Scientific Internship: Measuring cellular information, in bits
Cells sense molecules and exploit the information to navigate through the complex environment. Chains of chemical reactions that are responsible for cellular signal processing have been identified, but just how good are living cells as a information-processing devices? In this project, you will address this question experimentally by focusing on a molecular signaling network in the bacterium E. coli. By combining cutting-edge techniques, our group has recently developed an experimental system by which one can directly monitor the input-output relation of the cell under time-varying chemical stimuli. The stimulus level is precisely controlled by using a microfluidic device and cellular responses are read out by using Förster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) microscopy. We will investigate the input-output relations and precisely quantify signaling performance using concepts from information theory. The main tasks will include fabricating microfluidic devices, data acquisition by fluorescence microscopy, and data analysis.
About the group
We are primarily seeking students with a background in physics and/or quantitative biology, but applications from other disciplines will also be considered, provided sufficient skills for, and a strong interest in, quantitative analysis of biological systems. The internship must be a mandatory part of your curriculum. You have a nationality of an EU-member state and/or you are a student at a Netherlands University.
Terms of employment
At the start of the traineeship your trainee plan will be set out, in consultation with your AMOLF supervisor.
Dr. Tom Shimizu
Group leader Physical Systems Biology
Phone: +31 (0)20-754 7242
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– List of followed courses plus grades.