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    Opportunity: Postdoctoral position in computational biology and bioinformatics @ Brussels University -- Brussels, Belgium
    Submitted by Marianne Rooman; posted on Monday, July 22, 2019

    BACKGROUND

    The Computational Biology and Bioinformatics group (3BIO-BioInfo) of the Brussels University (ULB) is seeking candidates for a postdoctoral position.

    Research context:
    Maintaining the stability and interactions of structured proteins is a necessary condition for them to function properly. Designing variants with optimized stability or affinity is a way to create new functional proteins that are stable in various conditions, even outside their physiological range. On the other hand, interpreting the molecular effect of genetic variants is a fundamental step in understanding the pathogenesis processes and a prerequisite to set up personalized drugs and therapies.

    Considering that experimental techniques are slow and costly, the challenging development of efficient bioinformatics tools, capable of predicting the change in protein stability and interactions upon mutations, could guide and limit the experiments that must be performed to identify relevant mutants. Such tools, usually based on combinations of physics-based and machine-learning approaches, possess a large series of applications in the biotechnological sectors from food to biofuel industry, as well as in the biomedical sector focused on genetic diseases. They also present a fundamental interest as they shed some light on the relationship between protein sequence, structure and function, a longstanding problem in protein science, as well as on the genotype-phenotype relationship.

    Furthermore, understanding how natural evolution guided protein mutations and led from ancient to current proteins, and what exactly drives this evolution, is another motivating issue. Although stability and natural evolution are obviously linked, their exact relation is complex and far from known.

    RESPONSIBILITIES

    Objective: Design, develop and apply dedicated software for predicting and gaining understanding of protein stability and interactions, of disease-causing variants, and/or of evolutionary pressure.

    REQUIREMENTS

    Required:
    • PhD degree in Sciences (Bioinformatics, Bioengineer, Physics, Chemistry, Informatics)
    • Excellent programming and computer science skills
    • Excellent communication skills in English
    • Excellent publication record

    PREFERENCES

    Desirable:
    • Experience in the area of protein structural bioinformatics, physics-based approaches and machine learning

    COMPENSATION

    Offer: A full time postdoctoral position for 12 months starting between September and December 2019, financed by the FNRS Fund for Scientific Research, with the possibility of extension through an FNRS postdoctoral research grant or a Marie Curie EC grant.

    HOW TO APPLY

    Please submit to Marianne Rooman (mrooman[at]ulb.ac.be): (1) a cover letter detailing your background and interest in the position, (2) a full CV and (3) two references (with name, email, address, phone number).

    DEADLINE

    Please submit your application by September 15, 2019.

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