Programming Biology: Computational and data-driven design of biological systems

   Faculty of Natural Sciences

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  Dr G Misirli  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Synthetic biology is recognised as a game-changing field with strategic importance since it was highlighted as one of the eight great technologies by the UK government. Our research group develops computational approaches to facilitate the representation and computational modelling of genetic circuit designs. The School of Computing and Mathematics at Keele University has strong research expertise in software engineering and machine learning for further research in this area.

This project involves the development of a computer-aided genetic circuit design tool that can bridge big data and computational simulations, building upon our group’s current work and software resources in this area. Various data mining and machine learning methods will also be investigated to achieve this goal. Our group contributes to the development of data standards using graph-based knowledge representation approaches, and this project will build on these developments to support the broader synthetic biology community.

Keele University is renowned for its exciting approach to higher education and research, beautiful campus, strong community spirit and excellent student life. The University has the UK’s largest campus with 617 acres of landscaped parkland, fields, woodlands and lakes. Keele University runs its own day nursery for infants from 3 months to 5 years and is committed to equality and diversity. Information for prospective postgraduate researchers can be found here:

 Eligibility Criteria:

Applications are welcomed from computer science, natural sciences, biological sciences, engineering or mathematics graduates with (or anticipating) at least a 2.1 honours degree or equivalent. 

Applicants should have good computer science skills or are interested in developing software. Applicants with a computer science background should be ready to learn more about programming biological systems. They should be self-motivated and have the ability to work both independently and as part of a team.

The opportunities are open to the UK and international students. The collaborative and presentation aspects of the research require very good English language and communication skills. International applicants would therefore require an English IELTS (or equivalent) of 6.0 overall with no less than 5.5 in any subtest.

Contact for further information:

The research supervision will be led by Dr Goksel Misirli in the Centre for Computer Science Research at Keele University. For related research, see the website at:

Informal enquiries about the project are welcome by email ([Email Address Removed]). 

Keele University values diversity, and is committed to ensuring equality of opportunity. In support of these commitments, Keele University particularly welcomes applications from women and from individuals of black and ethnic minority backgrounds for this post. The School of Computing and Mathematics and Keele University have Athena Swan Awards and Keele University is a member of the Disability Confident scheme.

More information is available on these web pages:

Biological Sciences (4) Computer Science (8)

Funding Notes

This is a self funded project.