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iPLACENTA Marie Skłodowska-Curie ITN Early Stage Researcher ESR9 - Integrative placenta: a systems biology approach towards phenotype-specific interactomes for placental function

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  • Full or part time
    Prof O Wolkenhauer
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Brief overview
Department of Systems Biology and Bioinformatics at University of Rostock, Germany is looking for an Early Stage Researcher (ESR) with a focus on developing an early/late onset preeclampsia/IUGR disease map and designing of systems biology based models for understanding the function of placenta under disease conditions. Systems biology based models will be used for in silico perturbation experiments for predicting prognostic and diagnostic markers and help in designing model-derived experiments.

About Organisation
The University of Rostock, founded in 1419, is one of the oldest in Europe. Rostock is located in the north-east of Germany with road and train connections to Berlin and Hamburg, as well short ferry links to Denmark, Sweden and other Baltic states. The area around Rostock is one of the most popular tourist regions in Germany.

The Department of Systems Biology & Bioinformatics provides a vibrant research environment, with extensive experience in interdisciplinary collaborations, covering a wide range of methodologies and technologies. We study complex biological and medical processes using computational and mathematical approaches. The keywords that describe our work include Bioinformatics, Systems Biology, Data Analytics, Systems Theory, Network Approaches and Systems Medicine. We build realistic and useful models of biological phenomena from the molecular level, to cellular, tissue, and organismal levels by a close collaboration between systems biologists and experimental biologists. We use mathematical modelling and simulation mainly to understand fundamental dynamic processes of metabolic pathways, cell signalling and gene expression. The complexity of these molecular systems is fascinating and provides interesting challenges.

Project description
The project is part of iPlacenta (, a new European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme ITN under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie, to model the placenta for early detection of preeclampsia and intrauterine growth restriction, and to train the next generation of Translational Scientists for Maternal and Fetal Health.

The focus of the project is to identify prognostic and diagnostic markers for the early/late onset of PE/IUGR by first constructing a disease interactome using multi-dimensional, multi-omics data generated by the consortium partners (e.g. regulatory in extracellular vesicles derived from placenta and amniotic fluids during disease and healthy conditions) and also from publically available resources. You will then identify a core regulatory network from disease interactome and design a systems biology based model for in silico perturbation experiments that help in predicting condition-specific molecular signatures. You will get the opportunity to closely interact with experimental partners to design model derived experiments for the validation of your results. With us, you will be able to join interdisciplinary and international teams in what is widely considered the most important research field - life sciences.

Candidate profile:
- Interests in developing and translating technology to answer medical questions and solve healthcare problems in women health
- Strong understanding in integrative workflows for network construction and analysis.
- Good knowledge of computational pipelines for multi-omics data extraction, integration and analysis.
- Able to communicate with scientists, engineers and clinicians of different disciplines;
- Have a motivated, flexible and positive work attitude;
- Proficiency in English language.
- be flexible to travel throughout the Europe in order to exchange expertise between the partners of iPLACENTA consortia

To this position applies a mobility rule. The respective candidate must not have worked for more than 12 months in the Germany within the last three years. Furthermore, the candidate needs to be in his/her first four years of his/her research career. The four years are counted from the date a degree was obtained which formally entitles to embark on a doctorate in the country either in the country in which the degree was obtained or in the country in which the research training is provided.

Starting date: 1st Sept 2018
Duration: 36 months

How to apply:
Submit an application to [Email Address Removed]
Application form can be downloaded from
Interviews by teleconference: June-July

Deadline for application: Monday 18th June 2018 (Midnight-GMT)

Funding Notes

Salary: Competitive remuneration: Monthly Gross salary before any deductions (Living Allowance, €3110/month; mobility allowance, €600/month, family allowance if applicable, €500/month). Exact salary to be paid in local currency and calculated per country after correction factor in accordance to Marie Curie ITN rules

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