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Doctoral Candidate in Systems Biochemistry open

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 Ref.I1C-DIR-COM-11ICOO 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 predictive, preventive and personalised medicine. Area: Biochemistry/Medical Biochemistry/Neurochemistry. Mission: 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 developed. 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. Tasks: 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. Profile: A broad and deep knowledge of metabolic biochemistry e.g. M.Sc. level Medical Biochemist, Biochemist, Neurochemist. Excellent English writing and speaking skills. Offer: 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 network reconstruction & modeling at the CSBUI. The University of Luxembourg offers competitive salaries and is an equal opportunity employer. Application: All applications (in English) should contain the following documents: A detailed curriculum vitaeCover letter mentioning the reference number. List of publications. Description of past research experience and future interests. Name and addresses of three referees Please send your electronic applications until the Feb 3rd 2012 to the following address: katrin.effenberger@uni.lu

posted 2012.01.19