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Dorothy Hodgkin PhD Studentship Computational capabilities and underlying mechanisms in biological signaling networks
Closing date: 28 May 2010

Cellular communication and information processing are central to life. Such information processing requires coordinated interaction of multiple proteins that form a so-called signaling cascade or network. Achieving an understanding of dynamics in these signaling networks is one of the main aims of systems biology. Besides the obvious scientific value, this aim also connects directly to our understanding and treatment of diseases, as most disease conditions involve malfunction of signaling networks or their exploitation by pathogens.

The main aim of the proposed research is to analyze the relation between topological and biochemical features in signaling systems and response dynamics. The research strategy will involve building both detailed models of specific systems and generic models based on first-principles. Once such models are constructed we will be in a position to exhaustively analyze the repertoire of response dynamics in these systems and effectively map out their signal processing capabilities. Further, such models will allow us to analyze how different evolutionary processes can shape key features of signaling networks and generate novel information processing capabilities.

This project involves both theoretical and experimental skills/knowledge. In particular, a good grasp of biochemistry of signaling networks and molecular evolution, agent-based modeling, and system dynamics analyses (e.g. bifurcation analysis). The successful candidate should have an undergraduate degree (equivalent of class 2.1 or better for UK, ) with either a mathematical or a biochemical focus. Further, he/she should be motivated in expanding their skill set and working at the interface of microbiology, evolutionary biology, and computational/mathematical biology.

This is a Dorothy Hodgkin Postgraduate Award (DHPA) provided by EPSRC and Microsoft Research.
Please note restrictions apply with regard eligible nationalities for application [1],[2].

For informal enquiries please contact: Dr Orkun S Soyer.

How to apply In order to apply you will need to complete an online web form [3] where you must submit some personal details and upload a full CV, covering letter, details of two academic referees and a research proposal. Your covering letter should outline your academic interests, prior research experience and reasons for wishing to undertake this project.

Funding This studentship will pay the International student fee and a Stipend of circa £13290 per annum.

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