2 year Postdoctoral stipend: Computational modeling of the epigenetic memory

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We are looking for a postdoctoral researcher that wants to participate in a cross-disciplinary project that aims to build a realistic computational model for the epigenetic memory. Application deadline is 2018-02-15.

Project description
Even though all cells types in our body have the same genome, they only use a subset of all genes. To ensure a proper development of our body, for example that a liver cell stays a liver cell, it is crucial that cells keep the correct set of active and inactive genes intact. This becomes especially problematic when cells divide because the daughter cell must remember the mother’s kind. This problem is solved by so-called epigenetic mechanisms. These are present all multicellular organisms and are evolutionary conserved.  If epigenetic mechanisms fail, it can cause severe disorders including some cancers.

We are interested in how epigenetic mechanisms program the genome to be used in different ways, and how these programs are epigenetically enforced for the duration of our life. In this project, we focus on the epigenetic regulatory system formed by Polycomb Group proteins. We want to know how Polycomb Group proteins are targeted to specific genes, how they repress transcription, and how the repression is epigenetically maintained as cells divide.

To increase our mechanistic understanding of how the Polycomb system works, we will develop a computational model that will simulate epigenetic states of the chromatin. We therefore search for a postdoctoral researcher that will take the active role to develop such a model. This project is a collaboration between Dr. Ludvig Lizana’s group at the Department of Physics, Umeå University www.physics.umu.se/om-institutionen/personal/ludvig-lizana and Dr. Yuri Schwartz’s group at the Department of Molecular Biology, Umeå University www.molbiol.umu.se/english/research/researchers/yuri-schwartz-/. As a postdoc, you will be a part of both groups.

The two-years stipend is 270 000 SEK per year and is funded by the Kempe foundation. The project will start in March 2018 or according to agreement.

Competence requirements
The ideal candidate will have a PhD, or a foreign degree that is deemed equivalent to a PhD, in the Life sciences, Physics or Computer science, or relevant filed. To be eligible the degree should have been completed the PhD degree a maximum of three years before the end of the application period unless special circumstances exist.

A successful candidate need to have a strong background in quantitative methods, and an interest in epigenetics. We are particularly interested in applicants with a track record of modeling biological systems and running Monte Carlo simulations. The successful candidate needs good programming skills in for example python, C++, JavaScript, or Matlab. Also, those candidates that have experiences in analysis and mining of genomic data will have an advantage, but training will be provided if necessary. All applicants should be able to communicate in English (written and oral).

In your application please include:

  1. A cover letter summarizing your qualifications, your scientific interests, and your motives for applying (max 2 page),
  2. A curriculum vitae (CV) with publication list,
  3. Copies of relevant degree certificates.
  4. Copies of the PhD thesis and relevant publications,
  5. Names and contact information of two or three references,

For more information and to apply: contact Yuri Schwartz yuri.schwartz@umu.se or ludvig.lizana@umu.se with the subject line  “postdoc in modeling epigenetics”.

Your complete application, marked with reference number Dnr FS 2.1.6-8-18, should be sent in a pdf-document to medel@diarie.umu.se (state the reference number as subject) on February 15, 2018 at the latest.

We look forward to receiving your application!


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