Biophysical modelling of amyloid aggregation

We are pleased to invite applications for a postdoctoral position in the area of Theoretical and Computational Biophysics at the University College London (UCL). The position is based in the group of Andela Saric in a collaborative environment of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, and the Institute for the Physics of Living Systems (IPLS) at UCL. IPLS is a dynamic crossfaculty institute, with a goal to promote research at the interface of physics and biology, and catalyse interactions between theorists and experimentalist.

The Saric group uses computational methods rooted in soft matter physics and statistical mechanics to develop quantitative models of biological systems. We seek to recruit a highly motivated postdoctoral researcher to join us on projects focused on understanding physical principles of amyloid aggregation, funded by the Academy of Medical Sciences.

Amyloid aggregation is a process in which normally soluble proteins aggregate into long fibrils and plaques, and is implicated in a number of diseases, including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. Our group develops coarse-grained (mesoscale) computer models to identify molecular mechanisms behind amyloid aggregation [1-3]. The aim of the project is to understand the physics of amyloid aggregation in the cellular environment, and develop physical strategies on how to circumvent it. Our computer models are regularly validated against quantitative experiments, such as those performed in the group of Prof Tuomas Knowles at the University of Cambridge, and have already shown a great promise in making experimentally-testable predictions.

Applicants for the Postdoc position should be self-motivated and creative, and hold a PhD degree in Physics, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Applied Mathematics, or equivalent. A strong background in Soft Matter Physics and/or Biophysics, ideally with experience in Molecular Dynamics or Monte Carlo simulations, is beneficial. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to work closely with our experimental collaborators at UCL and in Cambridge. Although the topic of the position is protein aggregation, the successful candidate will also have a substantial freedom in designing their own project.

The position is for 2 years in the first instance, starting ideally before November 2017.

To apply, please email a CV (including a list of publications), a brief description of research interests, and the contact information of two references. For any questions and informal inquiries please email Andela.

Deadline: July 29th, or until filled.

[1] A Šarić, YC Chebaro, TPJ Knowles, D Frenkel, PNAS 111, 17869 (2014).
[2] A. Šarić, et al., Nature Physics 12, 874 (2016).
[3] A Šarić, TCT Michaels, A. Zaccone, TPJ. Knowles, D Frenkel, JCP 145, 211926 (2016).