Research Fellow in Mathematical Biology of Cell Differentiation

University of Surrey, UK is inviting applicants to apply for a postdoc position in mathematical analysis. This position is available for two years in the first instance. Applications will be evaluated on a continuous basis.

Applications are invited for the post of Research Fellow in Mathematical Biology of Cell Differentiation based at the University of Surrey and the University of Bath, two of the UK's most prestigious universities. You will undertake research in a vibrant, inter-disciplinary research environment with an excellent international reputation.

You will be an important member of the research team investigating stem cell differentiation in zebrafish. The project focuses on developing a quantitative understanding of the gene regulatory network controlling fate choice from neural crest precursors. Our principal aim is to resolve current fundamental disagreements between different ideas as to how differentiation proceeds, for example the Direct Fate Restriction and Progressive Fate Restriction concepts proposed in the literature. The team as a whole will pursue both experimental and mathematical modelling approaches.

This BBSRC-funded project continues a very successful collaboration between the University of Surrey (Dr Andrea Rocco - FHMS, Mathematical Biology) and the University of Bath (Prof Robert Kelsh (Dept of Biology & Biochemistry; developmental genetics) and Prof Jonathan Dawes (Dept of Mathematical Sciences; applied dynamical systems)) through a Systems Biology approach, with strong interactions between experimental and theoretical components.

The post-holder will be responsible for developing the mathematical modelling aspects of the project. We anticipate that the successful candidate will be initially based in Surrey in the group of Dr Rocco for the first two years, and will be expected to move to Bath, joining the group of Prof Dawes, in the final year of the project, in order to maximize the interaction with the experimental team. The main responsibility of the role will be to apply a combination of mathematical analysis techniques and simulations to construct deterministic models of the gene regulatory network driving the differentiation process in the different scenarios proposed. The post holder is expected to liaise with the experimental team in Bath, including regular visits, in order to develop and validate the models, and inspire appropriate follow-up experiments.

Candidates for this post should have a PhD in Theoretical Physics or Applied Mathematics, very strong analytical and numerical skills, and be keen to work at the interface between applied mathematics and biological sciences. Experience with applied dynamical systems theory would be highly advantageous.

In addition to salary you will receive a generous annual leave entitlement and excellent development opportunities. Both Universities offer benefits packages which include pension, childcare assistance and leisure facilities. Applications from groups currently under-represented in the scientific community are particularly welcomed.

Interviews are expected to take place on Monday 22nd July 2019.

For an informal discussion about the role, please contact Dr Andrea Rocco via email at

For more informationand to apply online, please download the further details and click on the ‘apply online’ button above.

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