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Post-doc: Model Reduction of Bi-stable Biochemical Systems

Biochemical reaction networks with bi-stable dynamics

3 maanden geleden


Mekelweg, Delft, Zuid-Holland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 uur
€ 4084 per maand


Mathematical models describing the kinetics of biochemical reaction networks are becoming increasingly detailed. The large number of coupled nonlinear ordinary differential equations constituting these detailed models complicates analysis of their dynamics, in particular, assessment of stability and bifurcation. Model reduction aims at elimination of complexes and reactions of a detailed biochemical reaction network, thereby producing a simpler biochemical reaction network that still captures the essential dynamics and is accessible for analysis.

This project focuses on model reduction of biochemical reaction networks with bi-stable dynamics, i.e. the state-space contains two stable attractors. Bi-stability is at the origin of many phenomena in (cell) biology, such as cell differentiation. Synthetic biology produces bi-stable toggle switches that enable advanced regulatory and computational functionality. It is therefore of utmost importance that bi-stability is preserved in the model reduction process.

To address these challenges we will develop advanced model reduction methods that exploit structural properties of biochemical reaction networks with bi-stability. The novel model reduction method will be tested on a recently developed and experimentally realised DNA-based toggle switch.


Applicants should have the following qualifications:
• A PhD degree in systems and control, applied mathematics, or systems biology
• A strong interest in mathematical modelling of (bio)chemical systems and the ability to do interdisciplinary research
• Basic programming skills in Matlab
• Good command of the English language and communication skills.     


The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount for health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. An International Children’s Centre offers childcare and an international primary school. Dual Career Services offers support to accompanying partners. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.

For more information about this position, please contact Dr. Erik Steur, e.steur@tudelft.nl. To apply, please submit the following:
1) a detailed CV, including contact information of three references,
2) a brief motivation letter (1-2 pages) stating research interests and vision.
Please e-mail your application by January 8, 2018, to Irina Bruckner, application-3mE@tudelft.nl.
When applying for this position, please refer to vacancy number 3ME17-61.

Additional information

E. Steur

Technische Universiteit Delft


Delft University of Technology (the TU Delft) is a multifaceted institution offering education and carrying out research in the technical sciences at an internationally recognised level. Education, research and design are strongly oriented towards applicability. The TU Delft develops technologies for future generations, focusing on sustainability, safety and economic vitality. At the TU Delft you will work in an environment where technical sciences and society converge. The TU Delft comprises eight faculties, unique laboratories, research institutes and schools. Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering The Delft Centre for Systems and Control (DCSC) coordinates the education and research activities in systems and control at Delft University of Technology. The Centre's research mission is to conduct fundamental research in systems dynamics and control, involving dynamic modelling, advanced control theory, optimisation, and signal analysis. The research is motivated by advanced technology development in physical imaging systems, robotics, and transportation systems.