The PhD program in "Physics and Chemistry of Biological Systems" offers an advanced, research-oriented training in theoretical and computational topics at the interface of Physics, Chemistry and Biology. The PhD program has a highly interdisciplinary character and, accordingly, the faculty includes members from the SISSA Physics and Mathematics areas, the CNR-IOM Democritos center and ICTP, the International Center for Theoretical Physics.
During the period November-April of the first year students follow a set of advanced courses covering all the aspects at the basis of a modern approach to the theoretical modeling of biological systems. The courses include: Statistical Mechanics, Numerical Methods in Computational Physics, System Biology, Statistics and Probability, Introduction to Biochemistry, Computational Biochemistry, Advanced Sampling Techniques, Statistical Mechanics of Polymers, Mechanical Aspects of Cell Biology and Bioinformatics, Introduction to Quantum Chemistry and Simulations in Molecular Medicine.
At the end of the courses, each first year student takes on a supervised research project. The choice of the project topic and the supervisor is arranged with the PhD faculty. The PhD program is typically completed in about 4 years. Most of the research activity is devoted to characterize the kinetics, thermodynamics and mechanics of proteins and nucleic acids and to seek quantitative comparison with experimental data. The expertise spanned by the faculty members is broad and ranges from detailed quantum-mechanical calculations and hybrid quantum-classical (QM/MM) simulations applied to enzymatic reactions, to classical atomistic molecular dynamics simulations and advanced sampling techniques of proteins, to coarse-grained modeling of protein assemblies and large macromolecular systems such as long DNA filaments. These activities are very tightly integrated, providing an uncommon comprehensive multiscale expertise.
The coming entrance selection will be held the 30th September and 1st October (deadline for online applications on September 16th 2013). The admitted PhD students will have the opportunity to carry out research on the following main topics:
- Algorithm development for biomolecular simulations
- Atomistic simulations of drugs interacting with proteins and nucleic acids
- Kinetics, mechanics and thermodynamics of biopolymers: atomistic and coarse-grained approaches
- Modeling and simulation of cellular motility
- Rational drug design
- Systems Biology
Applications must be sent in exclusively online (by September 16th 2013) via the following link: http://www.sissa.it/applications/phd/. Please make sure that you select the correct PhD program: Physics and Chemistry of Biological Systems.
If you seek further details about the PhD program in general or any of its specific activies, you are welcome to contact the member of the faculty:
- SISSA: Angelo Rosa , Claudio Altafini , Giovanni Bussi, Antonio De Simone , Alessandro Laio , Cristian Micheletti (coordinator)
- CNR-IOM Democritos: Alessandra Magistrato
- ICTP: Matteo Marsili
- or the students representative: Francesco di Palma.
For further information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.