Dr Patrycja Orłowska-Feuer from the JU Faculty of Biology has received a scholarship within the framework of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions funded by the European Commission. The grant will allow her to pursue a pioneering research project in Manchester.
Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions facilitate carrying out research and training projects, at the same time providing the grantees with an opportunity to further their careers and exchange knowledge and experiences with other researchers via international and inter-sectoral mobility. The scholarships are directed to higher education institutions and research centres, businesses and non-government organisations as well as individual scientists. The projects funded by grants are realised over a period of 12 do 24 months at a chosen institution in one of the EU member states of other countries participating in the Horizon 2020 programme. They can be devoted to any subject matter, though inter- or multidisciplinary projects are preferable. Aside from conducting research projects, the grantees should participate in conferences, workshops, and courses in order to increase their knowledge and skills as well as engage in science communication.
Dr Patrycja Orłowska-Feuer will carry out her two-year research project in Manchester together with Prof. Robert Lucas. The aim of the study is to compare the role of melanopsin (a photopigment found in the retina of the eye) in the processing of visual input in nocturnal rodents (mice) and diurnal ones (four-striped mice, genus Rhabdomys, native to Africa). It will be the first comprehensive study on the visual system of two closely related, but differently adapted rodents in the world.
Dr Patrycja Orłowska-Feuer graduated in biology from the Jagiellonian University. In 2014, she successfully defended her PhD thesis entitled Melanopsin modulation of slow oscillatory activity in the subcortical visual system – in vivo electrophysiological study on rats and mice, written under the supervision of Prof. Marian Lewandowski. In 2015–2019, she did a post-doctoral internship at the Małopolska Centre of Biotechnology within as part of the Symfonia project funded by the National Science Centre (The dual role of the blue light – an interdisciplinary study on effects of the short wavelength visible light on circadian regulation, neural aspects of cognitive and affective functioning, and on the light contribution to degeneration and pathologies of retina). Currently, he works at the Department of Neurophysiology and Chronobiology at the JU Faculty of Biology. Since last year, she has been realising the Bekker scholarship at Manchester University. Her interests include the role of melanopsin in the regulation of circadian rhythm and visual input processing, the impact of various spectra of light on the biological clock, and mechanisms and sources of infra-slow oscillations in the subcortical structures of rodent brains.