Postdoctoral/Senior Research Associate in computer modelling of cellular ionic events
The University of Sydney
School of Mathematics and Statistics
Closing date: 24th May 2020
The University of Sydney is welcoming applications for a Postdoctoral/ Senior Research Associate in the Applied Mathematics group, to work with Research Professor Chris Bertram and colleagues on developing the next generation of numerical models of the electrochemical events in the muscle cells and endothelial cells of lymphatic vessels which control all aspects of lymphatic vessel contraction. The position is funded by a grant from the U.S. National Institutes of Health awarded to University of Missouri (UM) for biological experimental work with University of Sydney as the associated mathematical/numerical modeling hub. The laboratory at Missouri is world-famous in the lymphatic field, with landmark publications over the last 15 years or more. The group at Sydney has been involved in numerical modeling of lymphatics since 2010. The position is initially available for one year, but has excellent chances of renewal, potentially for up to three further years. There are prospects for funded travel to UM and to overseas conferences.
The lymphatic vascular system plays a vital role in returning interstitial fluid to the blood circulation, in the digestion of fats, and in the trafficking of immune cells between body tissues and lymph nodes, where the adaptive immune response to viruses, bacteria and foreign particles is centred. Unlike the blood circulation, where fluid is propelled by the heart, lymphatic vessels must generate their own means of fluid propulsion. Accordingly, lymphatic vessels are subdivided by frequent one-way valves, and segments between each pair of valves actively contract using a unique muscle type capable of mounting both long-lasting tone (like that in small blood vessels) and repetitive contractions (like heart muscle). The field has up to now been under-researched relative to the cardiovascular system, and the specifics of how the unique muscle isoform is controlled electrically are only now being discovered. While there are parallels to some of what is known about (e.g.) myocardial cells, almost all specifics remain to be pinned down at this point. Similarly, the detailed workings of the electrical and chemical coupling which allow bi-directional propagation of contraction waves along lymphatic vessels are yet to be understood.
This is an opportunity to conduct research in a collaborative research team. The role will require carrying out scientific research and preparing and presenting scientific results in papers and conferences, co-supervising undergraduate and graduate research students, assisting in the recruitment of research students and continuously working towards attracting new funding. Additionally, you will help to coordinate the research of other researchers.
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