PhD Program

COLuMBuS PhD Program

The PhD program "Computational Analysis and Mathematical Modeling of Biological Systems (COLuMBuS)" at the BioQuant follows the structure and content of the Research Training Group "Mathematical Modeling for the Quantitative Biosciences (MMQB)". PhD students at the Bioquant can choose COLuMBuS as their sole PhD program or become members of COLuMBuS in addition to participating in existing Heidelberg PhD programs (HBIGS, HGS MathComp, DKFZ HIGS etc.). COLuMBuS provides additional training and interactions in computational biology and modeling along the lines of the research program of MMQB, which offers a structured and comprehensive education in quantitative biology at the PhD level. Thus, the focus of COLuMBuS is on applying modeling, analysis and simulation methods to biological systems at different levels of abstraction - gene regulation, signaling pathways, mechanical cell properties and cell populations. It supports training of PhD students in systems and computational biology with respect to deterministic, stochastic, multiscale and spatio-temporal modeling approaches of biological processes and computational analysis of experimental data.

The COLUMBUS PhD program closely collaborates with the Research Training Group "Mathematical Modeling for the Quantitative Biosciences", the Graduate Schools Hartmut Hoffmann-Berling International Graduate School of Molecular and Cellular Biology (HBIGS), the Heidelberg Graduate School of Mathematical and Computational Methods for the Sciences (HGS MathComp), the Heidelberg Graduate School of Fundamental Physics (HGSFP) and the Graduate Academy at Heidelberg University.

Coordinators

Prof. Dr. Karsten Rippe

BioQuant & DKFZ

+49 (0)6221 54-51450

karsten.rippe @ bioquant.uni-heidelberg.de

Prof. Dr. Thomas Höfer

DKFZ

+49 (0)6221 42-1980

t.hoefer @ dkfz.d

Prof. Dr. Ursula Kummer

BioQuant

+49 (0)6221 54-51278

ursula.kummer @ bioquant.uni-heidelberg.de

Previous PhD Program

Research Training Group: Mathematical Modeling for the Quantitative Biosciences (MMQB)

Biology is currently undergoing a fundamental transition from a science of qualitative discovery to a quantitative science aimed at understanding and predicting processes on a systems level. Mathematical modeling is a powerful technique to address key questions and paradigms in diverse systems using a precise quantitative approach.

Heidelberg University has made great efforts to promote education and research training in quantitative biology at various levels, including the Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Molecular Biotechnology, the major in Systems Biology as part of the Master’s program in Molecular Biosciences and the support of interdisciplinary postdocs and junior group leaders by BioMS. In addition, the Research Training Group (RTG) "Mathematical Modeling for the Quantitative Biosciences" (MMQB) offers a structured and comprehensive education in quantitative biology at the PhD level for the first time at Heidelberg University.

The RTG Mathematical Modeling for the Quantitative Biosciences aims at introducing PhD students to a broad range of mathematical approaches used to study biological systems. The focus of this RTG is on applying modeling, analysis and simulation methods to biological systems at different levels of abstraction - gene regulation, signaling pathways, mechanical cell properties and cell populations. In order to tackle these particular levels of abstraction, different, but widely overlapping methods will be employed, e.g. deterministic and stochastic, multiscale and spatio-temporal modeling approaches.

Through the broad and complementary expertise of its principal investigators, the Research Training Group MMQB will acquaint PhD students with a comprehensive array of methodologies for mathematical modeling of biological processes and computational analysis of experimental data. These include deterministic, stochastic, multiscale and spatio-temporal modeling approaches.

PhD students will work directly at the interface between mathematics, physics and biosciences by gaining first-hand experience in collaborating with the other experimental research groups. Each individual PhD project will be supervised by a principal investigator in close collaboration with their experimental partners. Mathematical and computational models will be developed and validated iteratively, based on data obtained by collaborating experimentalists. Providing insights into the complex dynamics, the models will be used to evaluate the data and to design new experiments.

The Research Training Group "Mathematical Modeling for the Quantitative Biosciences" closely collaborates with the Graduate Schools Hartmut Hoffmann-Berling International Graduate School of Molecular and Cellular Biology (HBIGS), the Heidelberg Graduate School of Mathematical and Computational Methods for the Sciences (HGS MathComp), the Heidelberg Graduate School of Fundamental Physics (HGSFP) and the Graduate Academy at Heidelberg University.

PhD Projects

Regulation of cell-to-cell variability in prokaryotes - BioQuant_Bischofs0116 [position filled] | Dr. Ilka Bischofs-Pfeifer (BioQuant & ZMBH)

Mathematical modeling of the two-faced role of immune cells at the crossroad of skin cancer and wound healing - BioQuant_Grabe0116 | apl. Prof. Dr. Niels Grabe (BioQuant & NCT)

Regulation of gene expression: a non-equilibrium process - "Inference and mathematical modeling of gene-regulatory networks in hematopoietic stem cells" - BioQuant_Hoefer0116 [position filled] | Prof. Dr. Thomas Höfer (DKFZ & BioQuant)

Understanding organ size control: Computational modeling of Hippo signaling and its cross-talk with other signaling pathways - BioQuant_Kummer0116 [position filled] | Prof. Dr. Ursula Kummer (COS & BioQuant)

Mathematical models of neurogenesis - BioQuant_Marciniak-Czochra0116 [position filled] | Prof. Dr. Anna Marciniak-Czochra (BioQuant & Institute for Applied Mathematics)

Modeling the role of the cytoskeleton during virus infections - BioQuant_Schwarz0116 [position filled] | Prof. Dr. Ulrich Schwarz (BioQuant & Institute for Theoretical Physics)

Coordinator

Prof. Dr. Anna Marciniak-Czochra

BioQuant & IWR

+49 (0)6221 54-14140

anna.marciniak @ iwr.uni-heidelberg.de