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Using computational and imaging approaches to uncover mechanisms of spatial organisation

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  • Full or part time
    Dr Sean Murray
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

We are currently looking for a PhD student to work on the development of a framework for gaining mechanistic insight into spatial sub-cellular processes. On the one hand this involves using distributed computing to study (stochastic) physical models of subcellular organisation and on the other hand developing an image analysis pipeline for high-throughput experimental imaging data (obtained using a custom-designed microfluidic device). Bayesian inference will then be used to compare and test the former against the latter and thereby uncover the mechanisms at work. The project can be adapted to suit the student’s preference and abilities.

The successful applicants will become a member of either the IMPRS ( or SYNMIKRO ( graduate schools.

The MPI for Terrestrial Microbiology consists of four departments and several department-independent research groups and offers a stimulating, interdisciplinary and international research environment. More information about can be found at Together with the neighbouring Philipps University of Marburg, it forms one of the largest clusters of microbiology research in Europe with facilities for genomics, proteomics, robotics, fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry. Interactions are also encouraged with the university’s Department of Physics, which, among other topics, conducts research into biological physics, dynamical systems and quantitative biology.

Applicants should send their application in English and should include a motivation letter, CV, exam results and the names and contact details of academic referees as a single pdf file by e-mail to: [Email Address Removed]. Applications will be considered as they are received and the position will remain open until filled. Further information can be found at or by email to the above address.

Funding Notes

The student should have a degree (preferable a master’s) in physics, mathematics or computer science (or a related discipline) and have programming experience. While knowledge of biology is not required, applicants should have a genuine interest in answering biological questions. Knowledge of image analysis and distributed computing would be an advantage. Applicants should additionally have excellent communication, organisational and time-management skills and enjoy working proactively and independently. Good command of spoken and written English is essential. Salary is according to TVöD at level E13 (65%) for a gross yearly salary of approx. €32,700, increasing to €35,500 from the second year.

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