. “I enjoy working in the group and have gained great experience regarding the techniques used in the lab”, says Maryam. “Back in Iran, I will be able to apply this knowledge in my future career.”

Mahboubeh works in the lab of Prof. Bechara Saab where she studies the effect of dopamine and its receptors on synaptic learning in the hippocampus. “In the first part of my PhD study, I looked at the electrophysiological aspect and here, in Zurich, I was able to use the optogenetics technique to study the behavioral side.” Mahboubeh has almost completed her theses and plans to set up the technique in her group in Iran.

The third student, Mohammad, has just started his work in the Institute of Neuroinformatics (INI), University of Zurich and ETH Zurich. He will be working on the design of a low-power neural amplifier VLSI chip that can be also used with neuromorphic sensory and computing systems that INI has been developing, in collaboration with Prof. Richard Hahnloser and Prof. Giacomo Indiveri.



About the CSTC
The CSTC is a governmental infrastructure supporting scientific and technological efforts in brain and cognitive science studies across Iran. One of the activities of the CSTC is to support a sabbatical program for PhD students in cognitive neurosciences abroad.

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