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Doctoral Candidate (PhD student) in Systems Biochemistry closed

(m/f)Application End :  Friday November 25 2011
The University of
Luxembourg is looking for the newly established Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB) for a Doctoral Candidate (PhD student) in Systems Biochemistry (m/f)

Fixed-term contract 3 years, 40h/week renewable
once Student and Employee status
The PhD student will be a member of the
highly interdisciplinary research centre, integrating experimental biological and computational biology approaches in order to develop the foundation of a future predicitive, preventive and personalised medicine.

Biochemistry/Medical Biochemistry/Neurochemistry.


Experimental determination of metabolic flux and concentration is a critical tool for developing understanding of the physiological state of a cell. Using isotopically labeled substrates with different
labeling patterns, experimental techniques are used to measure the mass isotopomer distributions of select metabolites. Estimation of metabolic flux is by integration of mass isotopomer distributions with
an isotopomer (isotope isomer) mapping model, that traces the path of each isotopomer through a metabolic network. Recently an algorithm for automated generation of draft genome-scale isotopomer mapping models has been develope. The latest reconstruction of human metabolism (Recon 2.0) is a stoichiometric model of a generic human cell. It is necessary to tailor Recon 2.0 to represent the metabolic capabilities of a particular cell type of interest. Extensive manual curation of neurochemical experimental data is necessary to tailor Recon 2.0 to accurately represent the metabolism of a normal neuron. A tailored stoichiometric model of a dopaminergic neuron, that also represents atom transitions for each reaction, would be an invaluable resource for estimation of metabolic flux and concentration in cultured dopaminergic cell lines.


To address the aforementioned challenges, the PhD project objectives are:
Reconstruction of a tailored stoichiometric model of a normal
dopaminergic neuron by literature review.

Manual curation of an existing algorithmically created draft isotopomer mapping model of Recon 2.0 to retain only biochemically realistic atom transitions.Biological interpretation of whole cell metabolic flux and concentration data in normal and diseased dopaminergic neuronal cells toward a deeper understanding of Parkinsonism pathogenesis.


A broad and deep knowledge of metabolic biochemistry e.g. M.Sc. level Medical Biochemist, Biochemist, Neurochemist.Excellent English writing and speaking skills.


Contribution to an international, interdisciplinary project: Dr. Karsten Hiller, LCSB, Dr. Ronan Fleming, Center for Systems Biology, University of Iceland (CSBUI).
International interdisciplinary
training: In the first year, a 6 month training period in metabolic networkreconstruction & modeling at the CSBUI.
The University of
Luxembourg offers competitive salaries and is an equal opportunity employer.


All applications (in English) should contain the following documents:
A detailed curriculum vitae
Cover letter mentioning the reference
List of publications
Description of past research experience and
future interests
Name and addresses of three referees
Please send your
electronic applications until the 23rd Dec 2011 to the following address:   katrin.effenberger at uni.lu

posted 2011.11.24