Patterning biological cells by directed molecular transport

   School of Biological Sciences

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  Prof Andrew Goryachev  Applications accepted all year round  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Are you interested in joining research on the interface of cutting edge biophysical modeling and biological experiment?

A PhD project is available to model the role of directed molecular transport, powered by molecular motors moving along the microtubule cytoskeleton, in spatial organization of biological cells. The student will develop deterministic and stochastic models of the directed transport along microtubules, which is coupled to the Brownian dynamics of freely diffusing molecules and biochemical reactions. The project is a close collaboration with leading cell and developmental biologists and includes advanced analysis of multidimensional fluorescence imaging data. The project is suitable for graduates with skills in mathematics, physics, and chemical engineering and interests in biology as well as biological and soft matter physics.

This project will be open for competition for funding in the autumn 2021 to start in October 2022. Candidates who are able to secure their own funding can apply at any time. However, all interested candidates are strongly advised to directly contact the supervisor ([Email Address Removed]) before applying.


The Goryachev group works on the interface of mathematical modelling, soft matter physics, and cell biology. The student will have an opportunity to learn science and methods of the above disciplines and acquire practical skills in the design of biological models, analytical analysis and numerical solution of reaction-diffusion equations. The student will receive training in nonlinear dynamical systems, bifurcation theory and stability analysis. With continuing coaching and guidance, the student is expected to read and interpret biological literature, construct models and perform their numerical simulation and analysis. The project offers an excellent opportunity to enter modern cutting-edge research on the interface of biological and physical sciences while contributing to publications in the high-profile journals.


Biological Sciences (4) Chemistry (6) Mathematics (25) Physics (29)


1. C-K. Hu, M. Coughlin, C. Field, T. Mitchison, Cell polarization during monopolar cytokinesis, J. Cell Biol. 181(2), 195 – 202 (2008).
2. C. Bicho, D. Kelly, H. Snaith, A. Goryachev, and K. Sawin, A catalytic role for Mod5 in the formation of the Tea1 cell polarity landmark, Curr. Biology, 20(19), 1752 - 1757 (2010).

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 About the Project