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PhD position in Molecular Biology - Mathematical modelling of single-cell responses

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In the field of  “Mathematical modelling of single-cell responses” the research group of Dr. Stefan Legewie offers one PhD project.

Biochemistry has traditionally been dominated by bulk measurements averaging over millions of cells. Single-cell measurements showed that bulk assays can be misleading, because the behavior of individual cells may be qualitatively different from the population average. However, in many cases, comprehensive single-cell measurements are still restricted to certain signalling intermediates, while less informative, population-based assays can be done on a higher throughput. Mathematical models are needed to integrate these two complementary experimental scales into a comprehensive description of molecular networks. We focus on cell-to-cell variability of cellular signaling networks, and describe heterogeneous cell populations using ensembles of single-cell models. The single-cell simulations are calibrated by fitting to live-cell imaging data, and are further constrained by fitting the simulated population average to bulk measurements [1]. The aim of this PhD project is to further develop the cellular ensemble modeling approach towards a description of large cell populations in close collaboration with experimental partners. The project will focus on a cell cycle network controlling chromosome segregation into daughter cells. We recently observed that parallel pathways in this network show robust temporal coordination despite considerable variations of the signaling molecules, and now derive a quantitative model for this phenomenon.

[1] Kallenberger S, Beaudouin J, Claus J, Fischer C, Sorger PK, Legewie S*, Eils R*. Intra- and Interdimeric Caspase-8 Self-Cleavage Controls Strength and Timing of CD95-Induced Apoptosis. Science Signaling 7, ra23

We offer
•    The possibility to work on a cutting-edge project using state-of-the-art technology in a highly motivated research team
•    A stimulating, diverse and international research environment
•    Advanced training opportunities
•    A competitive stipend

Required qualifications
•    Master or Diploma
•    Motivation to solve complex biological problems
•    Excellent communication skills

Starting date: October 2015 or later
Duration of stipend: 3 years, with the possibility of extension
Deadline for registration (exclusively online via web form):  20 June 2015

Contact detail

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Job profile

Working hours
Contract duration
Type of job
PhD Project
Work experience
job experience is not required
Germany (Rheinland-Pfalz)
Working place
55128 Mainz
Area of expertise
Biology & Life Sciences, Mathematics