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MSc Neuropharmacology


UCD Conway Institute


An opportunity is available to pursue an Athlone Institute of Technology funded MSc in Research, based in the UCD Conway Institute in the area of neuro-pharmacology. 

Project: Can ‘Ecstasy’ induce Developmental toxicity?

3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; Ecstasy; XTC) is the third most commonly abused illicit psychostimulant in Europe. The frequent consumption of MDMA in conjuction with other psychoactive agents such as alcohol and cocaine, renders it difficult to assess the true consequences of MDMA abuse in humans. In addition, approximately 40% of ‘XTC’ tablets are reported to be contaminated with other ring-substituted amphetamines, yet little is known of the exact toxicological or synergistic implications of such contaminants.  Recent data from our laboratory suggests that some of these so called ‘ecstasy’ contaminants may have the potential to induce developmental toxicity.  Thus the primary goal of this reasearch is to investigate the teratogenic potential of specific ‘ecstasy’ contaminants using a standardized in vivo model of developmental toxicity.



A Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry, Pharmacology, Toxicology or similar discipline is required with at least a second class honors grade. Experience with mammalian cell culture and/or zebrafish handling is desired.

Further Details

Student stipend is €15,000 over 21 months. For any further inquires please contact Dr. Therese Montgomery. The intended start date for this studentship is July 1, 2013, interviews to take place in early June. 

Closing Date

02 June 2013

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