Scientific Internship: Understanding Regulation of Actin Dynamics

Date posted July 24, 2018
Type Scientific Internships

Actin filaments are one of the key components of the cytoskeleton of all higher organisms. They form dynamic networks involved in mechanical integrity, motility and transport. Our group is interested in modelling the dynamics of actin and its control through a host of accessory proteins. Recent research has shown that there is a much wider range of proteins that regulate actin dynamics by influencing its nucleation rate, its (de)polymerization rate, or its length through severing than hitherto assumed. Our aim is to build analytical and computational models of these regulatory pathways and assess their implication in biological processes.

Concretely, we are collaborating with the group of prof. Roland Wedlich-Soeldner (Muenster) to unravel a recently discovered dramatic rearrangement of the actin cytoskeleton in mammalian cells, which is driven by the activation of the protein INF2. The latter is an intriguing multi-regulator of actin, with intriguing and not yet fully understood non-linear properties.

About the group

The Theory of Biomolecular Matter group headed by prof. dr. Bela Mulder, focusses on using the tools of statistical physics and continuum mechanics on understanding the properties of living matter. Current interests are cytoskeleton dynamics, organisation of chromosomes, the role of diffusion in biological porcesse, and the mechanical behaviour of biopolymer networks.

Qualifications

Formal reuirements: You have a Bachelors degree in physics, chemistry or biology and participate in a Master study in one of these areas. 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. You must be available for at least 9 months.

We are looking for a student with a background in theoretical physics or equivalent who is interested in learning more about biological systems. Experience with programming in C++ would be helpful (but not a prerequisite).

Terms of employment

At the start of the traineeship your trainee plan will be set out, in consultation with your AMOLF supervisor.

Contact info

Prof.dr. Bela Mulder
Group leader Theory of Biomolecular matter
E-mail: mulder@amolf.nl
Phone: +31 (0)20-754 7100

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