A project in computational modelling of biogenesis of cellular organelles based on the principle of liquid-liquid phase separation is available in the group of Professor Andrew Goryachev (goryachev.ed.ac.uk). The project is suitable for graduates with interest in biomathematics, chemical engineering, applied physics, physical chemistry, biomedical and biological physics.
Recently it has been realized that much of intracellular pattern-formation and biogenesis of cellular organelles is based on the formation of biomolecular condensates, which exhibit properties of distinct liquid phases. The aim of this project is to build computational models of these phenomena combining formalism of reaction-diffusion partial differential equations and physical theory of phase transitions. The student will learn theoretical bases and numerical methods, as well as gain practical experience using cutting-edge scientific simulation packages, such as COMSOL. The student will receive training in nonlinear dynamical systems, bifurcation theory and stability analysis. The project offers an excellent opportunity for the students with background in mathematics, physical sciences and engineering to learn modern cell and developmental biology while contributing to the cutting-edge research, which is published in the high-profile journals.
The research focus in the Goryachev group (http://goryachev.bio.ed.ac.uk
) is on understanding biophysical mechanisms of symmetry breaking in biological systems. Symmetry breaking manifests itself in a variety of dazzling biological phenomena and our aim is to improve their understanding via construction of predictive mechanistic models. The group works on the interface of soft matter physics, chemical kinetics and cell biology. For our representative publication, please visit the group site. We are looking for motivated, enthusiastic young people with the background in physical, life, computational sciences and engineering who are passionate about research.
Several types of competitive scholarships are available for the prospective PhD students at the University of Edinburgh. Allied faculty from physics, mathematics and informatics departments are available to co-supervise the project.
The “Visit Website” button on this page will take you to our Online Application checklist. Please complete each step and download the checklist which will provide a list of funding options and guide you through the application process.
If you would like us to consider you for one of our scholarships you must apply by 5 January 2020 at the latest.
A. Hyman et al., Liquid-liquid phase separation in biology, Ann. Rev. of Cell and Dev. Biol., 30, 39 – 58, (2014).
S. Banani, Biomolecular condensates: organizers of cellular biochemistry, Nat. Rev. Mol. Cell Biol. 18(5), 285 – 298, (2017).