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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Universiteit Gent Computational modeling of auxin dynamics PhD Scholarsip

What will be your task?
You will be building and analyzing dynamical models of lateral root initiation, in close collaboration with molecular biologists in the research group Root Development headed by Dr. Tom Beeckman.
Lateral roots originate from cells in the root basal meristem, a proliferating tissue region just above the root tip, forming a regular branching pattern with evenly spaced lateral roots. The crucial signal for initiating the lateral root is most likely the phytohormone auxin. Auxin levels oscillate at a period of around 15 hours, precisely coinciding with the rhythm by which new lateral roots appear. Our modeling project aims at unraveling the mechanisms behind these oscillating auxin flows, which may be driven by a dynamics interaction between auxin and the production and cellular localization of its transporter proteins, including PIN, AUX and LAX. In the second part of your project you will also include root growth and the tightly orchestrated cell divisions following lateral root initiation.

Your background
For this challenging project that should lead to a Ph.D dissertation we are looking for a motivated MSc in Biology or Biotechnology with interest and affinity for mathematics and computer science, or an MSc in physics, applied mathematics or computer science with interest and affinity for biology. Programming experience (C++ or similar) and experience in biological modeling are a big plus.

What do we offer?
This project gives you the opportunity to get a Ph.D in systems biology, in an energetic, international, multi-disciplinary environment. We have funding for four years, but we encourage you to apply for external funds.

Send us your cv and motivated letter of application, to:
Dr. Roeland Merks / Plant Systems
Modeling group Departement
Plant Systems Biology,
VIB en Moleculaire Genetica,
Universiteit Gent Technologiepark
927, 9052 Gent, Belgiƫ
Tel: +32 09 33 13695

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