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About BaSyC

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Introduction

BaSyC (Building a Synthetic Cell) is a research programme aimed at creating an autonomous, self-reproducing synthetic cell with a bottom-up approach, that is, through integration of molecular building blocks.
Started in September 2017, the project is a joint effort of 17 team-leaders with backgrounds in physics, chemistry and biology. They work for 6 Dutch research institutions: Delft University of Technology, Groningen University, Radboud University Nijmegen, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Wageningen University and the AMOLF Institute.
BaSyC is financed by a “Gravitation” grant from the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, in cooperation with the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO), and by the participating research institutions.
With the Gravitation grant, the government aims at stimulating excellent research in the Netherlands. It is intended for scientific consortia that have the potential to belong to the world top in their field.

Organisation

Steering committee

The steering committee has the final responsibility for the programme and the overall strategy, monitors and steers the timely integration of the different work packages in the programme, and decides on the allocation of funds in consultation with the Consortium Assembly.

Consortium Assembly

The consortium assembly comprises all PIs in BaSyC. The consortium assembly convenes in plenary sessions at least once a year to discuss the status and future strategy of all activities. For a list of BaSyC PI’s see here

Programme Manager & Support Office

The programme manager is secretary to the Steering Committee. Together with the support office the programme manager oversees the project status and daily operations, and coordinates, in cooperation with the partners, the organisation of all consortium events, the education and the outreach activities.

International Advisory Board

The international advisory board offers advice and feedback to the Steering Committee on future scientific directions, new initiatives and opportunities, as well as on valorisation and outreach.

Members:

Prof. Jef Boeke, New York University (US)
Prof. Roel Bovenberg, DSM (NL)
Prof. Drew Endy, Stanford University (US)
Prof. Erwin Frey, LMU, München (DE)
Dr Eugene Koonin, NIH, NCBI (US)
Prof. Marina Rodnina, Max-Planck Gesellschaft (DE)
Prof. Uwe Sauer, ETH Zürich (CH)
Dr Markus Schmidt, Biofaction (AT)
Prof. Petra Schwille, MPI Martinsried (DE)
Prof. Jack Szostak, Harvard, Boston (US)

Positions available at BaSyC

BE PART OF A SCIENTIFIC GRAND CHALLENGE!

BaSyC (Building a Synthetic Cell) is a research programme aimed at creating an autonomous, self-reproducing synthetic cell with a bottom-up approach, that is, through integration of molecular building blocks.

Started in September 2017, the project is a joint effort of 17 team-leaders with backgrounds in physics, chemistry and biology. They work for 6 Dutch research institutions: Delft University of Technology, Groningen University, Radboud University Nijmegen, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdan, Wageningen University and the AMOLF Institute.

BaSyC is financed by a “Gravitation” grant from the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, in cooperation with the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO), and by the participating research institutions.

With the Gravitation grant, the government aims at stimulating excellent research in the Netherlands. The grant is intended for scientific consortia that have the potential to belong to the world top in their field.

For different Work Packages we are looking for Phd’s and Postdocs.

You will work in an interdisciplinary environment, with physicists, chemists, biologists. The programme is characterized by strong collaboration among the groups, located at the different institutes. Therefore, working at different locations and labs is more the rule than the exception.

You will be employed at all effects at one of the partner institutions. At the same time you will be part of the BaSyC community, and as such be involved in the BaSyC activities: progress meetings and trainings, summer schools, and the biennial international symposium on Building a Synthetic Cell.

Interested?

No jobs available for the specific part of the programme you are interested in? Please feel free to send an open application to the corresponding PI directly – the PI’s contact details can be found at the people page.

For general questions you can contact the BaSyC programme manager Dr S.Usai at info@basyc.nl


Building a Synthetic Cell (BaSyC) Gravitation programme –
PhD/Post doc positions at TU Delft

Department profile

The Department of Bionanoscience, part of the Faculty of Applied Sciences at Delft University of Technology and part of the Kavli Institute of Nanoscience Delft is dedicated to world-leading research at the interface between nanophysics and biology. The department was established in 2010 and has since expanded to currently 18 faculty members with active areas of research ranging from single-molecule biophysics to cell biology. The department offers excellent general facilities, including a Kavli Nanolab central microscopy facility, extensive general biology facilities, including a Kavli Nanolab central microscopy facility, extensive general biology facilities and a large Kavli Nanolab cleanroom facility.

Job descriptions

To apply, please contact the corresponding PI.

Supervisor: Prof. Marileen Dogterom
Dogterom Lab, Department of Bionanoscience, Delft University of Technology

Research at the Dogterom lab focuses on the quantitative understanding of the physics behind cytoskeleton-based processes. The lab has multiple positions available for talented PhD students and postdocs, for more information please contact prof. Dogterom.

Supervisor: Dr Christophe Danelon
Danelon Lab, Department of Bionanoscience, Delft University of Technology

The Danelon lab is devoted to the construction of a synthetic minimal cell using as a scaffold lipid vesicles (the compartment) and gene expression (the protein factory). We are pursuing a global approach that aims to integrate four biological modules: DNA replication, vesicle growth through phospholipid biosynthesis, vesicle division and regeneration of the protein factory. Key methodologies include liposome formation, synthetic and molecular biology, membrane biophysics, computer modelling and fluorescence microscopy. We welcome PhD and postdoc candidates from a variety of backgrounds (physics, chemistry, biology) to participate in our pluridisciplinary research.

Supervisor: Prof. Nynke Dekker
Nynke Dekker Lab, Department of Bionanoscience, Delft University of Technology

In this project, you will take on the exciting challenge of understanding the functioning of eukaryotic replisomes at the single-molecule level. Reconstitution of the yeast eukaryotic replisome has recently become possible, and studying it at the single-molecule level will provide unprecedented insight into the dynamics, robustness, and processivity of this complex biological machine. To achieve this, you will utilise our high-throughput single-molecule fluorescence imaging and force spectroscopy techniques that are capable of acquiring large datasets under a variety of different conditions. You will be involved in the purification and labelling of proteins as necessary. You will analyse resulting datasets using biophysical modelling, and discuss extensively with collaborators in the Diffley Lab (Francis Crick institute) in the areas of molecular biology and biochemistry.

Supervisor: Prof. Cees Dekker
Cees Dekker Lab, Department of Bionanoscience, Delft University of Technology

The Cees Dekker Lab is a biophysics group that has multiple positions available for talented postdocs or PhD students in the area of (synthetic) cell division and chromosomal organisation.

15 PhD/Post doc positions on Building a Synthetic Cell (BaSyC)

Organization

The University of Groningen provides an excellent environment for top-notch research in the field of biomolecular sciences. In the framework of a national program on the construction of a synthetic cell, 15 PhD/Post doc positions are available at the Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology Institute of the University of Groningen in the Netherlands.
15 PhD and Post doc positions are available for both computational and experimental research: (i) to develop computational models at different levels of complexity with the aim to generate a feasible design of the synthetic cell; (ii) to experimentally reconstruct metabolism for cell fuelling, with the ability to produce energy carriers and molecular building blocks; (iii) to build pathways that are responsible for the biosynthesis of lipids and macromolecules and integrate these pathways into a synthetic cell.

Requirements

  • The most important criteria are enthusiasm, excellence, commitment to research and team spirit. Educational background preferably in the area of bioengineering, biochemistry, biophysics, multiscale modeling, systems biology or synthetic biology (see Job descriptions).
  • Candidates for a PhD position need to have completed a European Master’s degree or equivalent prior to the application deadline. Post doc candidates need to have completed their PhD.
  • Excellent proficiency in English language.

Apply

Salary will be commensurate with experience (and type of position: PhD or Post doc) and is in addition to a generous fringe benefit package.
To apply for one of the positions, please email a CV including a brief description of your research interests and accomplishments, and include two letters of recommendation from former advisors/professors. Correspondence to be addressed to Prof. Bert Poolman
The deadline for application is January 7th, 2018.
For information about the research groups: http://www.rug.nl/research/gbb/
The starting date can be from February 2108 on until September 2019 and in exceptional cases also beyond.

Job descriptions

Supervisor: Prof. Bert Poolman
Membrane Enzymology, University of Groningen
Supervisor: Prof. Dirk-Jan Slotboom
Structural Membrane Biology, University of Groningen

We will design and synthesize vesicle systems for metabolic energy generation (ATP and electrochemical ion gradients) and equip them with mechanisms for cellular homeostasis (control of pH, ionic strength, redox). A further challenge will be to connect the energy conservation with ATP- and ion gradient-dependent reactions of the synthetic cells, including the uptake of sufficient nutrients and excretion of reaction products, and the synthesis of cell components. The vesicles will be equipped with fluorescence-based sensors to obtain quantitative data about the performance of the cells (fluxes, physiochemical conditions, volume). We have different project for which expertise in protein chemistry, membrane biology, microfluidics and advanced microscopy (including data analysis) is required. PhD and Post doc candidates will closely collaborate with colleagues in other teams to bridge the multidisciplinary challenges both in experimental work and theory.

Supervisor: Prof. Siewert-Jan Marrink
Molecular Dynamics, University of Groningen

One project centers around cell fission, a key step in cell replication. We will use classical molecular dynamics mostly based on the Martini coarse-grain model to be able to access the large spatio-temporal scales involved. Challenges are to predict how different lipid types and membrane proteins together with the cytoskeleton can help in generating the necessary curvature gradients and drive the final fission. The second project involves developing new multiscale simulation methods to bridge the gap between individual molecules to the scale of an entire cell. In particular, we would like to combine classical molecular dynamics simulations to chemical rate equations and to Green’s function reaction dynamics. This combination of techniques allows us to extrapolate from the detailed molecular interactions all the way to the system’s level, providing a solid theoretical framework for the synthetic cell project.

Supervisor: Prof. Matthias Heinemann
Molecular Systems Biology, University of Groningen

From our recent work in yeast, we know that metabolic pathway activity is separated in time during the cell division cycle. We hypothesize that such temporal metabolic separation, for instance in protein and lipid synthesis, facilitates the cell division process. In this project, we will first study this in yeast (by means of microscopy, metabolic modeling, biophysical models) and then develop the respective ‘design models’ for the synthetic cell, and finally – in collaboration with the groups of Poolman and Driessen – will apply the gained insights to experimentally implement a metabolism-induced cell division. The program outlined here includes major challenges, meaning that at least two PhD students/postdocs will work on this. The specific projects can be tailored to the prior experience and interest of the candidates, which could have a background from engineering, (bio)physics or molecular biology/biochemistry.

Supervisor: Prof. Arnold J Driessen
Molecular Microbiology, University of Groningen

The project aims at the design and construction of a membrane system that grows from within vesicles by using a cascade of phospholipid biosynthesis enzymes and simple precursors that will be supplied from the outside. Further, the membrane biosynthesis module will be functionally integrated with other critical modules of synthetic cells. Specifically, this concerns the system for membrane protein biogenesis that is responsible for the functional integration of newly synthesized membrane proteins (transporters, membrane bound enzymes) into the lipid bilayers, as well as the system for metabolic energy generation to satisfy the energetic requirements for membrane biogenesis and protein synthesis. Ultimately, we aim to couple membrane growth to vesicle division. The project will be carried out in close collaboration with other teams of the BaSyC program. Candidates with expertise in protein chemistry and membrane biology are preferred.

No current positions available

No current positions available

No current positions available

No current positions available