The structural bioinformatics group of the Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium (3BIO-BioInfo - Prof. M. Rooman) is seeking candidates for a postdoctoral position.
Research context: Maintaining the stability and interactions of structured proteins is a necessary condition for them to properly fulfill their function. On the other hand, 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. Considering that experimental techniques are slow and costly, the challenging development of efficient bioinformatics tools, capable of predicting the change in protein stability and protein-protein affinity upon mutations, could guide and limit the experiments that must be performed to identify relevant mutants. Such tools possess a large series of applications in all the biotechnological sectors that use proteins for their unique properties. They also present a fundamental interest as they shed some light on the relations between protein sequence, structure and function, a longstanding problem in protein science. 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. Despite the few systematic and large-scale investigations probing into this relation, the residue mutations likely to optimize protein stability and affinity are nevertheless often chosen on the basis of the sequence conservation in homologous protein families.
Objective: The goals of this project consist in deepening the understanding between natural evolution and protein stability and affinity, and to take advantage of this relation to improve, on the one hand, the stability and affinity predictors, and on the other hand, the models that mimic protein evolution.
Offer: One full time postdoctoral positions for 1.5 years starting between October and December 2018, 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.
- PhD degree in Sciences (Bioinformatics, Bioengineering, Physics, Chemistry, Informatics).
- Excellent programming and computer science skills, preferably in C.
- Excellent communication skills in English.
- Excellent publication record in peer-reviewed scientific journals.
Desirable: Experience in the area of protein structural bioinformatics and/or machine learning.
Contact: Please submit
- a cover letter detailing your background and interest in the position
- a full C.V.; and
- at least two references (with name, email, address, phone number)
via email to Marianne Rooman (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Application deadline: Please submit your application before September 15, 2018.