Mathematical Pharmacology - Modelling dynamic cooperativity, oligomerisation and allosterism for G-protein coupled receptors
Dr Lloyd Bridge (Department of Mathematics)
Professor Venkateswarlu Kanamarlapudi (College of Medicine)
Collaborators: Dr Dr Vivi Rottschäfer (Leiden), Dr Graham Ladds (Cambridge)
Mathematical Pharmacology is an exciting and growing field, which brings mathematicians and pharma-scientists together to solve problems of academic and industrial importance. We seek a talented PhD student for this project, which will apply techniques from mathematical modelling, asymptotic analysis and scientific computing to outstanding pharmacological research questions.
In the pursuit of drug discovery and therapeutics, pharmacological analysis is required to probe mechanisms of action of drug molecules (ligands) at cell surface receptors. Key outstanding research questions concern the pharmacological and therapeutic implications of multiple ligands affecting each other’s binding and activation properties at monomeric (single) or oligomeric (“bound together”) receptors. In this project, the student will:
• Develop new predictive mathematical models (largely based on systems of ordinary differential equations) for binding and activation dynamics for a variety of ligand-receptor interactions.
• Construct a hierarchy of models to investigate cooperativity dynamics (how the binding of one ligand affects signalling driven by another ligand).
• Analyse these models using numerical computation and asymptotic analysis, in order to classify receptor and cell signalling responses over multiple time scales.
Through this interdisciplinary project, the student will join Swansea’s new Mathematical Methods in Biology and Life Sciences (MMBLS) group, gaining skills in scientific computing, mathematics and bio-modelling which will be applicable in a vast range of fields. The student will benefit from an experienced team of supervisors and collaborators in Swansea, the UK and the Netherlands.
Candidates must have a first, upper second class honours or a Masters degree (with Merit), in a relevant discipline. Informal enquiries before the deadline for formal applications are welcome by emailing Dr Lloyd Bridge [Email Address Removed].
A background in applied mathematics, including differential equations, modelling and computation is required. Familiarity with asymptotic analysis would be helpful, and programming in MATLAB or similar will be a central component of the project. Strong interpersonal skills and an ability to work independently are also required. A background in biology or pharmacology is not required but an interest in these fields would be helpful.
This is a three year fully-funded Swansea University scholarship, open to UK/EU candidates. The student will receive an annual stipend of £14,057 (2015/2016 stipend; 2016/2017 stipend to be confirmed), plus full UK/EU tuition fees.
How to apply:
Please visit our website for details: http://www.swansea.ac.uk/maths/postgraduate/phdopportunities/mathematical-pharmacology/