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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

Contact detail

How to apply:
Please apply exclusively online via our web forms:
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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