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Biophysical limiting factors of patterning precision in developing tissues (Dr Marcin Zagórski)

Biophysical limiting factors of patterning precision in developing tissues (Dr Marcin Zagórski)

Pursuant to § 7 sections 1 and 3 of Resolution No. 91/IX/2021 of the Senate of the Jagiellonian University of 29 September 2021 on: the rules of recruitment for the Doctoral School of Exact and Natural Sciences at the Jagiellonian University in the academic year 2022/2023, the Director of the Doctoral School of Exact and Natural Sciences announces a competition for two doctoral students with a scholarship financed from the research project funds as part of the PhD study programme in biophysics.

Within the SONATA BIS 11 project entitle “Understanding the biophysical limiting factors of patterning precision in developing tissues”, a commission set up at the School will conduct recruitment for the PhD study programme in biophysics.
The project manager, Dr Marcin Zagórski offers an opportunity to complete the doctorates in the following area: “Biophysical limiting factors of patterning precision in developing tissues”.
After the interviews and the evaluation of the candidates, the Chairman of the committee presents a report to the Director containing a list of candidates recommended for admission to the school as part of the research project.

Project description:

In the developing organism cells proliferate, rearrange, and physically interact with other cells in the growing tissue. Chemical signals spread through the tissue to specify spatial patterns of different cell types with remarkable precision and reproducibility. Surprisingly little is known about how precision of this pattern is limited by cellular and mechanical factors in a growing tissue. Recently, I have shown that in the developing spinal cord pattern formation occurs via an optimal morphogen decoding strategy which is realized by specific gene regulatory mechanisms acting in individual cells. However, it remains a major challenge to understand to what extent growth, cellular dynamics, biomechanical feedbacks and global mechanical constraints limit patterning precision in the growing tissue. The project will focus on understanding: (1) how growth is related to patterning precision, (2) how cellular dynamics and biomechanical feedbacks are limiting patterning precision, (3) how global mechanical constraints acting on a growing tissue are affecting patterning precision. To address these aims, an overarching relation between patterning precision and growth across a range of growing tissues is postulated. Fast growth might limit patterning precision. In contrast, slow growth might result in precise patterning, but tissue will not have enough time to fully develop into organs and body parts. To verify this relation, the project will be based on biophysical and computational modelling as well as take advantage of collaborations with experimentalists. One of the project results will be a new framework for understanding precision in a cell-based model. Understanding the limits for patterning precision as a function of growth will advance our understanding of patterning in a broad range of tissues.

Candidate’s profile:

  1. MSc (or equivalent) in biophysics, physics, mathematics, computer science or similar, allowing application to the Doctoral School;
  2. excellent academic track record;
  3. interest in the interdisciplinary aspect of the project;
  4. experience with numerical solvers (C++, Python, Mathematica);
  5. proficiency in written and spoken English

Additionally experience in developmental biology, image segmentation and cell-based models will be an asset.

Schedule of the competition:

  1. Opening of the competition (means: opening admission in the Online Application System): 26.07.2022
  2. Application submission deadline: (means: closing the Online Application System): 8.09.2022
  3. Entrance exams: 12-13.09.2022
  4. Announcement of results: 15.09.2022
  5. Enrolment: 19-23.09.2022
  6. Enrollment (reserve list): 27-28.09.2022 Detailed terms and procedures of admission - tailored to the specific PhD study programme according to the current Recruitment rules for the specific academic year.

Application documents:

  • diploma supplement or official transcript of the grades, and in the absence thereof, a copy of another document containing the course names and the grades received;
  • one recommendation letter for the candidate by a researcher holding at least the academic degree of doctor habilitated (post-doctoral degree) or being an employee of a foreign higher education institution or research institution who has a substantial track record in life or physical sciences;
  • CV with particular reference to scientific excellence;
  • documents confirming scientific excellence.

Any document submitted in a language other than Polish or English must be accompanied by a certified translation into Polish or English.
Please send your application documents to the project manager Marcin Zagórski at: marcin.zagorski@uj.edu.pl and upload them into the Online Application System (irk.uj.edu.pl).

Documents required for entry within PhD study programme in biophysics:

  • the original OAS application printed out from the system, containing a photograph;
  • for inspection: a diploma or other document of graduation of a higher education institution abroad entitling the holder to undertake education in order to obtain the degree of doctor in which it was issued, recognized as equivalent to the relevant Polish master's diploma, and if, by the date of entry, the candidate does not yet hold a master's diploma document, a certificate issued by the higher education institution confirming that the candidate has passed the diploma examination, containing information on the right to take up education in order to obtain the degree of doctor in whose system the institution operates, with the grades given from the diploma examination, from the diploma thesis and on the diploma (for graduates of the second degree studies also a certificate containing these grades from the completed first degree studies);
  • for inspection: diploma supplement or official transcript of the grades, and in the absence thereof, an index book or a copy of another document containing the course names and the grades received (the scan of which was sent at the registration stage);
  • for inspection: identity document (passport in case of foreigners);
  • originals of all other documents provided at the registration stage in the form of a scan.

In the event of exposure to harmful, noxious or hazardous factors, the applicant will, at the time of registration, be referred for a medical examination by an occupational medicine physician. The candidate shall be obliged to deliver, within the time limit set by the programme manager, a medical certificate confirming the absence of contraindications to take up education (applies only to some PhD study programmes).

Higher education diplomas awarded abroad should:

  1. bear an apostille clause if the issuing country is covered by the Convention abolishing the requirement legalisation for foreign public documents, done at The Hague on 5 October 1961 (Journal of Laws of 2005, No. 112, item 938) or
  2. be subjected to legalisation, in other cases.

Any document submitted in a language other than Polish or English must be accompanied by a certified translation into Polish or English.

Insurance:

Each doctoral student, including a foreigner, admitted to the doctoral school is obligatorily subject to health insurance if he/she is not covered by such insurance on other grounds (e.g. employment relationship, contract of mandate, business activity, insured as a family member under 26 years of age, as the spouse of an insured person). The health insurance contribution is paid by the Jagiellonian University and is financed from the State budget. In addition, a doctoral student receiving a doctoral scholarship is subject to compulsory retirement and disability insurance and accident insurance.

IMPORTANT:

A person admitted to the doctoral school begin education and acquire doctoral student rights upon taking the oath. The Department of Personal Affairs reports each doctoral student admitted to the School to compulsory health and social insurance at the commencement of education. Until that time foreign candidates are obliged to cover the costs of insurance for the time of travel, treatment, etc. individually.

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