PhD position in Mathematical modeling of cellular heterogeneity

In the field of “Mathematical modeling of cellular heterogeneity” the research group of Dr Stefan Legewie offers the following PhD project:

Mathematical modeling of heterogeneity in the SMAD signaling pathway 

The TGFβ/SMAD signalling pathway plays a key role in tumorigenesis and metastasis. Together with Alexander Loewer (University of Darmstadt, Germany), we monitor the nuclear translocation of fluorescently labeled SMAD2/4 transcription factors in thousands of living MCF10A cells. Using clustering of these time course, we identified sub-populations of cells with qualitatively distinct signalling dynamics and phenotypic outcome.

In this PhD project, it is planned to further develop a mathematical modeling approach, in which we quantitatively describe the heterogeneous cell population using an ensemble of single-cell models. The model shall be employed to predict the effect of CRISPR/Cas9-mediated perturbations of the signaling pathway at the single-cell level. As a long-term goal, we plan to derive a larger network model comprising the crosstalk of pro- and anti-tumorigenic signaling pathways (e.g., MAPK and TGFβ/SMAD) based on imaging data and small-molecule-based intervention strategies. This model shall be employed to better understand deregulated growth in complex cancer cell populations.

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 fully funded PhD position
    Required qualifications
  • Master or Diploma
  • Motivation to solve complex biological problems
  • Excellent communication skills
Starting date: 1 March 2017 or later
Deadline for applications (exclusively online via web form):  10 November 2016
How to apply:
Please apply exclusively online via our web forms:

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, Computer Sciences

About Institute of Molecular Biology gGmbH

Our International PhD Programme on the “Gene Regulation, Epigenetics and DNA Damage Response” gives talented and enthusiastic students the opportunity to undertake PhD research at the cutting edge of modern biology. Our groups cover a broad range of expertise and include leading biochemists, geneticists, cell and developmental biologists who study the molecular mechanisms of...

More about Institute of Molecular Biology gGmbH

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