Monday, 28 October 2013

PhD Scholarship in Computational Studies of Drug Resistance at University of Copenhagen

A PhD position in Molecular Simulations and Computational Biology is available from January 1, 2014 or shortly thereafter in the Lindorff-Larsen group at the Section for Biomolecular Sciences, Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen. The aim of the project is to use computational methods to study how drug resistance mutations in pathogenic viruses arise, and how resistance can be circumvented. The project will be performed in close collaboration with on going experimental efforts, and is funded by a Sapere Aude Starting Grant from the Danish Council for Independent Research.
Research environment : 
  • The PhD student will work in the research group of Kresten Lindorff-Larsen. The group combines computational and experimental methods to study the structure, function and dynamics of proteins. Research within the group covers a broad range of areas in protein science including understanding the relationship between protein dynamics and function, protein design, drug resistance, and developing methods to integrate NMR spectroscopy and molecular simulations.
  • The Lindorff-Larsen group is located within the Section for Biomolecular Sciences at the Department of Biology that provides a strong, international environment for research broadly in the field of protein science. The Section currently employs about 25 PhD students and 10 Post Docs as well as a larger number of undergraduate students and guests.
  • The research in the section is highly interdisciplinary ranging from molecular cell biology to protein chemistry, advanced biophysics and computational biology. The group is housed in the recently inaugurated Biocenter in central Copenhagen, Denmark (www.bio.ku.dk).
  • The research project is part of a larger, international collaboration and the student will have the chance to interact closely with several other research groups.
  • Project :
    • The PhD student will use a range of methods from computational structural biology to study the interactions of viral drug targets with drug molecules. The goal is to predict and understand how mutations can give rise to drug resistance, and to validate and integrate experimental data in such studies.
    • Our research is in general focused on molecular simulations of proteins, and the student will combine high-throughput calculations with more detailed molecular dynamics simulations. In addition to the primary, structure-based research, the project will also involve some bioinformatics analyses. The student will work closely with two PhD students in the group that are currently studying drug resistance experimentally.
    • Qualifications :
      • It is essential that the candidate has a strong background in protein science and in using computational methods to study e.g. protein structure, function and dynamics. Applicants should hold an MSc degree in e.g. chemistry, biophysics, biochemistry, nanotechnology, physics or a closely related field. Research experience with molecular modelling of proteins or other biomacromolecules is a prerequisite. Hands-on research experience in e.g. molecular dynamics simulations and free energy calculations is a distinct advantage as is experience in computational studies of protein-ligand/drug interactions. Experience in the quantitative analysis of large amounts of (sequence) data will also be considered an advantage.
      • Candidates must have good interpersonal and communication skills. Fluency in spoken and written English is a requirement. If you will finish your degree between the deadline for applications and the enrolment date, you must confirm this by attaching a written statement from your supervisor.
      • Procedures :
        • An assessment committee will be appointed to evaluate the applications. The applicants will be notified of the composition of the committee and the final selection of a successful candidate will be made by the Head of Department, based on the recommendations of the assessment committee. The successful candidate will then be requested to formally apply for enrolment as a PhD student at the PhD school of Science.
        • Terms of appointment and payment are in accordance with the agreement between the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Danish Federation of Professional Associations (AC). The starting salary for candidates with an MSc degree will be a minimum of DKK 304.054 annually (approx. EUR 41000; April 2012 level) plus pension contribution with the possibility of salary negotiation.
        How to apply : Applicants are requested to submit their application electronically below including:
        • A cover letter (max. 1 page) describing your background, personal qualities, research interests and reasons for applying to this position
        • Curriculum vitae (max. 2 pages)
        • List of publications (if relevant)
        • Transcript of university examinations (in English)
        • Contact details of 1-2 persons for references
        • Applications must also be submitted as a single .pdf file in the section "Other relevant information" in the application form.
        • The University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the diversity of society and welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.
          Deadline : 01.12.13
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