MSc/PhD programmes – ITQB-NOVA

MSc/PhD programmes – ITQB-NOVA

Drs. Federico Herrera and Manuel Melo are looking for promising candidates to carry out a multidisciplinary MSc or PhD in the frontier between of computational biology, mathematics and protein structure in an exciting research environment.

Subject: Development of new mathematical and computational tools to predict protein complementation

Scientific background: Some proteins can be divided in non-functional fragments that reconstitute the original function when they get back together, a property known as protein complementation (PC). This property has been used extensively as a technological tool for the study of multiple biological phenomena, including the interaction of biomolecules (e.g. protein-protein, DNA-protein, RNA-protein, etc.) in vitro and in cell cultures. However, only a few proteins with technological applications have been tested, and little is still known about the physical, chemical and structural laws that determine how fragmented proteins are able to complement and restore their function. We will carry out computational, biophysical and biological studies to enable the prediction of PC in a wide variety of protein families, such as fluorescent, optogenetic and disease-related proteins. The study will be done at ITQB-NOVA (http://www.itqb.unl.pt/), in the laboratories of Cell Structure and Dynamics (Herrera) and Multiscale Modeling (Melo), but in collaboration with an international network of researchers in India, Spain, China and USA, among others.

About our labs: Manuel and I have small-size laboratories with 4-5 people that allow personalized orientation and mentoring. Our students will become proficient in cellular and molecular biology methods (cloning, cell cultures, microscopy, flow cytometry,…); computational biology, data mining and machine learning methods; and soft skills, such as science communication. We encourage our students to carry out mixed PhDs, where they spend 1-2 years in a foreign country to expand their knowledge and improve their communication skills. Our labs are publication-oriented, and we are very productive for labs with our size and budget (We publish 2-3 papers/year in average). We also offer mentorship to my students during and after their MSc/PhD. For more info on our labs, please, visit http://www.itqb.unl.pt/.

About ITQB: The Instituto de Tecnologia Quimica e Biologica Antonio Xavier(ITQB-NOVA) is located in Oeiras, and it is a multidisciplinary institute with experts in a wide spectrum of subjects, such as computational biology, biophysics, inorganic chemistry, metabolomics, protein and lipid chemistry, microbiology, microfluidics, nanotechnology and stem cell technologies. Students will work in an exciting international research environment where they can frequently enjoy scientific talks by top investigators. They will be able to acquire experience in multiple state-of-the-art methods and specialized equipment, and thus enhance their career in research.

Requirements: Candidates should have an average of at least 15 in a “Licenciatura” in mathematics, physics, informatics or related disciplines. Candidates with excellent English level, programming skills, and high interest in biology are especially encouraged to apply.

Interested candidates can send their CV to: fherrera@itqb.unl.pt