Computational modelling of information transfer between cells (MORRIS_J18DTP)

John Innes Centre
October 05 2017
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

Biology is the new physics. Biology is arguably generating some of the most interesting and relevant scientific challenges of our time and mathematical, physical and computational approaches are key to understanding biological complexity. Cell-to-cell communication is fundamental to multicellular organisms. The exchange of information and resources between cells and tissues enables co-ordination of responses to environmental and developmental signals. In plants, the cytoplasm of adjacent cells is connected by intercellular ‘tunnels' that cross the cell wall, allowing for the exchange of molecules. These tunnels can regulate traffic between cells which is of particular importance during pathogen attack. Yet how this information flow is regulated remains largely unknown.

Using computational models this project will unravel of how molecules are transported from cell to cell to shed light on the mechanisms that underpin information flow within plants. The successful applicant will be part of an interdisciplinary team working on cell signalling, with leading researchers in mathematical systems biology and plant cell biology. This project is well suited for someone with a physics, maths or computing background who has an interest in biology or a biologist with strong numerical skills. The student will receive training in state-of-the-art microscopy, systems biology and numerical simulation methods for studying complex spatio-temporal problems.

This project has been shortlisted for funding by the Norwich Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (NRPDTP). Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed as part of the studentship competition. Candidates will be interviewed on either the 9th, 10th or 11th January 2018.

The Norwich Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (NRPDTP) offers postgraduates the opportunity to undertake a 4 year research project whilst enhancing professional development and research skills through a comprehensive training programme. You will join a vibrant community of world-leading researchers. All NRPDTP students undertake a three month professional internship (PIPS) during their study. The internship offers exciting and invaluable work experience designed to enhance professional development. Full support and advice will be provided by our Professional Internship team. Students with, or expecting to attain, at least an upper second class honours degree, or equivalent, are invited to apply.

For further information and to apply, please visit our website:

Funding notes

Full Studentships cover a stipend (RCUK rate: £14,553pa - 2017/8), research costs and tuition fees at UK/EU rate, and are available to UK and EU students who meet the UK residency requirements.

Students from EU countries who do not meet the UK residency requirements may be eligible for a fees-only award. Students in receipt of a fees-only award will be eligible for a maintenance stipend awarded by the NRPDTP Bioscience Doctoral Scholarships, which when combined will equal a full studentship. To be eligible students must meet the EU residency requirements. Details on eligibility for funding on the BBSRC website:

This job comes from a partnership with Science Magazine and Euraxess

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